Wildland fires are a growing problem in various regions of the world. Due to climate change and changing landscape conditions, there is an increase in fire risk and more frequent forest fires with significant impacts on nature and people. Almost all continents have experienced large fires in recent years that were impossible or difficult to control using conventional firefighting methods.
Elena Ausonio from the Department of Mechanical Engineering (DIME) at the University of Genoa, together with Patrizia Bagnerini and Marco Ghio, has researched the use of drone swarms for forest firefighting. Elena holds a master’s degree in Civil and Architectural Engineering and has researched geomatics, photogrammetry, and digital numerical cartography. Since 2018, she is a Ph.D. student in Mathematical and Simulation Engineering at the University of Genoa in Italy, in collaboration with the spinoff Inspire (www.inspire.flights). She enthusiastically follows developments in drones and automated systems and is a certified drone pilot herself. We talked to her about her work to learn more about the potential of drones in this field.