Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

INEEL and NASA launch UAVS to evaluate Earthbound missions

09.12.2004


Hundreds of miles from the legendary California research centers where pioneering aircraft like the supersonic X-1 were put through their paces, National Aeronautics and Space Administration representatives are pushing the envelope in the Idaho desert with a very different, but equally unique aircraft. These space agency specialists are working with engineers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory to test unmanned aerial vehicles as part of a NASA-sponsored program to evaluate potential fire-fighting support from small, robotic planes.



Today’s big fires are mapped using manned aircraft, fitted with thermal sensors that fly at night over hot spots and fire perimeters. Data from the plane’s sensors are transmitted to staff at fire management operations centers who use the information to make decisions on when and where to send in equipment or firefighters. NASA teams from the Ames Research Center and Dryden Flight Research Center are investigating whether it makes sense to use flocks of small, inexpensive UAVs carrying a variety of sensors for such routine surveillance.

Last year, the INEEL UAV program team made history when it simultaneously flew five autonomous aircraft from a common ground station for a project sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. It was this type of accomplishment, along with the hundreds of associated flight hours that led NASA to the INEEL.


"It’s one thing to do simulations, but sooner or later you have to do it for real – get your hands dirty," said Jack Ryan of NASA’s Dryden Center. "INEEL is renowned for its skill in operating small-sized UAVs." NASA engineers are specifically interested in coordinated maneuvering and envision the UAVs working in concert like a flock of birds or a school of fish.

In a demonstration flight for the NASA project, a single UAV’s payload included a video camera, which sent back live images to the observers.

"I thought this was possible for a long time," said Everett Hinkley of the U.S. Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center, attending the demonstration and watching the live color video feed. "This technology could be used to show you what the fire is doing right now, over the hill." Hinkley and his organization evaluate technologies that can be used on the front lines, and provide the customer perspective.

"Those working research and development need to know what the firefighters need rather than create something and say go out and use this," said Hinkley. NASA, INEEL and Forest Service engineers are looking for technologies that are reliable, user-friendly, and either improve the speed and safety, or decrease the cost of firefighting. Research, time and many more flights will tell whether unmanned planes can meet those needs and begin routinely taking flight over the nation’s forests.

Kathleen Gatens | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.inel.gov

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Calculating recharge of groundwater more precisely
28.02.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A better way to measure the stiffness of cancer cells

01.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Exploring the mysteries of supercooled water

01.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Research team of the HAW Hamburg reanimated ancestral microbe from the depth of the earth

01.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>