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IAI Will Join the International XPRIZE Wildfire Competition

Our Bureau - : Mar 11, 2024 - : 10:20 am

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has announced its participation in the international XPRIZE Wildfire competition, presenting a unique solution addressing the significant challenges posed by forest fires in recent years.

The solution proposed by IAI involves the deployment of two autonomous UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) operating in tandem. The first UAV is a detection aircraft equipped with an advanced electro-optical payload capable of scanning the environment and identifying fires from a considerable distance. This payload is specifically designed to penetrate smoke and accurately pinpoint the origin of fires in their early stages. The data collected is then automatically analysed and transmitted to the second UAV, which is tasked with precisely delivering fire retardant material to the core of the fire without the need for human intervention.

Forest fires have inflicted extensive damage globally over the past decade, with estimated costs reaching hundreds of billions of dollars. The destruction of infrastructure, loss of revenue from tourism, and damage to agriculture have been significant economic repercussions. Moreover, these fires have had a profound ecological impact, leading to the destruction of vast forested areas and the loss of numerous species.

For instance, the devastating fires in Australia in 2020 resulted in an estimated economic loss of $100 billion and the destruction of approximately 46 million dunams of land. These fires also claimed the lives of hundreds of individuals and displaced tens of thousands from their homes. Similarly, in Greece, fires in the subsequent year led to the loss of 102 lives and the destruction of approximately 1 million dunams of crops.

IAI has been active in the global UAV and airborne systems market for over four decades. The company recently participated in the European Union ResponDrone program, developing a situational awareness system tailored for first responders. This system facilitates the seamless operation of multiple UAVs for diverse tasks, including communication relay, fire detection, and search and rescue efforts. Additionally, the system streamlines situational assessment, information sharing, decision-making, and operational management, while facilitating coordination among various rescue teams.

“Israel Aerospace Industries is proud to be participating in the XPRIZE Wildfire competition and will use its considerable knowledge accumulated from the military sphere to help save human life, safeguard the environment and specifically fight forest fires, and in everything connected with environmental protection,” said President and CEO of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Boaz Levy. “IAI leads both in defence and protecting the planet on which we live, for the benefit of the generations to come.”

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