by Rick Boone

NEVADA CITY (CBS13) — Sound is being used to put out fires.

It’s from a simple device created by college students for a class project. Now it’s getting the attention of the Nevada City mayor, who wants to use her entire town as a test location.

Co-founders Seth Robertson and Viet Tran developed the technology as students at George Mason University.

“We did like a legal fire in a lab, we were so surprised that we miniaturized it and just put it out,” Tran said.

They stumbled across the idea after reading the theory to put out fires, even wildfires, with sound.

“We’re really here help people, and really here to prevent the catastrophes that come from fires,” Robertson said.

The set up is easy. It’s basically a speaker with a funnel for the sound to come out. So the secret ingredient to put out the fire is all about that bass. For it to work, the bass must be between 30 to 60 hertz.

Their goal is to place these speakers in wooded areas or connect them to drones.

Nevada City Mayor Reinette Senum invited the creators to town to test the device.

“This town is a town of activists and we really galvanized after Paradise,” Senum said.

The mayor wants to use her entire town as a test location as the device needs more research.

“Having possibly land available for doing prescription burns, so they can actually do some trials on the devices,” Senum said.

CBS13 spoke with local fire department who said the devices require more research.

  1. Joe Woods says:

    When I heard of the research by the two George Mason students, I thought it should be studied as a way of putting out forest fires before they are out of control. Thanks to the Nevada City mayor (and of course to the students) it may be developed. Wishing them the best of luck.

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