Bronco Ember: Autonomous Nascent Wildfire Detection and Prevention

PI: Cristian Rodriguez, Michael Pham (Co-I), Cal Poly Pomona Bronco Space Club

The Bronco Ember: Autonomous Nascent Wildfire Detection and Prevention System aims to provide autonomous point-of-interest (POI) detection and tracking of nascent wildfires by potentially improving upon the positional accuracy of current geolocation technologies. This project will combine the use of a short-wave infrared (SWIR) camera with artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide potentially faster and more accurate aerial detection of fires, natural disasters, or other planetary science observations (e.g., methane plumes on Enceladus or ejecta from lunar impacts).

Technology Areas (?)
  • NA
Problem Statement

Current geolocation lacks the positional accuracy needed for aerial detection of nascent fires. This geolocation algorithm aims to provide higher precision location determination for nascent wildfire detection. This improved precision could prove beneficial to not only wildfire detection but Earth observation and planetary research missions as well. Improved geolocation positional accuracy could benefit current and future sensing technologies.

Technology Maturation

He gimbal mechanism is designed to provide full mobility and continuous tracking of a target within a 180° field of view. This project aims to advance this innovation’s technology readiness level (TRL) to TRL 6 by the time of launch.

Future Customers

Detection and tracking of wildfires and other terrestrial/planetary observations
Improved geolocation systems
Government forest management and wildfire prevention agencies
Earth science and planetary researchers

Technology Details

  • Selection Date
    TechLeap21 (Sep 2021)
  • Program Status
  • Current TRL (?)
    Successful FOP Flights
  • 1 Balloon

Development Team

  • PI
    Cristian Rodriguez
  • PI Organization
    Cal Poly Pomona Bronco Space Club
  • Co-I
    Michael Pham
  • Co-I Organization
    Cal Poly Pomona Bronco Space Club
  • Sponsor

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