I am conscious of the great problems that represent for your country the forest fires fighting and the consumption of plant-based drugs and how these two problems are priorities for your Department of Homeland Security.
So I allow myself to contact with your department because I think we fight in the same side against the enemies, for that I send you extensive information about our innovative project to develop the operational capacity aerial forest fire fighting and drugs plantations fumigation at night-time with a drone specifically designed for it since I consider that our innovative approach may be of interest to your country.
I consider that there's still plenty of work to be done in the fight against forest fires and drugs trafficking and consumption whether we truly want to have the capacity to avoid or minimize in the future, environmental disasters or undesirable public health consequences, with their adverse social, ecological, economical and legal consequences.
For this reason we must concentrate our efforts on improving the initial attack and night aerial operational capability of the fire fighting / drugs plantation fumigation aerial means in which very few high-tech improvements have been accomplished in the last 70 years.
I am aware of the concern that forest fires and drug consumption generate in U.S. and all around the world and the enormous human and material losses and also that the battle against these big problems must be carried out with all available scientific and high-tech sources. To face with such a great problems, it is necessary big solutions and of course be ambitious and forward-looking and assume that courageous measures have to be taken.
Watching the increase in the production and consumption of plant-based drugs (mainly cocaine and heroin) and its harmful effects on western societies, and the catastrophic fires that devastate U.S and worldwide forests every year and the impotence of fire fighters / drugs plantation fumigation aerial means to combat them, it is necessary to emphasize that we should assume that we are employing obsolete weapons against these two every day stronger enemies and we have to accept that we are losing the battle.
As you can see in the wide information of this mail, these technologies and operating concept that we are claiming with our NitroFirex project are already being developed in Europe and U.S. for military applications.
So, I would like to put in your knowledge our innovative-patented "drone" for extinguishing forests fires /drugs plantation fumigation "at night" because I consider that it is the, safest, fastest, cheapest and flexible way to truly improve the operational capability of all these aerial means, planes and helicopters, in the U.S. and all around the world.
I am Luis M. Bordallo president of NitroFirex and CEO of NF Advanced Engineering and I think it is time for the drone´s innovativeness to offer to the worldwide hardworking and risky fire fighters airmen and drugs plantations fumigation pilots, a "specific drone" able to extinguish forest fires and fumigate drugs plantations at night and make their work safer, easier, cheaper and operationally more efficient and at the same time avoid so much disaster.
Or we integrate modern available technologies to develop the operational capability of discharge more quantity of extinguish / defoliant agents in less time over de forest fire / drugs plantations, be able to make it at night (when the fire is weakest) and make it at safer and cheaper way than current aerial means or, all around the world, the forest will burn away irretrievably and the consumption of cocaine and heroin will go on increasing.
This capability only can be accomplished developing a specifically designed manned / unmanned aerial system, able to take benefit of both forms of aviation. Taking from manned aviation the capability to transport big quantity of useful liquid pay load in a short time to the operation area and from unmanned aviation a "specific drone" able to transport this liquid pay load from the manned aircraft to a programmed drop point where the liquid sprayed, performing it, at night, in environments that are impossible to execute with a manned aircraft.
To this specific-type patented NitroFirex drone we call AGC (Autonomous Glider Container) and how you can see in the attached video this are released, in sequence, in a row, by the rear ramp of medium or heavy transport planes, or from medium or heavy helicopters, one at a time (hanging like a bucket-bamby) and at a save distance and altitude away of the flames and plantations.
These AGCs with a liquid payload of 2.500 (±250) litres, each one, are directed autonomously to the fire (GNSS, Infrared, Inertial or even Laser Designation) where they drops their cargo safely, accurately and in sequence. Once empty, AGCs are recovered to the base of operation of the plane or helicopter for its quick re-use. (See video in You Tube: Nitrofirex 3 min Concept
For example, one could consider an operation of a C-130 Hercules with a cargo capacity of 8 full AGCs (assuming wartime payload) each AGC would be 2,750 liters, which means that the dropping capacity of a single flight of a C-130 would be of 22,000 liters, approximately equivalent to 4 drops of the Canadair CL-215/415. At a distance of 120 km (65 nm) between the plane airport and the fire zone an C-130 can perform 10 flights in one night dropping 8 AGCs with each flight, being able to drop a total of 220.000 litter of extinguish or defoliant agents in one night.
In the case we consider the operation of a C-17 the figures will be, 24 AGCs by fly with 2.720 liters of useful extinguish or defoliant agent each one, which means a 65.280 drops liters by fly and 456.960 drops liters during one night (7 flights at 120 km).
That it is worth operating forest fires with LAT (Large Air Tanker) or a VLAT (Very Large Air Tanker) during the day if at night the fire will go on progressing without control? Does it make sense to risk the lives of fumigation pilots who can be shot down in their daytime flights at very low altitude and speed over drug plantations?
The biggest shortcoming of those aerial means is their lack of night operation capability and the efforts of the involved institutions, responsible agencies, as well as of the forest fires operators companies and aeronautical corporations must be oriented to solve this lack. Given the seriousness of the problem it is of the utmost importance that the forest fires fighting aerial means obtain the capability to operate all around the clock, in a non-stop fighting effort (H-24 task).
Today it does not make sense to expose crew's lives and expensive aircrafts in a very risky night operation when, with the available technologies, such operation can be performed with greater safety and economy by unmanned aerial vehicles designed specifically for such purpose.
The big fires, the destructive ones are those that last one-day, one-night and the next mornings are out of control. I definitely think that the priority should be to develop the "first night" aerial forest fire fighting operational capability and this is the NitroFirex´s main objective.
