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Domestic Security | Events | Field Reports | IT - Software & Integration | New Systems Tech | Project Successes | Sensors & Guidance | UAVs | USA

NASA MQ-9 Imaging California Wildfires

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(Images fixed) Ikhana image(click to view full) A recent DID article explained the differences between the smaller MQ-1 Predator and MC-1 Sky Warrior UAVs, and their more advanced, higher-altitude cousin the MQ-9 Reaper hunter-killer. The MQ-9 is also the basis for other UAVs, some of which are used for research. One is NASA’s Ikhana unmanned research aircraft (pron. ee-kah-nah, Choctaw language, means “intelligent”). NASA has also been intelligent, running wildfire related exercises and missions since August 2007. Ikhana flew over several of the Southern California wildfires on Oct 24/07, using its payload capacity to carry special thermal-infrared imaging equipment that can look right through smoke and haze, and record high-quality imagery of key hot spots. NASA’s Ikhana(click to view full) Each flight is being coordinated with the US Federal Aviation Administration, in order to allow the remotely piloted aircraft to fly a safe and empty path in national civil airspace. The imagery is processed on board, downlinked, and overlaid on Google Earth maps at NASA Ames Research Center in Northern California. From there, the National Interagency Fire Center makes it available to incident commanders in the field, so they can assign their fire-fighting resources more intelligently. The mission is controlled […]

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