Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Unmanned aircraft map northern fires

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.

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.

CONTACT: Ro Bailey, special projects manager, Poker Flat Research Range, at 907-322-2255. Don Hampton, optical science manager, Poker Flat Research Range, at 907-455-2256. Sarah Saarloos, Crazy Mountain Complex public information officer, at 907-773-5511. Poker Flat Research Range main number at 907-455-2110. Amy Hartley, Geophysical Institute information officer, at 907-474-5823.

Amy Hartley | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

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: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>