Luis M is inspired by:
Watching the disastrous bushfires that devastate Australia, U.S. and worldwide every year, its harmful effects on societies and natural heritage, and the impotence of fire fighting means to combat them, it is necessary to emphasize that we are employing obsolete weapons against this every day stronger adversary and we have to accept that we are losing the battle.
It is time for the drone´s innovativeness to offer to the worldwide hardworking and risky fire fighters airmen a “specific drone” able to extinguish forest fires (initially only at night because regulations) and make their work safer, easier, cheaper and operationally more efficient and at the same time avoid so much disaster.
With the available technologies, the drones can carry out fire-fighting operations in addition to detection and prevention and there are advanced technological solutions and disruptive resilience approaches to solve or at least greatly mitigate the catastrophic forest fires that are ravaging the globe every summer season.
The objective of our innovative, ambitious and unfortunately every day more and more necessary NitroFirex project is to develop the night aerial forest fire fighting operational capability with a drone specifically designed for it since the NitroFirex´s purposes and objectives are the same ones as those combating climate change, CO2 emissions and fighting forest fires, in the most, safe, effective and efficient possible way.
In another order of things, the last 23th September the U.N. website (www.un.org) issue the following press release: As Wildfires, Heatwaves Sweep Globe, Urgent Action Key to Stopping Alarming Rate of Deforestation, Secretary-General Warns at Alliance for Rainforests Event (https://www.un.org/press/en/2019/sgsm19755.doc.htm) in which the U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, during the U.N. CLIMATE ACTION SUMMIT, among other statements, he claimed that: “As the ferocity of this summer’s wildfires and heatwaves shows, we need to protect and grow our forests now before fires consume our future” in the same way all of us should be fully agree with the motto of the summit that: “It Is Time To Come With A Plan”.
Likewise and according to a recent article published by the University of East Anglia (Norwich, Uk) (https://phys.org/news/2019-08-wildfires-carbon-centuries-millennia.html), “In an average year, wildfires around the world burn an area equivalent to the size of India and emit more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than global road, rail, shipping and air transport combined”.
So if we really want to combat the climate change reducing the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere it is more coherent and logical, in the first instance, to properly fight against forest fires (rather than change, for example, the propulsion systems of every car, train, ship and airplane in the world) more effectively and efficiently than is currently done by providing available technological means and at the same time save forests, buildings, goods and citizens and hardworking air/ground fire-fighters lives.
In addition, too often through the media I read news like these: Western wildfires burn thousands of acres (https://www.capitalpress.com/state/california/western-wildfires-burn-thousands-of-acres/article_aac20aaa-b3bc-11e9-ae91-af94d6c32a6f.html) in which it is explained “how wildfires in the western U.S. are burning on tens of thousands of acres, racking up millions of dollars in suppression costs in California and Oregon alone”.
Or this one Wildfires today MAPPED: The staggering extent of wildfires raging across the globe (https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1162523/Wildfires-today-map-containment-arctic-Siberia-Russia-USA-Oregon-Spain) in which is mentioned how: “WILDFIRES are raging across the globe, hitting parts of the Arctic, Russia, Canada, the USA and Mediterranean countries”.
So we ask ourselves, over and over again, whether we are really applying all available technological aerial means to properly combat forest fires or not.
Regrettably we always answer ourselves that there’s still plenty of work to be done in the fight against forest fires whether we truly want to have the capacity to avoid or minimize in the future this environmental disasters, with their adverse social, ecological, economical and legal consequences.
In our point of view we must concentrate our efforts on improving the initial air attack and night aerial operational capability of the fire fighting aerial means in which very few high-tech improvements have been accomplished in the last 70 years.
We are aware of the concern that forest fires generate all around the world and the enormous human and material losses they cause and also that the battle against this big problem must be carried out with all available scientific and high-tech sources.
So, we would like to put in your knowledge our innovative-patented “drone” for extinguishing forests fires “at night” because we consider that it is the, safest, fastest, cheapest and flexible way to truly improve the operational capability of the large amount of aerial means, planes and helicopters, employed in this aerial job all around the world.
Or we integrate modern available technologies to develop the operational capability of discharge more quantity of extinguish agent in less time over de forest fire, be able to make it at night, when the fire is weakest, and make it at safer and cheaper way than current aerial means or, all around the world, the forest will burn away irretrievably.
This capability only can be accomplished developing a specifically designed manned / unmanned aerial system, able to take benefit of both forms of aviation.
Taking from manned aviation the capability to transport big quantity of useful liquid pay load in a short time to the operation area and from unmanned aviation a “specific drone” able to transport this liquid pay load from the manned aircraft to a programmed drop point, over the flames where the liquid sprayed, performing it at night, in environments that are impossible to execute with a manned aircraft.
To this specific-type patented NitroFirex drone we call AGC (Autonomous Glider Container) and how you can see in the attached video this are released, in sequence, in a row, by the rear ramp of medium or heavy transport planes, or from medium or heavy helicopters, one at a time (hanging like a bucket-Bamby) and at a save distance and altitude away of the flames.
