While more than 625,000 acres of wildfires burned throughout the Pacific Northwest, crew members of the Insitu Rapid Response team launched a ScanEagle unmanned aircraft into the hazy skies above the Paradise Fire in Washington's Olympic National Park. The event marked the beginning of an operational demonstration designed to show how unmanned aircraft technology can be a powerful force multiplier in the fight against wildfires.
ScanEagle flew six operations, delivering more than 37 hours of infrared video in real time to Incident Command personnel. Insitu's suite of motion imagery software provided enhanced video and geo-registration capabilities that enabled fire officials to pinpoint the fire's perimeter and identify areas of intense heat. ScanEagle also assisted helicopter assets with evaluating water drop locations.
"This exercise demonstrated our ability to collect, process and deliver information that helps fire officials achieve better outcomes,” said Insitu President and CEO Ryan Hartman.
ScanEagle flew within an emergency certificate of authorization issued to the Department of Interior from the Federal Aviation Administration that permitted its operation within the confines of the temporary flight restriction.