Forest fires are natural disasters with devastating consequences for the environment and humans. The worldwide number of forest and vegetation fires has increased dramatically in recent decades due to advancing climate change. A reason for us to develop a firefighting drone system together with experts from the fire department that will revolutionize firefighting and provide an efficient supplement to conventional extinguishing methods.
A swarm of drones flies from a mobile supply station to a fire site up to 5 kilometers away. The drones are controlled by satellite technology. The extinguishing agent can be dropped directly and thus precisely above the source of the fire. Battery swap and refilling of extinguishing agent are fully automated. Thanks to the seamless drone circuit, more than 140.000 liters per day (Base station with 20 drones) can be transported to the scene of the fire. The drones are in non-stop operation 24 hours a day.
Firefighters are far less endangered than before. The drone swarm can operate at night and in poor visibility conditions such as smoke and haze. The low cost compared to firefighting helicopters and firefighting aircraft, round-the-clock operation and rapid retrieval enable flexible deployment, providing real support for firefighting forces. Our firefighting drone system is a safe, effective and cost-efficient tool for forest and vegetation firefighting with low manpower requirements.
The firefighting drone project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the "WIR!" program. In the "Firefighters of the Future" alliance, Harald Müller Metall Sonderfertigung GmbH is working and conducting research together with the Ludwigsfelde Fire Department, the universities: Magdeburg Stendal, HTW Berlin and TH Wildau as well as the European Aviation Security Center e. V. (EASC e.V.) on the firefighting drone system. The aim of the research project is the "Pilot development and firefighting testing of a firefighting drone swarm for direct vegetation firefighting - PEELIKAN".