These AGCs with a liquid payload of 2.500 (±250) litres, each one, are directed autonomously to the fire (GNSS, Infrared, Inertial or even Laser Designation) where they drops their cargo safely, accurately and in sequence. Once empty, AGCs are recovered, like an unfilled drone, flying to the base of operation of the plane or helicopter for its quick re-use.
In view of the above and considering the possibility of manage fleets of planes or helicopters operating at night in accordance with the NitroFirex approach, as a complement to the current daytime aerial means, it is possible to have a “non stop aerial forest fire fighting” capability, without the need to make any special modification to the planes or in the case of helicopters the AGCs of NitroFirex are hanging like a bucket-Bamby.
For example, one could consider an operation of a C-130H Hercules with a cargo capacity of 8 full AGCs (assuming wartime payload) each AGC would be 2,750 litres of useful extinguish agent, which means that the dropping capacity of a single flight of a C-130 would be of 22,000 liters, approximately equivalent to 4 drops of the Canadair CL-215/415. At a distance of 120 km (65 nm) between the plane airport and the forest fire zone an C-130 can perform 10 flights in one night (considering all aircrafts transit and AGCs recovery/recharges times) dropping 8 AGCs each flight, being able to drop a total of 220.000 litter of extinguish agents in one 10 hours night operations.
If we consider medium/heavy helicopters operating with hanging AGCs, the dropping capacity will be, “at least”, the same that a if operate with bucket-Bamby but without risk for the crew and aircraft since the release of the AGCs are performed at safe distance and altitude well away from them flames and without the need to reload the bucket-Bamby.
Another “high capacity” possibility is consider the operation of a C-17, in this case the figures will be, 24 AGCs by fly with 2.720 litres of useful extinguish agent each one, which means a 65.280 drops litres by fly and 456.960 drops litres during one night (7 flights at 120 km).
That it is worth operating forest fires with LAT (Large Air Tanker) or a VLAT (Very Large Air Tanker) during the day if at night the fire will go on progressing without control?
The biggest shortcoming of fire fighting aerial means is their lack of night operation capability and the efforts of the involved institutions, responsible agencies, as well as the forest fires operators companies and aeronautical corporations must be oriented to solve this lack.
Given the seriousness of the problem it is of the utmost importance that the forest fires fighting aerial means develop the capability to operate all around the clock, in a non-stop fighting effort (H-24 task).
In now days it does not make sense to expose crew’s lives and expensive aircrafts in a very risky night operation when, with the available technologies, such operation can be performed with greater safety and economy by unmanned aerial vehicles designed specifically for such purpose.
The big fires, the destructive ones are those that cannot be controlled during the first day, then last one-day, one-night and the next mornings are out of control. Then the priority should be to progress to the “first night” aerial forest fire fighting operational capability in order to have the blaze under control at the first dawn and this is the NitroFirex´s main objective.
This operational capability only can be achieved by the development of an innovative “specific-type” drone like the already worldwide patented by NitroFirex, U.S. (Nº: US 7,690,438 B2), Europe (PCT/IB2006/000122), Canada (Nº: 2594783), Australia, (Nº: 2006209377) and Russia Federation (Nº: 2007129575 (0322079)). You can check this link to get a proper overview of our project (www.nitrofirex.com).
As confirmation of the viability of the drone and operational concept patented by NitroFirex years ago, you can watch in You Tube the next videos: DARPA and AIRBUS imitate, with public funds, an idea patented by Nitrofirex,
(This video is made with the key sequences of the Nitrofirex 3 min Concept video published in 2012 and the YouTube videos published by Airbus in 2017: Airbus launches its Future Air Power vision and by DARPA in 2015: DARPA Gremlins to Launch & Recover Drones from Air Force C-130s).
Recently the initial Airbus Future Air Power project has become the European NGWS/FCAS (New Generation Weapons Systems / Future Combat Air System) project with the participation of different countries and companies. One of the components of this project are the Remote Carriers (file:///Users/luismbordallo/Desktop/FCAS/ARTICULOS%20PRENSA%20PAGINAS%20WEB/INGLES/Airbus,%20MBDA%20to%20Jointly%20Develop%20Demonstrators%20for%20FCAS%20Remote%20Carriers%20-%20DefPost.webarchive).
The so-called "Remote Carriers" (RC) of the NGWS/FCAS project are fully comparable to the "Autonomous Glider Container" (AGC) patented by Nitrofirex more than ten years ago, the only difference is that some are loaded with weapons and others with extinguishing agent, but the technologies to be integrated and the operational concept are exactly the same, some discharge weapons on a military target and the other extinguishing agent on the flames of a fire, among other possible operational applications of the AGC,s of NitroFirex.
As you can check the European NGWS/FCAS program, with its Remote Carriers, and DARPA with its Gremlins program, assigned to be developed by Boeing and General Atomics, are both developing the operational concept patented by NitroFirex but only for military applications.
The development of "dual technologies" that can be developed both for military and civilian applications is a social and industrial demand. If the NitroFirex patent concept can be developed for military purposes, it can be developed for this very real and very necessary civilian applications like night aerial forest fire fighting (dropping extinguish agent), performing it in a safer and cheaper way than today.
