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NASA Leader Casey Swails Learns About Wildfire Work at NASA Ames

NASA/Brandon Torres

NASA Deputy Associate Administrator Casey Swails views a demonstration on screen in the Airspace Operations Laboratory at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. Researchers presented the diverse, long-running efforts in aeronautics at Ames that have helped lay the foundation for agency work related to wildfire response.

These include a project to help integrate drones into the airspace with Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management, their application to disaster response with the Scalable Traffic Management for Emergency Response Operations project, and how those informed NASA’s newest effort to make wildfire response more targeted and adaptable, the Advanced Capabilities for Emergency Response Operations project.

Michael Falkowski, program manager for the Applied Sciences Wildland Fire program at NASA Headquarters presented wildfire efforts happening under NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, such as the FireSense project, led out of Ames.

The importance of collaborations within NASA and with partner agencies was also highlighted. Wildfires are complex phenomena and tackling their challenges will require the work of many, for the benefit of all.

NASA Deputy Associate Administrator Casey Swails, left, and Jeff Homola, NASA research engineer, discuss aeronautics projects at Ames that support the agency’s work to optimize wildfire response efforts in collaboration with its partners.
NASA/Brandon Torres