A micro-UAS to Start Prescribed Fires

Evan Beachly, James Higgins, Christian Laney, Sebastian Elbaum, Carrick Detweiler, Craig Allen, Dirac Twidwell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


Prescribed fires have many benefits, but existing ignition methods are dangerous, costly, or inefficient. This paper presents the design and evaluation of a micro-UAS that can start a prescribed fire from the air, while being operated from a safe distance and without the costs associated with aerial ignition from a manned aircraft. We evaluate the performance of the system in extensive controlled tests indoors. We verify the capabilities of the system to perform interior ignitions, a normally dangerous task, through the ignition of two prescribed fires alongside wildland firefighters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpringer Proceedings in Advanced Robotics
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameSpringer Proceedings in Advanced Robotics
ISSN (Print)2511-1256
ISSN (Electronic)2511-1264


  • Drone
  • Interior fire ignition
  • Micro unmanned aerial system
  • Prescribed burn
  • UAS
  • UAV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


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