Scientists are setting a forest on fire — and studying it with drones

Friday, Jul 5, 2019

The Fire and Smoke Model Evaluation Experiment is a rare chance for researchers to study a large fire from start to finish.

As flames and smoke rise, an interdisciplinary research team will use drones, radar and other equipment to track how the 900-hectare burn spreads.

It is part of a broader push to gather data from wildfires in western North America as they happen. Starting in July, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA plan to fly research planes over more than a dozen naturally occurring wildfires in the region, collecting data on how smoke plumes rise from a blaze.

Read More in Nature »

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