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Article

Drone Swarms in Fire Suppression Activities: A Conceptual Framework

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering (DIME), Polytechnic School, University of Genoa, 16145 Genoa, Italy
2
Inspire S.r.l., University of Genoa Spin-off, Via Marcello Durazzo 1/9, 16122 Genoa, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Drones 2021, 5(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones5010017
Received: 16 January 2021 / Revised: 15 February 2021 / Accepted: 4 March 2021 / Published: 7 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UAV Application for Wildfire Detection, Prevention and Management)
The recent huge technological development of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can provide breakthrough means of fighting wildland fires. We propose an innovative forest firefighting system based on the use of a swarm of hundreds of UAVs able to generate a continuous flow of extinguishing liquid on the fire front, simulating the effect of rain. Automatic battery replacement and extinguishing liquid refill ensure the continuity of the action. We illustrate the validity of the approach in Mediterranean scrub first computing the critical water flow rate according to the main factors involved in the evolution of a fire, then estimating the number of linear meters of active fire front that can be extinguished depending on the number of drones available and the amount of extinguishing fluid carried. A fire propagation cellular automata model is also employed to study the evolution of the fire. Simulation results suggest that the proposed system can provide the flow of water required to fight low-intensity and limited extent fires or to support current forest firefighting techniques. View Full-Text
Keywords: drone swarm; unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV); firefighting methods; wildfire suppression; cellular automata drone swarm; unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV); firefighting methods; wildfire suppression; cellular automata
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ausonio, E.; Bagnerini, P.; Ghio, M. Drone Swarms in Fire Suppression Activities: A Conceptual Framework. Drones 2021, 5, 17. https://doi.org/10.3390/drones5010017

AMA Style

Ausonio E, Bagnerini P, Ghio M. Drone Swarms in Fire Suppression Activities: A Conceptual Framework. Drones. 2021; 5(1):17. https://doi.org/10.3390/drones5010017

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ausonio, Elena, Patrizia Bagnerini, and Marco Ghio. 2021. "Drone Swarms in Fire Suppression Activities: A Conceptual Framework" Drones 5, no. 1: 17. https://doi.org/10.3390/drones5010017

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