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NASA's Scalable Traffic Management for Emergency Response Operations (STEReO) project conducts a field demonstration at a US Forest Service/CAL FIRE training exercise in Redding, California

From April 26 to May 7, members of the STEReO team traveled to Redding, California to conduct a joint flight demonstration with wildland firefighting partners from both CAL FIRE and the US Forest Service (USFS), as well as with partners from private industry. This flight demonstration was co-located with CAL FIRE's annual Aerial Supervision Academy (CASA 2021), where Aerial Supervision trainees coordinated air tankers, helicopters, and smokejumper aircraft on an outdoor simulation of a 10-acre wildland fire. Concurrently, the STEReO team conducted a parallel simulation of an aerial firefighting response, with STEReO researchers and USFS partners working in the acting roles for flight crew, air attack, and incident commander. The simulation included three scenarios, representing a fire’s progression over three time-steps, and involved a mix of live and simulated sUAS vehicles.

The NASA vehicles exercised UTM-like data exchanges with STEReO's USS-in-a-box, a portable traffic-management system designed to work with a local/ad-hoc network. Not being dependent on persistent infrastructure and connectivity, the STEReO USS-in-a-box was configured with local communication/networking solutions, demonstrating the ability to support data exchanges in the challenging environments often encountered during wildland fire. All of the data from the CAL FIRE aircraft, equipped with ADS-B transponders, along with the data from the NASA vehicles (position reports and volumetric operating areas), were displayed on STEReO's common-operating picture. By combining the two data sets into one common-operating picture, the STEReO team was able to give partners from CAL FIRE and the USFS a glimpse into a future where UAS vehicles are more integrated into an aerial firefighting response.

NASA’s Scalable Traffic Management for Emergency Response Operations (STEReO) project team conducts a field demonstration at a US Forest Service/CAL FIRE training exercise in Redding, California

Point of Contact: Lauren Claudatos, M.A., Human Systems Integration Division, NASA Ames Research Center
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Joey Mercer
Last Updated: June 2, 2021