Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unmanned Aircraft Map Northern Wildfires

Date:
August 11, 2009
Source:
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Summary:
Staff from Poker Flat Research Range have traveled north to assist fire personnel in mapping Interior Alaska's Crazy Mountain Complex fires with unmanned aircraft. The team is stationed at Mile 145 of the Steese Highway, between Circle and Central. They have been deploying the aircraft since Aug. 5.

Launch of one of the aircraft that have collected data that has allowed fire personnel to track the progression of fires and current hot spots in Alaska.

Staff from Poker Flat Research Range have traveled north to assist fire personnel in mapping the Crazy Mountain Complex fires with unmanned aircraft. The team is stationed at Mile 145 of the Steese Highway, between Circle and Central. They have been deploying the aircraft since Aug. 5.

Related Articles


The mapping operation is using 40-pound Insitu ScanEagles equipped with infrared cameras. The aircraft have collected data that has allowed fire personnel to track the progression of fires and current hot spots. This work has proven difficult with manned aircraft. Dense and widespread smoke has grounded or severely limited logistical support from the air in recent days.

“With the infrared sensors aboard our unmanned aircraft, they’re identifying where the edge of the fire is,” said Ro Bailey, special projects manager at Poker Flat Research Range. “Anything the aircrafts get will be used to improve the accuracy of the current fire maps.”

The infrared cameras are performing exceptionally well. The equipment has the ability to peer through dense smoke as the unmanned aircraft fly above active fires. A ground-based pilot controls the aircraft during its flight.

When the university’s unmanned aircraft is in flight, no other aircraft is permitted in the airspace. The University of Alaska is the first entity, other than NASA or the Department of Defense, to receive an emergency certificate of authority from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly in civil airspace with an unmanned aircraft beyond line-of-sight.

Poker Flat Research Range manager Greg Walker and optical science manager Don Hampton are piloting the aircraft, while Kathe Rich, the team’s operations controller, is monitoring safety and providing logistical support.

Poker Flat staff have partnered with the FAA, the Bureau of Land Management and the Alaska Fire Service on this project. The mission allows the University of Alaska’s Unmanned Aircraft Program the ability to gain additional flight opportunities, while providing a needed service to the agencies working to protect Alaskans from fire danger.

“This is a chance for us to take what we’re doing in research and give it back to the community,” Bailey said. “We’re learning valuable things as we’re going along, too, so this is a great opportunity for everyone involved.”

The University of Alaska’s Unmanned Aircraft Program is based at Poker Flat Research Range, located at Mile 30 on the Steese Highway. The program was established in 2006 and has a total of four aircraft.

Lightning strikes caused the Crazy Mountain Complex fires. There are currently 311 personnel assigned to the fires that have burned more than 440,000 acres, according to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center. The Crazy Mountain Complex consists of four fires: the Bluff Creek Fire, the Jagged Ridge Fire, the Little Black One Fire and Puzzle Gulch Fire.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alaska Fairbanks. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alaska Fairbanks. "Unmanned Aircraft Map Northern Wildfires." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090811091845.htm>.
University of Alaska Fairbanks. (2009, August 11). Unmanned Aircraft Map Northern Wildfires. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090811091845.htm
University of Alaska Fairbanks. "Unmanned Aircraft Map Northern Wildfires." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090811091845.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama Reveals Nuclear Breakthrough on Landmark India Trip

Obama Reveals Nuclear Breakthrough on Landmark India Trip

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 25, 2015) In a glow of bonhomie, U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveil a deal aimed at unlocking billions of dollars in nuclear trade. Pavithra George reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
NTSB: Missing Planes' Black Boxes Should Transmit Wirelessly

NTSB: Missing Planes' Black Boxes Should Transmit Wirelessly

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) In light of high-profile plane disappearances in the past year, the NTSB has called for changes to make finding missing aircraft easier. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iconic Metal Toy Meccano Goes Robotic

Iconic Metal Toy Meccano Goes Robotic

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 22, 2015) Classic children&apos;s toy Meccano has gone digital, releasing a programmable kit robot that can be controlled by voice recognition. The toymakers say Meccanoid G15 KS is easy to use and is compatible with existing Meccano pieces. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The VueXL From VX1 Immersive Smartphone Headset!

The VueXL From VX1 Immersive Smartphone Headset!

Rumble (Jan. 22, 2015) The VueXL from VX1 is a product that you install your smartphone in and with the magic of magnification lenses, enlarges your smartphones screen so that it&apos;s like looking at a big screen TV. Check it out! Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins