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See the innovative wildfire fighting tech being developed at NASA and beyond

Original post made on Apr 20, 2023

More than half of California’s most destructive wildfires have occurred in the past five years, according to NASA. It's a fact that keeps Congresswoman Anna Eshoo up at night.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 19, 2023, 4:24 PM

Comments (1)

Posted by Harold Schapelhouman
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2023 at 2:31 pm

Harold Schapelhouman is a registered user.

This is an excellent and well written article about a critical set of local technology initiatives and opportunities. To be clear, I believe Silicon Valley can still lead the way!

My thanks to Congresswomen Eshoo and Lofgren who care enough to try and help do something about it by working with NASA’s Deputy Director Pam Melroy (STS 92, 112, 120), Associate Administrator Bob Cabana (STS 41, 53, 112, 120) and the NASA Ames Team of Parimal Kopardeker (PK), Eugene Tu, Carol Carroll and Huy Tran, to name a few of those trying to make a difference here locally.

Prior to the technology display and press conference, I was involved with the executive roundtable where important discussions focused on bringing together NASA, congressional legislators, private Industry, philanthropy, academia and subject matter experts in Wildfire management, prevention, suppression and mitigation.

The main focus was to create and/or expand partnerships. By doing so, the hope is to make meaningful impacts that result in better Wildfire management, situational awareness and develop new tools through technology transfer and supporting private sector innovation.

A key component to this effort will be related to H.R. 9376 The National Drone and Air Advanced Mobility Initiative Act. We are quickly loosing our strategic advantage in what some are calling the “drone wars”. Meaning, it’s easier to develop this technology outside of Silicon Valley and the United States because of flight restrictions, ridiculous rules and an overall lack of support or help from our government.

If your interested, watch the recent congressional hearing on the bill. Web Link

My take away, NASA needs a greater share of the potential funding and more specificity should be written into fire service initiatives like grants for the purchase of drones and training for firefighters.

Harold Schapelhouman
Retired Fire Chief
Menlo Park Fire Protection District

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