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Israeli Company Develops Laser to Fight Forest Fires

August 29, 2018

by: Ilse Strauss, Bridges for Peace

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Massive forest fires currently rage in numerous nations around the world. Firefighters in Canada, Greece, India, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States are fighting an ongoing battle to quench the flames that threaten to burn up large areas of natural vegetation, ISRAEL21c reports. Moreover, experts warn that global warming and drier weather mean that these types of large blazes may in the future become a more frequent occurrence.

A Jerusalem-based company, Fighting Treetop Fire (FTF), claims to have developed a solution to constrain runaway wildfires using laser technology. The method behind the cutting-edge tools is simple. Algorithm-controlled laser beams are shot from helicopters or trucks to trim dry leaves, brittle branches and pine needles—all tinder for advancing flames— from foliage in the path of an active blaze. As a result, the flames cannot advance as a rapid-spreading treetop fire and is contained downwards, where it can be quenched more easily using more effective methods.

The FTF technology is currently in the engineering, modeling and testing phase and is awaiting a strategic partner to introduce the fire-fighting lasers onto the market.

The series of devastating forest fires that ravaged Israel over the past few years prompted electro-optics physicist Daniel Leigh, founder of FTF, to seek a solution.

“My background in electro-optics brought me to ask what I could do,” Leigh told ISRAEL21c. “While it’s not possible to cut down whole trees with a laser, I analyzed the process and realized I could use laser beams, sent from a safe distance, like a knife to cut off leaves remotely.”

Photo Credit: skeeze/pixabay.com

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