UAS Enabling Prescribed Fire Ignitions

NIMBUS Lab, partners, and fire team after first ever prescribed fire ignition on public land by a UAS.

This is one of my favorite pictures after our successful prescribed burn at Homestead National Monument, which shows all the people that were involved in the first ever prescribed fire ignition on public land by a UAS (can you guess which side is the fire crew and which side is us?). Recently, we had an article come out in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment that discusses our vision and the potential impact our prescribed fire ignition UAS will have on fire management:

D. Twidwell, C. Allen, C. Detweiler, J. Higgins, C. Laney, and S. Elbaum. Smokey Comes of Age: Unmanned Aerial Systems for Fire Management. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 14(6): 333-339, 2016.

We also recently had a paper accepted that describes some of the details of our field experiments:

E. Beachly, J. Higgins, C. Laney, S. Elbaum, C. Detweiler, C. Allen, and D. Twidwell. A micro-UAS to Start Prescribed Fires. Accepted to appear in International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER), Tokyo, Japan, 2016.

Our work on UAS prescribed fire ignition has also continued to get a lot of media attention, including a story on NPR, Science Daily, trended as the 14th most popular government tweet in August, Nature World News, Nature News, Ecological Society of America, Big Ten Network, and others.

We are continuing to develop our system and have plans for additional tests and more news soon.