This operational capability only can be achieved by the development of an innovative "specific-type" drone like the already worldwide patented by NitroFirex, U.S. (Nº: US 7,690,438 B2), Europe (PCT/IB2006/000122), Canada (Nº: 2594783), Australia. (Nº: 2006209377) and Russia Federation (Nº: 2007129575 (0322079)). You can check those links and the attached PDF documents, presentation and text, to get a proper idea of our project (www.nitrofirex.com /// www.nf-ae.com).
As mentioned at the beginning the confirmation of the viability of the drone and operational concept patented by NitroFirex years ago, you can watch in You Tube the next video: DARPA and AIRBUS imitate, with public funds, an idea patented by Nitrofirex. (This video is made with the key sequences of the Nitrofirex 3 min Concept video published in 2012 and the YouTube videos published by Airbus in 2017: Airbus launches its Future Air Power vision and by DARPA 2015: DARPA Gremlins to Launch & Recover Drones from Air Force C-130s).
As you can check Airbus, with its Future Air Power program, and DARPA with its Gremlins program, assigned to be developed by Boeing and General Atomics, are both developing the operational concept patented by NitroFirex but only for military applications.
The development of "dual technologies" that can be developed both for military and civilian applications is a social and industrial demand. If the NitroFirex patent concept can be developed for military purposes, it can be developed for all those very real and very necessary civilian applications like night aerial forest fire fighting or drugs plantations fumigations (dropping extinguish/defoliant agent), performing it in a safer and cheaper way than today.
Our lawyers have been in contact with Airbus and DARPA for a long time in order to defend our intellectual property and with the purpose of joining efforts and objectives, without any results so far. All this is particularly incoherent considering that the above-mentioned aeronautical companies can provide the military transport aircraft and medium/heavy helicopters needed for the innovative operation proposed by NitroFirex, being this contribution the most expensive part of the project.
Therefore, bearing in mind the high-tech power that those companies/agency represents, it is difficult to justify within the society, the media and the decision makers that the idea patented by NitroFirex years ago for civilian applications is only developed for strictly military purposes.
Finally I would like to make some reflections about the technological evolution of the forest fire fighting and drugs plantations fumigations aerial means during the last decades.
In my opinion, respect to forest fires, the debate should not be whether LAT or VLAT, plane or helicopter, scooper or conventional plane, direct or indirect water drops. The debate should be whether, in the 21st century, we are using the appropriate hi-tech means to properly fight forest fires or drugs plantation fumigation from the air or not.
Almost 50 years ago a U.S. astronaut stepped on the moon, for more than six years the unmanned vehicle Curiosity has been riding around on Mars surface, but here on earth our forests still burn away, or the pilots of drugs plantation fumigation go on performing a very risky work, at night only because we have not been able to integrate already existing technologies.
If we compare it to all other sectors of aviation where the innovations have been really significant during the last seventy years, paradoxically in the sector of aerial fire fighting and drugs plantations fumigation no modern aeronautic tools have been implemented up to now.
We are using techniques, and procedures developed more than 70 years ago in a very risky, very low altitude, only daytime operations and every day it is clearer that these methods are insufficient to effectively combat the destructive fires that, due to climate change, are devastating the worldwide forests and as well as the growth of drug plantations in countries such as Colombia, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Mexico, Laos, etc.
With the support of the European Space Agency (ESA) our company NF Advanced Engineering is finishing a small concept demonstrator able to drop in flight several dozen of liters demonstrating the ability of a drone to suddenly discharge a quantity of liquid that represents a significant percentage of its Maximum Take Off Weight, MTOW (50 to 80%), being able to control the abrupt change of C of G.
Our next step is to develop a pre-commercial demonstrator in the range of one to two thousand litters of useful liquid maintaining the same percentage of weight loss of his MTOW that the small concept demonstrator. To accomplish this stage we need further technological, political and above all economic support.
Different companies, organizations, institutions, policy makers in the U.S. and Europe, including of course Airbus DS, Boeing Europe and General Atomics, are aware of our NitroFirex project and economical necessities but although they recognize its interest and urgent need, so far we have not received more economical support than the ESA for our small concept demonstrator.
It is difficult to understand why aeronautical companies, responsible institutions or government leaders have not shown interest in applying modern available technologies to improve the safety and operational efficacy of forest fire extinguishing and drugs plantation fumigation aerial means. After years fighting to go ahead with the NitroFirex project I still don't know the answer.
A necessary and urgent project such as the one we are proposing can only be achieved with institutional, academical, scientific and aeronautical industry with forward-looking and high-tech innovation capacity such as that of your U.S. country.
I know, of course, that our approach is ambitious and if you compare our project with the development of a drone of several tens of kilos of course our project is very ambitious, but if you compare it with the human, economical and ecological losses involved in forest fires and drugs consumption worldwide the investment is ridiculous.
I also know that our project is each day more and more necessary and that it is technically viable and also that our concept represents a new global market niche for that, sooner or later, governments and responsible agencies will have to take action and will require to the academical institutions and to the aeronautical industry high-tech solutions to alleviate such a catastrophic situation.
As I already mentioned I think we fight on the same side against the same enemy, for that reason I believe that we must combine efforts and synergies in order to achieve the night aerial forests fire-fighting and drugs plantations fumigations capabilities as soon as possible and try to conserve our grandchildren's forests and health.
I apologize for the length of this comment but, taking into account the importance and urgency of properly fight against forest fires and drugs , I did not want to leave any aspect untouched.
Thank you very much for your time and I hope all this information will be of interest of U.S. Department of Homeland Security and all together we can improve the forest fire and drugs fighting capability. Do not hesitate to contact me for any further information that you required.
Luis M Bordallo