Aerial Fire Tech

Aerial thermal infrared transmitted to SmartPhones & Tablets for Wildland firefighters
Infrared + Tactical GIS in the cockpit, live streamed to the ground and near-relatime mapping

Auto-tracking gimbal live transmitted. Touching targets on the IR screen, locks-on hands free. Stabilized super zoom will see details and stream live to the ground. 
Moving-map topos with symbolized fire GIS (Geographic Information System from NIFC)
 provides instant situational awareness (SA), and can be wirelessly updated every morning. 

2018 goal:
- Live mapping with artificial Intelligence (AI) perimeters from OverWatch (same as Insitu Scan Eagle). Use ForeFlight to transmit retardant targets from Air Attack to tankers and helicopters
2018 achieved:
- Operate gimbal from home desk while Air Attack's is over distant fire using cellular connectivity. Live aerial video to unlimited number of Android, iOS, Windows and Mac
2017 Goal Achieved: 
- Division supervisor ground operating the infrared gimbal from the fireline to scan for spot for fires. Team fire maps work on ForeFlight and Cal Fire publish MBTiles
2016 goal achieved:
  - Common Operating Picture (COP): Live sharing of fire perimeters, maps, and photos between Incident Command (IC) the plane and emergency operations center (EOC). Shared Situational Awareness (SA)
2015 goal achieved:;
  - Live broadcast of fire video with contextual moving map to firefighters
2014 fire season goal achieved (Happy Camp fire movie): 
  - IR+GIS as off-the-shelf product. Tase 200 with or with Microwave (IR+GIS-2) control from the ground available from integrators
2013 fire season Goal acheived
  - Bring IR+GIS to more aerial firefighter cockpits worldwide and stream it 
realtime to the ground 

- 2018: Oklahoma fires video posted to Facebook received a record number of views 
- 2017: Flew Manned-UAV to map Santa Rosa fire and transmit live video to IC team, Courtney Aviation Fire View photo brief published 
- 2016: Placement on UTC Cloudcap website. Soberanes fire tornado over a mile long
- 2015: XYhT article: Surrogate UAS (page 36)
- 2014: Nov: TFRSAC working group started to gather industry feedback and recommendation for IR gimbal operations
- 2014: Oct: Happy Camp Complex Wildfire successfully uses IR gimbal+GIS, and live link to Incident Command
- 2013: Tase 200 set fo 3 Air Attack Aircraft. Remote control over microwave operating on one aircraft
- 2012: Stabilized gimbal with visible super zoom and IR runs completely by touch with iPad like interface
- 2012: IR+GIS used across the Western US on many fires. System is extremely low cost and automatic hands-free requiring no training
- 2011: New presentation slides and 59 second movie about Aoir Attack IR+GIS for TFRSAC (Tactical Fire Remote Sensing Advisory Committee) in Sacramento
- 2011: Delivered moving-map GIS to 8 dozer operators and ground firefighters on iPhones & iPads
- 2011: 3rd year FAIRGIS teaching at Region 5 ATGS refresher.  slides: Air Attack refresher course at McClellan, Sacramento, CA
- 2011: Won 1st place in Silicon Valley, and two other developer awards for a SmartPhone & Tablet app that will automatically overlay fire Tactical GIS on moving-map topos.
- 2010: AirborneGIS and/or IR flew on twenty CalFire & Fed Air Attack planes.  Equipped planes could operate over smoke and darkness.

How-to Proceed:
- DIY thermal IR: Aircraft operators can follow the instructions below - installation is inexpensive and realatively easy
- GIS for iPads is on the public NFIC server can be overlaid by Air Attacks, ask your GIS team.
 DIY Instructions:

Passive hands-free Infrared: Long heralded as breakthrough technology for fire fighting, good IR cameras have become so inexpensive that here is no reason not to install one on every Air Attack plane.  Installation & FAA certification are also easy, and so is usage.  Fixed mounted side looking infrared (SLIR) sees through the smoke and dark. SLIR requires no training or 3rd person board.  It is so easy that on the first flight both the Air Attack and pilot will become completely functional.
Moving-Map Topos on a Wnidows Tablet PC in the Cockpit
Detailed situational awareness and names can quickly earn the respect of localsClam-shell Laptops should not be used in the cockpit, but rather Tablet PCs.  Use either DeLorme Topo USA or DeLorme XMap 7 Pro (requires Win7 Pro).  They are easy to use and connect to Bluetooth wireless or USB wired GPS for moving-map.
GIS overlays on Windows Moving-Map Topos
GIS teams on large fires normally produce map data that helps Air Attacks.  Fire lines, hot spots, burn out, dozer & hand lines, division breaks, drop points, dip sites and more overlays are all oriented on the moving topos with instant situational awareness and ability to zoom in - out.  This will allow you to do some things previously not possible, in addition to the obvious of quickly finding everything.  DeLorme XMap imports ESRI .shp files directly one by one.  DeLorme Topo and Maptech require the GIS team to first create special .gpx files. 

Free app downloads allow for offline moving map topos.  Tactical GIS app is being developed for fire fighters.  Anyone with a GPS enable SmartPhone can show their real-time GPS position on each others map.

Latitude, who makes many of the AFF (Automated Flight Following) boxes, already installed in fire aircraft, has written a Windows utility to transfer fire maps from the cockpit to the ground.  Maps transmits as Google Earth attachments through email to a group list.  Perimeter maps can transmit within a minute directly to anyone or everyone on the IC team, GIS and dispatch.  Even frontline firefighters can receive them on an iPhone or SmartPhone running Google Earth.


 This content is all provided as a free service by the community of aerial fire fighters.