Helikite photographs prescribed fire

This video, shot from an Allsopp Helikite at an altitude of about 30 meters, demonstrates one of the potential uses of the Helikite (which I would have called a balloon). The Geography Department of Kings College in London has been experimenting with the device.

The website for the kite says it can be used for lifting radios, repeaters, antennas, cameras, and other sensors. At the Large Fire Conference in Missoula we saw something similar demonstrated by SkySentry StratoSpace Technologies.

Large Fire Conference
Missoula Large Fire Conference, May 21, 2014. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

The Tweet below shows the device being used in the UK on October 23.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “Helikite photographs prescribed fire”

  1. I’m not sure what the balloon (AKA Helikite) platform has over a GoPro mounted on a RC quadcopter except perhaps indefinite flight time. Before being admonished by my superiors, I unknowingly violated our organizations policy by launching an RC quadcopter over a 64 acre prescribed fire in cutover timber for what I had hoped was some footage for use in both wildland fire training and prevention.
    At a height of about 60 meters I was quickly impressed by the dramatic results. Not only by the ability to move the aerial vantage point along with the progress of the ignition sequence and aftermath but also on monitoring crew resources and looking for spot fires and other escapes across control lines. We only had one spot fire but I was able to do a quick recon and notify the burn boss.
    Don’t get me wrong. Due to the possibility of conflicts with conventional aerial resources, I’m not advocating the use of any UAV on uncontrolled wildfires


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