The purpose of this report is to analyze the current trend of wildfires in the United States and its severity and demonstrate how remotely piloted can help mitigate this at higher rates by recommending to the target audience that use of UAVs be put into law. With the current rate of devastating droughts throughout the country there couldn’t be a better time to recommend a use of technology that seems to be the way of the future. This report will cover how UAVs can be used for surveillance and reconnaissance in fire hunting, how UAVs are used in fire hunting, and mainly cover the need and potential benefits of using these as a tool. Lastly, this report will also cover current laws set into ...view middle of the document...
This current trend is projected to rise due to the buildup of hazardous fuel. Though this might not seem like a big issue to the reader, on the contrary, this affects our air and the economy.
As recently as September 2013 Chairman Doc Hastings delivered a speech depicting the poor management of forest land in California, Arizona, Colorado along with other western states highlighting the need for better management of forest land. In his speech he stated that timber harvests have dropped 80% in the last 30 years and that the Forest Service that used to be a $1 billion industry now spends $2 for every $1 profited (Committee on Natural Resources 2013, 09). Chairman Hastings: “Our federal forests are being badly managed and there have been devastating consequences. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that logging, wood, cabinetry, and paper industries have lost over 240,000 jobs or 23% of its workforce since 2006” (Committee on Natural Resources, 2013, 09). The figures for our air are seemingly worse wildfires produce billions of pollutants and affect Co2 levels in the air for example; a medium sized fire can produce upwards of 200,000 tons of Co2 so just imagine the number magnified by the millions of acres that are burned. With the increase of wildland fire activities and soaring costs of fuel use and the constant to pinch every penny, never has there been a greater time to introduce and take full advantage of the new technologies that we have in UAVs or commonly known as drones.
Sources of Data
The main sources used for this report came from nps.gov, futurespeaker.org, and fireaviation.com. All of the information used mainly came from these sources because of the extent of analytical data that they possessed. The sources used are as recent as January of 2014, in fireaviation.com an information bulletin issued by the Department of the Interior issues a Memorandum of Agreement that allows for easier operation of small unmanned systems in class G airspace (United States Department of the interior, 2014). Because these sources are mainly from government websites they have been proven to be accurate and relevant.
The source of expertise was Dr. Kevin Rigby, a professor at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University who is the professor of the UAS Robotics course. In an interview Dr. Rigby was asked how beneficial UAVs are to this current crisis and followed by a question regarding a law making them mandatory to be used. In response to this Dr. Rigby stated this, “UAVs are most definitely beneficial because they can help with research in detecting hotspots and the sources of the fire itself. Because I tend to stay away from anything that has to do with law I can only make a recommendation that more Certificates of Authorization be approved by congress so that operating them can be easier.”
Scope of Analysis
Because this topic had such a vast array of issues my main concern was narrowing it down to the need of UAVs and...