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Helicopter-carried pop-out wildfire extinguishing cover

Image credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/zCwDV_Al0mM

jnikola Aug 02, 2022
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  • wildfires are an enormous worldwide problem fueled by recent climate changes
  • there are no especially efficient ways of stopping wildfires in unapproachable places
  • extinguishing fires would be the most efficient if the oxygen supply and the wind speeding up the wildfire spread were eliminated
How would it work?
Fire-extinguishing covers are not a new thing (described in this contribution), but the way how they could be applied to a huge wildfire is. My idea is to design a huge capsule hanging on a long carbon fibre cable carried by helicopter. The capsule would have a self-opening system that pops and launches the heavy anchors of the thermal cover in different directions to allow proper cover folding (similar to parachute opening system). The popping mechanism would be tested and made to ensure proper folding of light thermal cover even in the conditions of strong winds. The area covered by the thermal cover would be around 2500 m2 (50 x 50 meters). The weight should not be a problem since helicopters that carry water to extinguish wildfires carry up to 5000 liters! I imagine this system to work like a giant bomb that unfolds thermal cover, anchors it down and prevents the further spread of a wildfire. The system would be reusable, the same as a parachute.
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General comments

Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni2 years ago
The pop-out cover makes sense. The only thing I am worried about is that the fire creates smoke and even the heat lifts up in the air above. The helicopter might not be able to get directly above the fire. If at all, it may need to maintain a higher altitude to avoid the heat and smoke, which might then hamper the precise delivery of the package to the affected area. Wind currents might sway the package to an extent before it lands. How about a projectile that can be precisely launched from an angle, not from above?
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jnikola2 years ago
Shubhankar Kulkarni Yes, I thought a long cable and really heavy anchors could fix this, but there might still be troubles applying it. Projectiles would be great and could be more effective during wind and large wildfires.
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