unmanned aircraft, forest-fire monitoring, UAV


The ability to gather and process information on the condition of forest fires is essential to fighting the fires in a cost-effective, safe, and efficient manner. While high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) are currently used for fire surveillance; they are an expensive and scarce resource. As a proposed alternative, low-altitude, short-endurance (LASE) UAVs offer lower costs, quicker response times, and high- resolution information. In recent years, advances in solid-state sensor and autopilot technology have made LASE UAVs a feasible alternative. This paper overviews a current research project conducted by Brigham Young University and NASA Ames. In the project, we are developing a solution to the fire monitoring problem where multiple LASE UAVs autonomously coordinate their efforts to provide real-time information on the state of the fire. We will overview our experimental UAV platform, describe a potential concept of operations using multiple LASE UAVs, and discuss recent experimental results.

Original Publication Citation

Holt, R., Egbert, J., Bradley, J., Beard, R., Taylor, C., and McLain, T. Forest Fire Monitoring Using Multiple Unmanned Air Vehicles, Eleventh Biennial USDA Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Conference, Salt Lake City, April, 2006.

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Permanent URL




Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Mechanical Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor