NASA drones in national airspace to spot NC wildfires

October 8, 2014 6:59 PM

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NORFOLK, Va. – NASA plans to fly small drones to spot fires in a wildlife refuge along the Virginia and North Carolina border next spring, marking the first time the agency has integrated drones into the National Airspace System for wildfire spotting on the East Coast, officials said Wednesday.

NASA has previously used retrofitted Predator drones to map and gather data on large wildfires in the West. Those drones were piloted by ground crews and flew at high altitudes for hours at a time.

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