Timecode is mission time.
~5:30 into the mission: a strong downdraft turns my low battery decent into a powerful quadcopter trampoline jump. Thank godness for the landing gear/ pontoon rig. my first indicator of the chaotic nature of the winds near a wildfire, even in its infancy.
~15:20 into the mission: Downdrafting, updrafting, and winds in all directions impede shooting, the quad is thrown around like a plastic bag in the wind.
~16:30 into the mission: A flare up, begins intensifying the fire on the east (Right) side of the area.
~20:48 into the mission: The left side nears full intensity.
~21:20 into the mission: Last battery change before things go full tilt.
~22:00 into the mission: Both sides of the fire, begin to come together and the blaze intensifies into a wall of fire.
~22:25 into the mission: I fly ARDi into the smoke column of the fire, and a wild ride into flying debris begins
~23:00 into the mission: wind shifts, and smoke column and firey debris rains down on the crew and ARDi – hot debris, sticks to the lens
~23:20 into the mission: both fires join, and ARDi is pummeled with debirs, I bring it down to about 10 feet and fly under the smoke and get a peek at the main fire.
~25:30 into the mission: A small rabbit, escapes the blaze to safety, I follow its path with ARDi
For more information about ARDi, its missions or other MUAVS visit lab.westernwillow.com
For more on Project FireEye or Wildfire information for the Northwest Territories in Canada, visit nwtfire.com