Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Parallel Flight Technologies building a solution for wildfire prevention: our phase 2 USDA grant

We’re excited to announce that Parallel Flight Technologies has been awarded a Phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the USDA. The $650,000 grant was awarded to PFT and Drone Amplified, the developer of the IGNIS prescribed fire system, to support further development of a large-scale UAS for prescribed fire.

This Phase 2 grant follows our recent completion of a Phase 1 grant that demonstrated successful integration of PFT’s heavy-lift aircraft and Drone Amplified’s IGNIS system. The goal for the Phase 2 grant work is to deliver this large-scale unmanned prescribed fire solution based on our parallel hybrid technology for use by the US Forest Service and other agencies.

Our research indicates that this UAS will have eight times the payload carrying capacity of the existing solution as well as ten times the flight duration, resulting in more acres managed by prescribed fire at a lower cost and with increased safety for personnel. It will also provide more effective prescribed fire during active wildfires.

“This work is incredibly important to us because it is one example of how our technology will be used to save lives, property and the environment,” said Joshua Resnick, CEO of Parallel Flight Technologies. “This land management solution can play a huge role in controlling and preventing wildfires. Tragically, a number of helicopter pilots have died during controlled aerial ignition missions, as it is a low and slow operation with no room to recover. Using drones will not only lower the cost of land management to prevent large-scale wildfires, but also prevent helicopter accidents.”

Parallel Flight Technologies’ heavy-lift parallel hybrid drone has enough payload capacity for 3,500 incendiary spheres and is anticipated to be able to ignite 1,000 acres in a single flight. 

“We’re proud to continue our partnership with Parallel Flight Technologies through this Phase 2 SBIR grant,” said Carrick Detweiler, CEO of Drone Amplified. “By combining their heavy-lift UAS technology with our prescribed fire system, we can deliver an advanced solution for wildfire prevention and land management.”

We’re excited to continue our research and development under this USDA grant and ultimately deliver an advanced solution for wildfire prevention and land management.