John Parker started Integrated Robotics Imaging Systems (IRIS) in 2012 to find a solution to clean up debris along the coast of Alaska from the Tohoku, Japan tsunami in 2011. Parker developed drones to be able to conduct missions off ships, plying Alaska’s shorelines, to identify areas where cleanup needed to be performed. He met with Alaska SBDC advisor Bryan Zak in 2013 to refine his business plan.
In 2016, shortly after the devastating urban fires in Northern California, the Eyak Corporation asked Parker to begin research to develop a reliable wildfire detection system for Alaska. The system he developed, with proven technology from Spain, uses thermographic cameras to detect four types of fire morphology. This reduces the industry-standard false-positive rate of around 30% to less than 5%. Parker’s system can detect a one square meter fire at a distance of five kilometers (3.1 miles). With the collaboration of Mike Messick, of Deep Forest Security Consulting, Parker’s system was recently installed on the eastern edge of Anchorage to protect the city from wildfires blazing down the slopes of the Chugach Mountains.
Cliff Cochran, Alaska SBDC Kenai Peninsula Center Director and Business Advisor shared of Parker’s vision, “It’s been great to see the impact that IRIS’s technology is having across our state and country. This is especially near and dear to my heart, as my brother-in-law lost his home and all of his possessions in 2015, when the Tubbs Fire devastated Santa Rosa, California, and surrounding areas. Sonoma County is still seeing the impacts of the fire today, and the effects could have been significantly lessened with the technology that John has developed.”
For more information and to connect, visit Integrated Robotics Imaging Systems online at https://www.uav-alaska.com/