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Air tanker drop patterns

Abstract : Ground patterns of liquid aerial drops for combating wildfires are considered. Based on a significant number of drop tests performed using different airplanes and helicopters, a simple model for the length, the width and the coverage distribution is presented. At first order both the length and the width of the drop pattern can be described using simple relations despite the significant difference between the conditions of the drop tests considered. These relations include factors that can be manipulated during aircraft and release system design, as well as during aerial firefighting operations. The liquid on the ground follows a Gaussian distribution that makes possible an original prediction of the maximum coverage level on the pattern centreline confirmed by the experiments. The difference between gravity systems and recent pressurised systems is also discussed. We show a clear difference between gravity systems and pressurised systems. The width is larger for pressurised systems, resulting in a smaller coverage for the same condition of drop.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 3:46:09 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 1, 2022 - 4:07:30 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, June 20, 2014 - 1:00:12 PM


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Dominique Legendre, Ryan Becker, Elise Alméras, Amélie Chassagne. Air tanker drop patterns. International Journal of Wildland Fire, CSIRO Publishing, 2014, vol. 23 (n° 2), pp. 272-280. ⟨10.1071/WF13029⟩. ⟨hal-00961963⟩



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