Special Issue "Unmanned Aircraft in Fire Research and Management"

A special issue of Fire (ISSN 2571-6255).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Adam C. Watts

Associate Research Professor, Fire and Unmanned Systems, Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Desert Research Institute, 2215 Raggio Parkway, Reno, NV 89512, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: (775) 674-7033
Fax: (775) 674-7016
Interests: smoldering combustion; emissions; landscape ecology; fire ecology; restoration; rehabilitation; peatlands; organic soils; muck fires; unmanned aircraft systems; UAS; UAV; drone; tree mortality; fires in wetlands; prescribed fire
Guest Editor
Dr. Jason W. Karl

Associate Professor and Harold F. and Ruth M. Heady Endowed Chair of Rangeland Ecology, Department of Forestry, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences, College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho 875 Perimeter Drive, MS 1135 Moscow, ID 83844-1135
Website | E-Mail
Interests: vegetation monitoring and assessment; envirometrics; remote sensing and spatial analysis; wildlife habitat; restoration effectiveness

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The advent of low-cost, reliable unmanned aircraft systems (UAS; also known as “drones” or unmanned aerial vehicles, “UAVs”) has encouraged a proliferation of their uses for all manner of scientific applications. With their military pedigree, UAS are as ideally suited for so-called “dull, dirty, and dangerous” missions as they are for providing a novel aerial perspective for much work traditionally conducted from the ground, such as surveys and sampling. These characteristics make UAS ideally suited for many uses in fire science and management, as does the similarity of many aspects of fire management to military operations in complexity of organization, pace of operation, and need for rapid and accurate geospatial information in order to ensure safety of personnel.

A rapid pace of technology development, and a regulatory environment that has until recently set challenges for non-hobbyist use, have meant that groups working with UAS may have limited exchange of current information and techniques. Additionally, the highly interdisciplinary nature of natural-resource related UAS work has led to an unusually disparate array of publication outlets, reducing the efficiency with which advances are received and applied by the community of workers in the field. It is our hope that by devoting a Special Issue to the technology, techniques, products, and other aspects of UAS for fire work, we may help to provide a focal area for exchanging important and new information.

This Special Issue is being planned in parallel with a Workshop at the upcoming AFE/IAWF Fire Continuum Conference in Missoula, Montana, USA, to be held on Monday, 21 May 2018. Is it expected that contributors to this Special Issue may wish to present or discuss early versions of their work at the Workshop, whose audience may provide additional contributions or ideas. Conversely, in the course of exchanging information on their respective projects, Workshop participants may collaborate on manuscript submissions. However, it is emphasized that participation in the Workshop is not a prerequisite for contribution of an article to this Special Issue.

We invite submissions including, but not limited, to the following topics:

  • Platforms, systems, and general characteristics of UAS suited for field use in fire science and management
  • Case studies of UAS used for fire observation, mapping, suppression, or effects monitoring
  • Payloads for remote sensing applications, especially in the context of fire-related applications
  • Regulations applicable to the use of UAS both away from the fireline and during active fires. (Due to the variety of regulations across jurisdictional boundaries, submissions may choose to focus on individual large countries with complex airspace regulations such as the USA, or to provide survey and overview of regulations in multiple areas if warranted.)
  • Lighting and fighting fires with UAS
  • Remote sensing of fire behavior and effects
  • Operational monitoring of firelines and UAS use for situational awareness

It is further noted that, although most submissions are expected in the area of wildland fire, a small but growing number of organizations are successfully employing UAS for structural-fire and wildland-urban-interface (WUI) uses. We wish to encourage submission of manuscripts on structure and WUI applications of UAS in order to serve the broader fire community.

Please check and follow the Instructions to Authors at https://www.mdpi.com/journal/fire/instructions.

Dr. Adam C. Watts
Dr. Jason W. Karl
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Fire is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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