Unmanned aircraft systems for fire and natural resource monitoring: technology overview and future trends
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): Adam C. Watts; Leda N. Kobziar; H. Franklin Percival
Editor(s): Kevin M. Robertson; Krista E. M. Galley; Ronald E. Masters
Publication Year: 2010

Cataloging Information

  • aerial survey
  • drones
  • FAA
  • fire management
  • fire monitoring
  • fire suppression (aerial)
  • forest management
  • GIS
  • natural areas management
  • remote sensing
  • remote sensing
  • surveillance
  • technology
  • UAS
  • UAV
  • unmanned aircraft system
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: March 23, 2021
FRAMES Record Number: 54039
Tall Timbers Record Number: 31635
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Tall Timbers shelf
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Unmanned aircraft system (UAS) have been developed alongside manned aircraft yet have seen widespread use only in the past decade. Their use for miliraty applications has propelled advances in electronics and sensors to yield systems whose capabilities may be useful for many civilian applications. The needs of users in the fire science and wildfire surveillance community for high-resolution sensors and geospatially accurate data demand capabilities found in large, sophisticated platforms, but at sizes better suited for field deployment. An overview of the current USA marker reveals few options for combining sensor sophistication and small size. Furthermore, current regulations restrict UAS use for peacetime applications. Technological development and regulatory reforms are expected to allow civilian use of UAS in the coming years. Predictions for the future application of this technology for fire-related uses are provided, based on perceived technology needs of the field and capabilities fo UAS currently under development. Suggestions are offered to potential users to evaluate UAS technology for their own applications as it becomes available. © 2010, Tall Timbers Research, Inc.

Watts, A. C., L. N. Kobziar, and H. F. Percival. 2010. Unmanned aircraft systems for fire and natural resource monitoring: technology overview and future trends, in Robertson, K. M., Galley, K. E. M., and Masters, R. E., Proceedings of the 24th Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference: the future of prescribed fire: public awareness, health, and safety. Tallahassee, FL. Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy,Tallahassee, FL. 24, p. 86-89,Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference; 24th.