Innovations In Fire-fighting Technology And Their Impact On Insurance – See how innovative firefighting technologies are being developed at NASA and beyond, as members of Congress, public and private partners come together for fire season.
Rep. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, right, speaks with Florian Schwandner, NASA Ames Earth Science Division chief, left, about technologies used to fight wildfires in 2023. April 13 NASA Ames in Mountain View. Photo by Magali Gauthier.
Innovations In Fire-fighting Technology And Their Impact On Insurance
Wildfires aren’t just happening more often: they’re also getting worse. According to NASA, more than half of California’s most destructive wildfires have occurred in the past five years.
University Of Illinois Fire Service Institute
“We’ve seen the damage, the toll it’s taken on our state,” he told reporters on April 13. said Eshoo (D-Palo Alto).
Eshoo spoke to the press during a fire technology demonstration hosted by NASA’s Ames Research Center. She had just returned from a roundtable discussion with fellow Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren and NASA officials. The group came together to discuss how NASA technologies, in partnership with the public and private sectors, can impact fire and disaster resilience.
“We need better and better science,” Eshoo said. “We need sophisticated tools to solve this.” We need cooperation and investment from the private sector, led by public sector investment.
Many of those private and public partners were on hand at the show, along with the tools they’re developing to fight wildfires and other emergencies — or better yet, stop them from happening. Here are some technologies that are being developed right here in Silicon Valley.
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SLIDES: Lauren Claudatos, a research psychologist in the Human and Systems Integration Division at NASA Ames, describes Project ACERO, NASA’s Advanced Capability Emergency Response Operations Project, during a wildfire technology demonstration at NASA Ames in Mountain View 2023. April 13 Photo by Magali Gauthier.
Zach Roberts, chief of NASA’s Ames Aeronautics Project Office, 2023. April 13 NASA’s Wildfire Technology Demonstration at Mountain View in Ames discusses the variety of uses for drones in wildfire prevention and control. Photo by Magali Gauthier.
Drones are quickly becoming a key piece of the fire response puzzle, and Ames scientists are working to accelerate the technology by leveraging NASA’s vast aeronautical resources.
Zach Roberts, director of the Aeronautics Project Office and a member of NASA’s Smart Mobility team, said drones can do “everything from surveying building infrastructure to using infrared cameras to detect fires” — essentially serving as eyes in the sky. instead of endangering the human pilot’s life in unsafe conditions.
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SLIDES: The Rain unmanned aerial vehicle on display at a firefighting technology demonstration at NASA Ames in Mountain View in 2023. April 13 The company said the aircraft could be particularly useful for fighting fires in remote areas. Photo by Magali Gauthier.
SLIDES: Efraim Nowak, Rain’s chief engineer, explains how unmanned aerial vehicles could be used for firefighting in 2023. April 13 NASA at the Fire Technology Demonstration at Mountain View in Ames. Photo by Magali Gauthier.
“Essentially, what we’re doing is allowing automated aircraft to join a fire,” said Ephraim Nowak, Rain’s chief engineer. “Our company is called Rain, and that’s what everyone prays for when there’s a fire.”
Technologies that Rain introduced to the April 13 in the shop window, the part looked like a small white helicopter, but it has a big effect in firefighting: the drone can drop water or fire retardant on fires in remote areas. Rain’s long-term vision is to place automated aircraft in regions of high fire risk so that they are never more than minutes away from a possible ignition. The company believes a network of about 200 rain stations could stop catastrophic wildfires in California by 2030.
See The Innovative Wildfire Fighting Tech Being Developed At Nasa And Beyond
“So if you think about how fire sprinklers have revolutionized firefighting in buildings and reduced structural losses by 95%, we’re basically building fire sprinklers for forests,” Nowak said.
Aero Systems West’s unmanned aerial vehicle, which can fly for about 50 minutes without any weight and carry up to 70 pounds for about 20 minutes, will launch in 2023. April 13 on display at the Fire Technology Exhibition at NASA Ames in Mountain View. Photo by Magali Gauthier. .
Morgan Hill-based Komodo has developed liquid and powder products that extinguish flames more effectively than water. The company is currently developing a product that can be sprayed on the ground and become fire resistant.
“When the green hills start to dry out, they become fuel,” explained Shawn Sahbari, president and CEO of Komodo. “You can put (the product) in May or June and it will last until the end of the year. And you can take a torch, and you will not be able to burn it.
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This is where Aero Systems West comes into play. Industrial drones from the San Martin company that can fly for about 50 minutes without any weight and about 20 minutes when carrying up to 70 pounds.
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CTO Danny Neal brought the company’s largest drone to the showcase. He said Aero Systems West is currently developing a spray device that could be attached to their drones, which would allow the Komodo product to be distributed on the ground via drone.
“It’s a California issue, we’re a California tech company,” Komodo CEO Sahbari said. “So that’s what drives us every day.”
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SLIDES: Rep. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, center right, talks with Van Riviere, tablet team president and chief operating officer, left, San Bruno Fire Chief Ari Delay, center, left, and Tom Owen, Menlo Park firefighter with Conservation District Technical Operations specialist, right, on the use of MPFD drones to fight fires at the NASA Ames (Mount View) showcase in 2023. April 13 Photo by Magali Gauthier.
SLIDES: 2023 April 13 The Menlo Park Fire Protection District’s drone used to fight wildfires was on display at the Wildfire Technology Show at NASA Ames in Mountain View. Photo by Magali Gauthier.
Private companies aren’t the only ones innovating: local public agencies like the Menlo Park Fire District are using drones to protect the community.
Technical Operations Specialist Tom Owen said the fire district uses drones in a variety of capacities, from static fire heat mapping to aerial imaging of accident scenes.
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Drones are also essential rescue tools. Owen recalled one incident where a local man bought a kayak from the Amazon, took it out into the bay and got stuck.
“He thought he knew where he was, but he was wrong,” Owen said. “I found him with a drone. I can put a dot on it and find out the location of the dot and give the dot to the battalion commander. He radioed the aircraft, the aircraft came and picked him up, and everyone slept in their beds that night.
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This is an excellent and well-written article about an important set of local technology initiatives and opportunities. To be clear, I believe Silicon Valley can still lead the way!
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Thanks to Congresswomen Eshoo and Lofgren who care enough to try and help get something done, working with NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy (STS 92, 112, 120), Associate Administrator Bob Cabana (STS 41, 53, 112, 120) and NASA The Ames team of Parimal Kopardeker (PK), Eugene Tu, Carol Carroll and Huy Tran to name a few of those trying to make a difference here locally.
Prior to the technology demonstration and press conference, I participated in an executive roundtable that focused important discussions with NASA, Congressional lawmakers, private industry, philanthropy, academia, and subject matter experts related to wildfire management, prevention, suppression, and mitigation.
The focus was on creating and/or developing partnerships. This is expected to have a significant impact on better fire management, better situational awareness and the development of new tools through technology transfer and support for private sector innovation.
A major component of this effort will involve H.R. 9376 The National Drone and Air Advanced Mobility Initiative Act. We are rapidly losing our strategic advantage in what some call the “drone wars”. Meaning, this technology is easier to develop outside of Silicon Valley and the US due to flight restrictions, ridiculous regulations, and a general lack of support or assistance from our government.
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In my opinion, NASA needs a larger share of the available funding and more specifics should be put into fire service initiatives such as grants for drones and firefighter training. And the leading manufacturer of fire apparatus will present the latest innovative products and technologies. life at the FDIC International (Fire Department Instructors Conference) in Indianapolis, Indiana in 2021. August 5-7
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