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Members of the Airspace Operations Laboratory’s (AOL) Scalable Traffic Management for Emergency Response Operations (STEReO) team observed the annual CAL FIRE Aerial Supervision Academy (CASA) field training
(Jul 21, 2020)
Members of the Airspace Operations Laboratory's (AOL) Scalable Traffic Management for Emergency Response Operations (STEReO) team, which is focused on research, development, testing, and evaluation of a new traffic management system for public safety and disaster response, was able to observe the annual CAL FIRE Aerial Supervision Academy (CASA) field training for new recruits from June 8-12, 2020.

Team STEReO was in attendance as CAL FIRE held their annual training for new recruits for the aerial supervisor role. During a wildfire incident that involves aerial attack, or the use of aircraft, the Air Tactical Group Supervisor (ATGS) serves as an airborne air traffic controller flying above an incident, directing all air traffic below them inside of the fire traffic area (FTA). The training course included field work where trainees participated in three days of various exercises, including a flyover of a simulated incident that involved multiple helicopters, tankers, lead planes, smokejumper planes, ground crews, dispatchers, and an incident commander. Smoke bombs and orange banners were used to simulate active hot spots and fire lines, providing a tangible situation in which the trainees exercised the communication procedures and techniques needed to coordinate an air attack.

This experience provided valuable learning opportunities for STEReO researchers hoping to learn first-hand the current best practices in aerial firefighting. Researchers will use this information to inform the design of tools, interfaces and procedures proposed under the STEReO project. Making observations in situ also helped researchers explore potential comparison data and baseline measures that characterize current-day operations, in addition to seeing the practitioners' orchestration and use of technology and procedures.
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Jessica Nowinski
Last Updated: March 18, 2024