New Drone Version Triples Speed of Firefighting
Department of Interior Tests, Purchases 20
Lincoln, NE — Drone Amplified has launched a new version of its pioneering IGNIS fire ignition technology system. IGNIS 2 ignites fires at three times the rate of the earlier version and can cover up to 4,300 acres in eight hours compared to the 1.0’s 1,450 acres.
IGNIS 2 can also be reloaded in under five minutes, with the increased payload, compared to 8 minutes for version 1 and is just .5kg heavier at 4kgs fully loaded.
“We tested IGNIS 2 rigorously before launch and it went into action for the first time fighting the fires in Arizona last month where the U.S. Department of Interior also tested the new model extensively. The result is the DOI has placed an order for 20 units of the new IGNIS 2 with immediate delivery,” said Drone Amplified Co-founder Carrick Detweiler.
Contractors around the country have been impressed by this innovative technology. “There’s a groundswell of excitement about what this technology can do,” said Ross Carrie, President at Raven Environmental Services, Inc, in Texas. “When trying to be profitable, protecting human resources and minimizing costs are huge. One drone can do the work of several people, and quicker.” Raven has been using IGNIS for over a year to ignite prescribed burns.
The Drone Amplified IGNIS system carries a payload of ping-pong ball sized chemical spheres that are pre-loaded with a potassium permanganate. The spheres are injected with glycol before being released, and they then ignite on contact with the ground. IGNIS 2 can hold a payload of 400 spheres which can be dropped at a rate of 120 a minute.
IGNIS has been in operation across the U.S. and Australia over the recent wildfire season, where firefighters have deployed the drones to drop defensive ignitions with no risk to personnel and at a fraction of the cost of deploying helicopters or ATVs and into areas that would otherwise have been inaccessible. It’s also being widely used to ignite prescribed burns.
“Often the best way to fight fire is with fire. However, prescribed burns and back burns on wildfires are extremely dangerous and difficult to do. IGNIS has been a safe, affordable solution for two years. IGNIS 2 has just made that job even faster and safer,” said Detweiler.
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.