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The primary factors needed to manage disaster events are time-critical geospatial information on the event occurrence and presentation of that information in an easily manageable, collaborative/interactive geospatial decision-support and visualization environment. In this chapter, we describe the development, integration, and use of an unmanned airborne system (UAS), a multispectral sensor with autonomous onboard processing capabilities, a data distribution system, and geospatial processes to deliver real-time information to emergency incident management teams facing wildland fires. The unique integration of the described tools has contributed to an order of magnitude decrease in the delivery time of critical geospatial information to disaster managers. The UAS wildfire imaging campaigns in the western United States in 2007 and 2008 are briefly described in the context of real-world adaptation and utility of the resultant information improvements. These capabilities have far-reaching applications to other time-critical, disaster event management scenarios, and they are being expanded to further utilize various UAS platforms and other airborne sensor system data. This chapter will also describe the resultant integration issues faced and the solutions for ubiquitous adaptation of many of these processes in future UAS missions.

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