Forest fires have become a global problem and every year more and more territories burn. Wildfires are classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as natural disasters, but only ten to 15 percent of wildfires occur on their own in nature. The other 85 to 90 percent result from human causes, including unattended camp and debris fires, discarded cigarettes, and arson.
Natural or man-made, three conditions must be present for a wildfire to burn: fuel, oxygen, and a heat source. Firefighters call these three elements the fire triangle.
In addition to the fact that fires destroy forests and fields, they also cause the extinction of many biological species and animal populations.
About 4% of the Earth burns out every year, and this percentage will increase if we do not begin to apply measures for the early detection of fires, their proper diagnosis, and extinguishing.
Fast and effective detection is a key factor in wildfire fighting. UAVs today can perform various tasks in this area and provide information in real-time for quick response to the situation.
The system of tactical monitoring of forest fires based on several UAVs should perform the following functions:
– early detection of fires (underground fires), detection of potential fires, fire detection, event triggering and initialization of further fire monitoring;
– determination of the place and extent of the fire, observation, and monitoring of its development;
– fire diagnosis – obtaining detailed information about the fire, evaluating its important parameters;
– fire forecast – real-time forecasting of future fire development.
Unmanned aerial vehicles can detect, contain and even put out fires faster and more safety. They give firefighters a bird’s eye view of the area and help them determine where the fire will spread so that they can quickly make decisions about where the fire brigades should go and which residents should be evacuated.
UAVs, using thermal and multi-sensor cameras, can detect underground fires, which can turn into large-scale wildfires. At the initial stage of a fire, when the temperature of the ground increase, the firefighting departments can receive operational information and take measures to prevent future fires.
Also, UAVs and drones can be equipped with infrared cameras that look through the smoke, as well as wind direction sensors and other weather variables that affect the spread of forest fires.
The aerial video and images captured while a fire is burning can be crucial in after-action assessments, in which firefighters critique their own efforts so that they can improve their approach and identify future training needs.
These materials can also be used to train new firefighters, providing real-life examples of how a fire might unfold, and where decisions on the ground were made well or could have been made better.
UAVs also provide a quick and safe way to capture information relating to problems and damage that have been resulted from catastrophic events such as floods, earthquakes, tornados and hurricanes. This early information helps incident commanders and emergency managers understand the magnitude of community impact on building infrastructure, road conditions and living conditions.
UAV Raybird-3 can cover distances up to 2500 km, and fly continuously more than 24 hours, these parameters allow to reach the troublesome destination fast with no respect for traffic, weather or dangerous conditions; discover the territory and identify fires, control them and immediately transmit data for rescue teams and incident commanders. Raybird-3 ready for immediate launch in minutes and with a cruising speed of up to 160 km/h (100 m/h).