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Autonomous Environmental UAV Survey System for Wildfire Assessments

Award Information
Agency: Department of Commerce
Branch: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Contract: NA22OAR0210570
Agency Tracking Number: 3042475
Amount: $149,640.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 9.2
Solicitation Number: NOAA-OAR-OAR-TPO-2022-2007117
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-09-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-02-28
Small Business Information
47 Wood Ave Suite 2
Barrington, RI 02806
United States
DUNS: 085512342
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Erin Linebarger
 (508) 596-6433
 erin@morphobots.com
Business Contact
 Erin Linebarger
Phone: (508) 596-6433
Email: erin@morphobots.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract

Wildfire response planning is limited by the lack of high-resolution data for use in wildfire
prediction. Wildfire models depend on many variables, including weather, topography,
vegetation type and arrangement, fuel moisture content, and regional fire prevention measures,
among others. Some of these variables are static or nearly so, but some of these are highly
dynamic. In particular, live fuel moisture content can vary on a timescale of days or weeks, and
is highly spatially dynamic as well. We propose to develop a wildfire fuel mapping capability
onboard a UAS, with special emphasis on live fuel moisture content estimation. Additional
mapped variables will include vegetation type and arrangement among other common wildfire
modeling inputs. The technical innovation is in combining this perception module with our UAS
subcanopy forest survey capability, which is enabled by our exploration-based autonomous
control system. The commercial innovation is in our target application. The product’s primary
purpose is to collect a digital forest inventory for commercial forest management, and by
simultaneously collecting a high-resolution wildfire fuel map, we enable enhanced rapid
response in the event of a wildfire, reducing loss of life, property, and disruption from
high-impact events.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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