Trillium’s HD80 Support Overwatch Aero During Wildfire Season

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Wildfires in California have become increasingly common in recent years, with many communities being affected by these devastating natural disasters. Due to the shift in climate change, wildfire season lasts over 5 months in California. Within the last couple of years, drones have been introduced into the firefighting world through partnerships with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. The use of drone technology in firefighting has the potential to revolutionize how we fight wildfires and other types of fires. Companies like Overwatch Aero are leading the way in developing innovative solutions to help firefighters protect lives and property more effectively.

Just recently, Overwatch Aero teamed up with the USDA Forest Service to help assist with the Lightning Complex Fire near Willow Creek, California. Their advanced technology that allows their drone to be equipped with thermal imaging cameras, such as Trillium’s HD80, was used to detect the temperature, location, and direction of the fire. Information from the HD80 transmitted real-time information to a command center where it was analyzed and used to coordinate firefighting efforts. The HD80 is equipped with multiple sensors, including infrared, that allow the monitoring team to see through the smoke for day and night use. It was especially imperative to use the paring of Overwatch Aero’s FVR fixed-wing drone and Trillium’s HD80 during the night shift due to the grounding of manned firefighting aircrafts for pilot safety.

“To give you an idea, this drone can pick up a two-inch by two-inch spot fire from a half mile away,” said Justin Baxter, National UAS Operations Specialist for the U.S. Forest Service.

The precision of the thermal camera is what makes the HD80 perfect for the job. Spot fires occur when embers from the main fire fly into the air and travel by wind to an unburned area, starting a new ignition. They are notoriously hard to identify because they start small, and visibility is diminished by smoke. Trillium’s HD80 found these spots within minutes of takeoff.

For more information about fighting fires with drone intelligence, visit here.