Our lawyers have been in contact with Airbus and DARPA for a long time in order to defend our intellectual property and with the purpose of joining efforts and objectives, without any results so far.
All this is particularly incoherent considering that the above mentioned aeronautical companies can provide the military transport aircraft and medium/heavy helicopters needed for the innovative operation proposed by NitroFirex, being this contribution the most expensive part of the project.
Therefore, bearing in mind the high-tech power that those companies/agency represents, it is difficult to justify within the society, the media and the decision makers that the idea patented by NitroFirex years ago for civilian applications is only developed for strictly military purposes.
Finally it in necessary to make some reflections about the technological evolution of the forest fire fighting aerial means during the last decades.
The debate should not be whether LAT or VLAT, plane or helicopter, scooper or conventional plane, direct or indirect water drops. The debate should be whether, in the 21st century, we are using the appropriate hi-tech means to properly fight forest fires from the air or not.
Almost 50 years ago a U.S. astronaut stepped on the moon surface, for more than seven years the unmanned vehicle Curiosity has been riding around on Mars surface, but here on earth our forests still burn away at night only because we have not been able to integrate already existing technologies.
Unmanned combat aircrafts UCAV can perform arrested landings on aircraft carriers or is planed in few time to carry out unmanned in-flight refueling but no aeronautical company has bothered to develop a high capacity manned / unmanned aerial system capable of extinguishing forest fires at night.
If we compare it to all other sectors of aviation where the innovations have been really significant during the last seventy years, paradoxically in the sector of aerial fire fighting no modern aeronautic tools have been implemented up to now.
We are using techniques, and procedures developed almost 70 years ago in a very risky, very low altitude, only daytime operations with usually old and slow aircrafts and every day it is clearer that these methods are insufficient to effectively combat the destructive fires that, due to climate change, are devastating the Australia, U.S. and worldwide forests.
With the support of the European Space Agency (ESA) we are just finishing a small concept demonstrator able to drop in flight several dozen of litres demonstrating the ability of a drone to suddenly discharge a quantity of liquid that represents a significant percentage of its Maximum Take Off Weight, MTOW (50 to 80%), being able to control the abrupt change of C of G.
Our next step is to develop a pre-commercial demonstrator in the range of one to two thousand litters of useful liquid dropping capacity maintaining the same percentage of weight loss of his MTOW that the small concept demonstrator.
Different aerospace companies, organizations, institutions, policy makers in in all the countries where Nitrofirex is patented, are aware of our NitroFirex project and his economical and technological necessities but, although they recognize its interest and urgent need, so far we have not received more economical support than the ESA for our small concept demonstrator.
Due to the countless bush fires that ravaged Australia last summer season I have sent the information of the NitroFirex project to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, to the Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster & Emergency Management Mr. David Littleproud, to the Minister for Defence Mrs. Linda Reynolds and to the General Manager of the National Aerial Fire fighting Centre Mr. Richard Alder, among others, and give up to your government and your Australia country freely the NitroFirex patents so that the available technologies can be integrated in a few months to develop the capacity of aerial bushfire fighting at night.
Thus let them know about our project capabilities and possibilities and also that it must be assumed that to face with such a great problems, it is necessary big solutions and of course be ambitious and forward-looking and accept that courageous measures have to be taken, if we don't want that Australia fires are harbinger of planet’s future.
It is difficult to understand why government leaders, responsible institutions or big aeronautical companies have not shown interest in applying modern available technologies to improve the safety, the operational efficacy and economical efficiency of forest fire extinguishing aerial means.
After years fighting to go ahead with the NitroFirex project I still don't know the answer.
An indispensable, pioneer and urgent project such as the one we are proposing can only be achieved with institutional, academic, scientific and aeronautical industry with high-tech innovation capacity but also with the ability to forward-looking and take care of the future as Create the Future contest has.
Our approach is ambitious and innovative and if you compare our project with the development of a drone of several tens of kilos of course our project is very ambitious, but if you compare it with the human, economical and ecological losses involved in forest fires, climate change and CO2 emissions in Australia and all around the globe the investment is ridiculous.
The NitroFirex project is each day more and more necessary and that it is technically available for that, sooner or later, governments and responsible agencies will have to take action and will require to the academic institutions and to the aeronautical industry high-tech solutions to alleviate such a catastrophic ecological situation.
This pioneer concept represents a new global market niche; therefore the first company, institution or country to face its development will acquire a technological and commercial advantage over any other possible competitor.
We must combine efforts and synergies in order to achieve the night aerial forests fire-fighting capability as soon as possible and try to reduce the CO2 emissions into the atmosphere in a cheaper and faster way than other more ambitious, expensive and long-term projects (change the engines of all cars/planes/boats/trains in the world) and at the same time conserve our grandchildren's forests.
The final objective is to develop the disruptive, pioneering, and unhappily every day more indispensable NitroFirex project to properly combat the climate change, the CO2 emissions and the forest fires, saving our natural heritage and at the same time to be world leader in the development of drones of the “specific” category.