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Ruth Marlaire
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Phone: (650) 604-4709 / 9000

May 30, 2006
 
RELEASE : M06_35AR
 
 
NASA and US Forest Service to Tame Wildfires with UAV Capabilities
 
 
WHAT: Reporters are invited to observe advanced unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies that expand wildfire imaging and mapping capabilities. NASA will test these technologies at Fort Hunter Liggett Garrison (FHLG) near King City, Calif., on June 6. The collaborative effort uses small UAVs equipped with the latest thermal imaging and GIS-compatible technologies for real-time images of current conditions of active fires. UAV participants will demonstrate mobility, imaging, and real-time air-to-ground fire information. Forest Service and NASA Ames Research Center researchers will evaluate these capabilities for effective flight and data gathering. Teams will assess technologies for current and projected progress, possible integration and use in wildland fire management, and future testing needs.

WHEN: Reporters are invited to attend flight demonstrations over active fires, June 6 starting at 9:30 am PDT.

WHERE: Fort Hunter Liggett Garrison (FHLG) near King City, Calif.

WHO: A research team from NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., is collaborating in the demonstrations with U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service personnel. Other federal participants include the U.S. Army and the FHLG fire department. For further information, contact Vincent Ambrosia, NASA Ames Research Center, (650) 604-6565 vambrosia@mail.arc.nasa.gov and Everett Hinkley, USDA Forest Service, (801) 975-3752 ehinkley@fs.fed.us.

WHY: This field experiment is the second in a series of demonstrations that evaluates UAV imaging capabilities over active fires. Small UAV platforms equipped with thermal imaging systems have long-duration capabilities for extended monitoring and reduce the risk to pilots flying over active fires. Risk factors include smoke, excessive thermal wind drafts, and unfamiliar terrain. First responders are highly interested in these technologies.

LOGISTICS: To enter the fort, you must have a valid government-issued photo ID or passport and show proof of registration and insurance for your vehicle, or a rental car contract. Hotel reservations can be made at the Courtesy Inn in King City by calling (831) 385-4646 and requesting the NASA block. Room rate is $54/ night. King City is approximately 1-1/2 hours from San Jose International Airport. The fort is another half hour inland. A map (http://www.mapquest.com/) to the Courtesy Inn and Fort Hunter Liggett Garrison can be accessed via the internet.

 

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