COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A University of Missouri researcher is teaming up with scholars in Kansas and Georgia to develop drone technology to monitor and potentially predict the spread of wildfires.
The Columbia Missourian reports that the $1.2 million research project that began last month aims to use unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, to collect real-time data and send the information to firefighters to help contain wildfires.
University of Missouri professor Ming Xin says the drones follow a simulation that can precisely predict where a fire will spread for the next 10 to 30 minutes. He’s working with University of Kansas professor Haiyang Chao and Georgia State University professor Xiaolin Hu.
Nearly 56,000 wildfires burning across the U.S. last year.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation are sponsoring the project.