Feeds

Boffin fights fire with EXPLOSIVES instead of water

They'll huff and they'll puff and they'll blow your blaze out

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

When you blow out a candle, you stop the fire by separating the flame from its fuel source.

A boffin in Australia likes that idea so much he's tested explosives as a means of creating a huge puff of air to keep bushfires away from the foliage on which they feast.

The video below shows the experiment in action.

At right is a metal tube wherein resides “det cord”, essentially a hose filled with Pentaerythritol tetranitrate, the stuff used to make Semtex and other explosives. At left is a metre-high flame made by a propane burner.

The vid was shot using the “shadowgraph” technique that captures action in transparent media like air. This technique was chosen by Dr Graham Doig from the University of New South Wales' School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering because it allows him to watch the shockwave produced by the explosion.

Let's roll tape …

Impressive, no?

Doig has declared the test a success, saying it shows that “As soon as the flame doesn't have access to fuel anymore, it stops burning.”

Just how to deploy the explosives is Doig's next conundrum. He wonders if helicopters could lower a fire-extinguishing canon to the top of a forest canopy and not only extinguish fire but knock loose any fuel. Such an approach would work well in Australia, where fires often move through the crowns of oil-rich eucalyptus trees.

There's obviously lots more work to do on this idea, as it has massive “what could possibly go wrong with that?” potential. On the upside, fighting fire with fire often does the trick. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
Volcanic eruption in Iceland triggers CODE RED aviation warning
Lava-spitting Bárðarbunga prompts action from Met Office
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
LOHAN Kickstarter breaks NINETEEN THOUSAND of your EARTH POUNDS
That's right, OVER 9,000 beer tokens - and counting
Major cyber attack hits Norwegian oil industry
Statoil, the gas giant behind the Scandie social miracle, targeted
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.