New Grant: Award Supports Collaborative Wildfire Research

Lee Swindlehurst

May 2, 2022

Principal investigator: A. Lee Swindlehurst, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and the Center for Pervasive Communications and Computing, and co-principal investigators Hamid Jafarkhani, Chancellor’s Professor of electrical engineering and computer science and the Center for Pervasive Communications and Computing; Zak Kassas, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering; and Tirtha Banerjee, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering

Award: $1,049,087 over three years

Funding agency: National Science Foundation Division of Computer and Network Systems

Project: Closed-Loop Sensing, Modeling and Communications for WildFIRE

Increases in temperatures and drought duration and intensity due to climate change, together with the expansion of wildlife-urban interfaces, have dramatically increased the frequency and intensity of forest fires and had devastating effects on lives, property and the environment. To address this challenge, the project’s goal is to design a network of airborne drones and wireless sensors that can aid in initial wildfire localization and mapping, near-term prediction of fire progression and providing communications support for firefighting personnel on the ground. The science and engineering of this project can be adapted to many applications beyond wildfires, including structural fires in urban and suburban settings, natural or humanmade emergencies involving radiation or airborne chemical leaks, “dirty bombs” that release chemical or biological agents, or tracking highly localized atmospheric conditions surrounding imminent or ongoing extreme weather events.

More information: https://nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2209695&HistoricalAwards=false

– Tonya Becerra