A researcher at the University of Missouri is working with scholars to develop drone technology to predict the spread of wildfires.
The Columbia Missourian reported that the project aims to use UAVs to collect real-time data and send it to firefighters on the ground in hope to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation, the project’s professor, Ming Xin, said the drones follow a simulation that can precisely predict where a fire will spread within the next half an hour period.
The simulation is based on thermal imagery of an area and data on wind, terrain and vegetation and enables the drones to collect real-time data with thermal imaging cameras and sensors that help estimate the wind field.
The report went on to confirm that the researchers are planning on launching test flights at the University of Kansas Field Station this summer.