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NASA's Scalable Traffic Management for Emergency Response Operations (STEReO) project conducts flight tests at NASA Ames Research Center
(Feb 22, 2022)
In response to the increasingly devastating wildfires and natural disasters that have impacted multiple regions throughout the United States, NASA is developing new and innovative technologies to help firefighters and emergency response operators. Using sophisticated Unmanned Airspace Systems (UAS), or drones, the Scalable Traffic Management for Emergency Response Operations (STEReO) team is developing software and other technologies to improve our nation’s emergency response capabilities.

In December, 2021, the STEReO team conducted flight tests at NASA Ames Research Center. Using a large quadcopter outfitted with various sensors, cameras, and scanners, STEReO researchers flew at low altitudes to collect data which will be used to help "teach" a drone to sense and react to its surroundings, helping it to independently navigate the disaster area. These "smart" drones could help emergency responders by giving them the ability to remotely carry out critical tasks, such as mapping wildfire perimeters.

The main goal behind the STEReO project is to advance emergency response capabilities by developing and deploying new tools to help responders and operators react to the dynamic conditions present in a natural disaster. This recent flight test, in addition to multiple prior joint flight demonstrations conducted with CAL FIRE and the U.S. Forest Service, will ultimately improve the efficiency and timeliness of our emergency response capabilities, saving lives, protecting property, and minimizing the financial burden on taxpayers.
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Alonso Vera
Last Updated: October 13, 2021