This Firefighting Drone Can Douse Fires The Size Of 4-Door Sedan In Just 15 Seconds

University of Coimbra

In a European technical center renowned for firefighting research and innovation, a cutting-edge drone equipped with a fire hose is undergoing testing to revolutionize quick-response firefighting.

This nimble drone hovers 164 feet above potential blazes, wielding symmetrical jet streams that can transport water from nearby fire engines to difficult-to-reach areas, such as mountainsides.

A demonstration video shows how a pile of burning roadside brush around the size of a 4-door sedan was put out by the jets in just 15 seconds.

Developed over a painstaking four-year period at the University of Coimbra’s Forest Fire Research Laboratoryin Portugal, this groundbreaking drone, which they named SAP – an acronym for “ported nozzle system” in Portuguese – was created out of dire need. Particular regions within Portugal have witnessed an increase in devasting wildfires, causing firefighters to look for easier and more efficient ways to combat small fires before they become uncontrollable infernos.

Science has established that countries that are better equipped to target and contain small fires tend to experience less large-scale wildfires statistically. Consequently, the SAP drone is a critical tool that would allow for quick and early fire control.

One of the drone’s primary virtues lies in its design, which emphasizes user-friendliness and lightweight construction. Weighing approximately 46 pounds, the SAP drone can be deployed with ease and speed. Although its operational range is limited by the length of its hoses, its developers envision it as the ideal solution for tackling dangerous fires caused by chemicals or explosives, where human intervention would be perilous.

In the context of the increasing frequency and intensity of droughts worldwide, vast forested regions in North America, Australia and Southern Europe have become increasingly susceptible to wildfires. In response to these challenges, firefighters are increasingly turning to advanced technologies to bolster their firefighting efforts.

Satellites, acting as additional “eyes in the sky” according to BBC, are proving to be invaluable assets in the early direction of wildfires. By scanning forest reserves, satellites can identify nascent wildfires and employ sophisticated data analysis to assess wind conditions, providing crucial information for devising effective firefighting strategies.

The urgency of finding innovative firefighting solutions is underscored by a recent incident in New York City, where air quality plummeted to alarming levels due to smoke blown from Canadian wildfires across the Mid-Atlantic. Such events serve as stark reminders of the far-reaching consequences of wildfires and the critical importance of implementing advanced firefighting technologies.

As the firefighting community continues to confront the challenges posed by increasingly frequent and severe wildfires, the SAP drone represents a promising step forward in the quest for more efficient and rapid firefighting responses. With its ability to access remote and hazardous locations and quickly suppress small fires, this innovative drone holds the potential to significantly mitigate the impact of wildfires on communities, ecosystems, and the environment as a whole.


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