Drone Amplified named Top Made in America Innovation
IGNIS by Drone Amplified has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Interior as one of the 12 “Top Made in America” innovations. The technology will be used by the DOI’s Office of Aviation Services to set prescribed burns and fight wildfires. In 2018, the DOI purchased and successfully tested IGNIS technology during the Klondike wildfires in Southern Oregon.
IGNIS is the brainchild of two University of Nebraska-Lincoln engineering professors who developed the technology for igniting prescribed fires using drones. IGNIS mounts on standard commercial drones and is controlled through an easy-to-use custom App that intelligently controls and monitors flights and ignitions. Upon command, the spheres are injected with glycol, starting a chemical reaction that generates flames after being dropped precisely where they are needed to control a burn.
“What we’ve invented is the game changer – the technology to more safely, and efficiently, manage fires,” said Carrick Detweiler, Inventor and CEO of Drone Amplified. “We can send drones into active fires in any terrain. This is far safer and less expensive than sending in humans on four-wheelers, or trying to navigate with helicopters,” he added.
IGNIS technology also helps save money when it comes to efficiency. “When trying to be profitable, protecting human resources and minimizing cost are huge. One drone can do the work of several people, and quicker,” says Ross Carrie, President at Raven Environmental Services, Inc. in Texas. “There’s a groundswell of excitement about what this technology and drone system can do.”
“The DOI did a thorough investigation of the technology,” said Lou Lamberty, Vice President of Operations. “They’ve seen a lot. Their vote of confidence is echoed by state agencies, and private contractors who have made purchases and advocate for this breakthrough innovation.” Lamberty added that, as budgets are set and federal, state, local and private entities recognize the need for safer, more efficient fire management technology, IGNIS is increasingly on the radar.
More on IGNIS and Drone Amplified
IGNIS is equipped with a hopper that carries a payload of standard ping-pong ball sized chemical spheres. It can be integrated with infrared and other types of cameras. The spheres are pre-loaded with potassium permanganate and later injected with antifreeze prior to being released. The spheres ignite after hitting the ground, setting off back burns to create defensive lines for firefighters in rugged and sometimes unreachable terrain. IGNIS is easily controlled and automated with a custom App and allows drone operators to release the spheres with a high degree of accuracy in terrain that’s often difficult to detect with helicopters or airplanes. The drone’s dynamic ability to fly in densely smoky, high-altitude areas makes it extremely useful.