NOAA Picks Black Swift Technologies’ sUAS for Nighttime Fire Observation eXperiment (NightFOX)

“We want to be able to do better fire forecasts that will help firefighters better fight the fire and minimize human and property losses.”

Black Swift Technologies (BST), a specialized engineering firm based in Boulder, CO, announced today that their small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS), SuperSwift™, has been selected by The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as the sUAS Observation System (sUASOS) for wildfire measurements in support of NOAA’s FIREX field mission and their fire weather forecasting initiative. With a legacy of delivering highly accurate sUAS that are Modular by Nature, Accurate by Design™, Black Swift Technologies continues to be the sUAS platform of choice for scientific atmospheric monitoring and discovery.

BST will deliver to NOAA a tightly integrated system consisting of an airframe, avionics, and multiple sensors capable of research-quality measurements of CO2, CO, aerosol, RH, p, and T in wildfire plumes, and multispectral high-resolution maps of wildfires. The sUAS which will be operated by the University of Colorado’s Integrated Remote & In Situ Sensing Program (IRISS) in close collaboration with NOAA.

“One of the purposes of IRISS is to work with the science community to develop and deploy platforms which make primarily in situ measurements,” says Brian Argrow, Chair, Ann and H.J. Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences; Director, Integrated Remote & In Situ Sensing Program (IRISS). “This naturally lead us to partnerships with NOAA on the science perspective, and to Black Swift Technologies for their sUAS technology and expertise. It’s a partnership that looks like a three-legged stool with the science interest of NOAA, the technology and engineering expertise of IRISS, and the unique sUAS platform designed by Black Swift Technologies, as the corresponding legs.”

The FireFOX sUAS is based on BST’s commercially available SuperSwift™ airframe and SwiftCore™ Flight Management System—which have been proven in the field to provide a cost-effective, powerful, and easy-to-operate—the SuperSwift™ [figure 1] is specifically engineered to meet the demands of high altitude flights through strong winds and damaging airborne particulates typical of nomadic scientific field…

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