Rain acknowledges the essential role of wildfire in healthy ecosystems. However: our ecosystem is not presently healthy. The obvious, necessary solution to climate change is reducing human carbon emissions. Until that happens, wildfire is both a symptom and a cause of climate change: every year, wildfires release 8 billion tons of carbon globally. We need tools to adapt to a changing climate, and the Rain System is one in a suite of tools that includes controlled burns, innovative policies, and ongoing forest management. We believe uncontrolled wildfires destroying communities, livelihoods and lives are unnecessary to meet our climate objectives.
Max Brodie, co-founder and CEO of Rain Industries, said its mission is to contain wildfires within 10 minutes of ignition. “The purpose of the rain system is to rapidly contain ignitions before growing out of control,” he said.
Rain, based in Silicon Valley, says its artificially intelligent firefighting drones can help prevent future catastrophes. “This is transformative technology,” CEO Maxwell Brodie said.
Blank imagines a future where satellites detect fires as soon as they start and artificial intelligence software dispatches firefighting drones. That Blank would propose a Silicon Valley solution featuring AI and flying robots is perhaps unsurprising.
Brodie is one of the men behind the Rain System, a network of drones that can spot fires when they are small and put them out or dramatically slow them down until the firefighters can arrive. “There is a network of these drones throughout a region that all respond to an ignition,” he said. It’s not a traditional fire fighting tool, but many believe it’s past time to think outside the box.
Rain Industries’ program is poised to be a transformative technology in wildland firefighting ... After launching, the drone(s) would then self-navigate to the newly detected fire and using its onboard infrared sensors, size up the fire conditions, and intelligently determine how to best approach the deployment of the drone’s retardant ...
If drones from Rain Industries had been in position around the Bay Area during this August’s lightning storms, the aircraft could have contained 72% of the fires within 10 minutes of ignition, the Palo Alto firm’s co-founder and CEO Maxwell Brodie said
The human and economic toll of wildfires in the US is growing. Infernos across the country have burned over 5 million acres so far this year and killed at least 30 people, and the total cost of damages is estimated to reach well into the billions.