Swarm-Based Fire-Fighting


Reference #: 01373


The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for Swarm-Based Fire-Fighting.



Wildfires extend over a large geographical area and proceed along several highly variable fronts simultaneously. Large fires often burn for weeks and cause billions of dollars of damage and cost hundreds of millions to fight. A variety of airborne vehicles are currently used to drop fire retardant, including Boeing 747s and helicopters.


Invention Description:

A method of using thousands of drones to deliver vastly superior amounts of fire retardant over substantially larger and variably-shaped drop patterns. 


Potential Applications:

Wildfires can be fought more efficiently by being able to modify the drones’ drop patterns to match the wildfire’s constantly evolving shape. The drones can perform repeated trips and work with minimal human involvement outside of designating the drop zones.


Advantages and Benefits:

The drones can fly missions, avoid collisions, and coordinate movements in addition to operating in a continuous fashion. A swarm of drones likely will cost about the same as a fire-fighting helicopter. Its continuous operational tempo allows it to deliver thousands of times the amount of retardant as conventional vehicles while costing upwards of one tenth of the price.


Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Swarm-Based Firefighting Drone and Mass Aerial Drop System and Method Utility United States 16/589,405 11,565,813 10/1/2019 1/31/2023   Published
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Ron Fulbright
© 2024. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Inteum