Application of multiple unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for bushfire mitigation [thesis]

Nina Homainejad
When a disaster threatens lives and livelihoods, emergency responders require high resolution, near-real-time, accurate data about the impact of the disaster to aid them during the response and decision making phases. Currently in the case of bushfires disaster response services rely on watchtowers, manned aircraft and satellite data for information. Advances in technology such as the development of sense-and-avoid systems will soon allow Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to be flown alongside
more » ... ned aircraft in non-segregated airspace. This research thesis explores how the simultaneous deployment of a low altitude UAS along with a high medium altitude UAS in different airspaces can aid bushfire mapping and surveillance. Each UAS category can supply a different set of valuable geospatial data in (near-)real-time to emergency service. The high/medium altitude UAS is fitted with satellite-like sensors and could be used for hot-spot detection, while the low altitude UAS is typically fitted with a video sensor and is utilised for object tracking and real-time site assessment. This research investigates the different UAS categories and their characteristics, and makes recommendations on the most useful UAS for monitoring bushfire behaviour. Subsequently a multiple UAS mission flight is proposed. To support the implementation of a multiple UAS mission for data acquisition and analysis of fire behaviour, two sets of sample data were analysed. The first exercise compares the spatial-temporal advantage of the Predator B Ikhana UAS to MODIS satellite multispectral data. The second exercise explores the advantage of spatial video during bushfire emergencies. A series of video streams collected by a UAS were processed and integrated within a GIS database. The advantages of motion video, both as raw frames or as geo-referenced frames, with other layers of geospatial data are discussed. The results from these exercises support the use of a combination of UAS during bushfire emergencies, and are a suitable alternative to traditio [...]
doi:10.26190/unsworks/21426 fatcat:omdvsrxxbndw3jk2szglzydmqy