Aviogel provides complementary enhancements to existing solutions, improving the accuracy of water drops, increasing their efficacy and enabling higher deployment altitudes with ballistic precision and reducing risks for pilots and the airplane.
Wildfires are a natural occurrence that can lead to property damage and the loss of life.
They also cause property damage, threaten lives, and spread quickly if not extinguished early on.
In 2020 alone, the EU governments collectively spent €32.9 billion on fire protection. Wildfires and aerial firefighting operations account for one of the most considerable portions of this expenditure.
The typical scenarios during wildfires include:
Strong and warm winds
Thousands of hectares of forest (and more) burning uncontrollably
Hundreds of firefighters and operators who risk their lives and aerial vehicles to drop water onto the fire in an attempt to extinguish, limit, or circumscribe wildfires
Current Approaches to Aerial Firefighting
Steps forward have been made, but they still require remote human intervention, which can be more or less complicated given the weather and environmental constraints
Light utility helicopters equipped with buckets
They’re quite agile yet limited, and are mostly used for specific targets of interest – wind permitting
Huge water bomber airplanes and jets
This is one of the most expensive and riskier solutions, but also one of the most effective – and still the preferred option in case of pervading wildfires
"What we really need is the large, high-volume water bombers that can deliver really large amounts of water very quickly to serious fires.”
Deputy Fire & Rescue Commissioner
New South Wales, Australia
Limitations of Current Approaches
Strong warm winds make it nearly impossible to release water onto the fire accurately – precision is in the hands of experienced and brave pilots, also during night hours (limited location intelligence)
A non-negligible portion of the water being dropped onto wildfires evaporates before even reaching the ground.
The most common workaround is mixing water with chemical additives or foam (typically non-biodegradable and polluting)
Safety and Risk
In an attempt to be more precise with the water release, pilots plane as close as possible to the flames thereby risking their lives.
On average, aerial firefighting expenditures and total damages account for almost 1/3 of the total cost
The Adjacent Possible Solution: Aviogel
With a single drop/release, Aviogel is designed to both fight wildfires and immediately attempt to replant trees to repopulate forest areas right after a wildfire occurs
We have designed hydrogel-based spheres (Aviogel) that can tackle forest wildfires with aerial firefighting vehicles and approaches, and start replanting trees simultaneously
Our Aviogel spheres are 100% composed of biodegradable materials and are designed to be carried within an aerial vehicle and to be released in the tank that carries the water to be dropped onto the fire
Our Aviogel spheres, when in contact with liquids like water, absorb those liquids and, due to their weight, allow pilots to make drops with ballistic precision from higher and safer altitudes
Multiple Layers, each with a different function
The external layer is the one that absorbs the water in the tank
An intermediate layer that may contain some fire-retardant material and its main function is to protect the nucleus layer from the ground impact
The nucleus layer is full of tree seeds encapsulated within a concentrated moisture of fertilizers which is designed to release its content, including water, from days to weeks after the impact with the ground
Reduce the overall time/cost of firefighting operations, thereby also contributing to CO2 emissions reduction
Reduce risks for pilots and assets by reducing the need to fly close to the fire while still achieving ballistic precision
Reduce fuel consumption due to the direct in-flight refilling using an on-board spheres’ tank (they occupy up to 50x less space in their original shape)
More efficient use of water resources as majority of the water is absorbed by the hydrogel outer layer and will not evaporate before reaching the ground
Immediate tentative of reforestation that is an absolute novelty within the firefighting technology landscape
"Everyone could benefit from our solution, from firefighters to governments, to the population, especially the ones in countries that are statistically more prone to wildfires due to their geographical position”
CEO & Co-founder
The Adjacent Possible
A True Novelty!
Aviogel is an International Patent Pending: PCT/FI2022/050595
The present invention relates to a method in aerial firefighting with an aerial vehicle. The method comprises providing fire-extinguishing liquid in the aerial vehicle and maintaining solid liquid-absorbent preforms in the aerial vehicle. The method further includes subjecting at least part of the solid liquid-absorbent preforms to the fire-extinguishing liquid in the aerial vehicle such that the solid liquid-absorbent preforms subjected to the fire-extinguishing liquid absorb the fire-extinguishing liquid to form fire-extinguishing bombs from the solid liquid-absorbent preforms, the fire-extinguishing bombs being impregnated with the fire-extinguishing liquid. The method also comprises releasing the fire-extinguishing bombs from the aerial vehicle for extinguishing or containing fire with the fire-extinguishing bombs. These fire-extinguishing preforms are multi-layered and made of different hydrogel-based materials that are designed to both fights the fires and immediately attempt to replant tree seeds to repopulate a forest right after the fire.