(Neb)-UNL Backing Drone Firefighting Startup
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers have launched a university-backed startup company to help prevent and fight wildfires with drones.
Associate professor of computer science and engineering Carrick Detweiler will head the new business venture, Drone Amplified.
The company's drone-mounted technology carries chemical spheres the size of ping pong balls that ignite at the press of a button to spark intentional small fires for prescribed burns or as burnouts that deprive oncoming wildfires of potential fuel.
The drones can also be equipped with thermal cameras to help spot hotspots, and can be used in situations that are unsafe for manned aircraft such as low-visibility nighttime operations during fires.
UNL researchers tested the technology in 2016 with a controlled fire at the Homestead National Monument of America near Beatrice.
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