A thumping bass may do more than light up a party – it could flat out extinguish it, thanks to a new sound-blasting fire extinguisher by George Mason University undergrads.

The fire extinguisher uses low-frequency sound waves to douse a blaze. Engineering seniors Viet Tran and Seth Robertson now hold a preliminary patent application for their potentially revolutionizing device.

The idea to fight fire with sound waves came when they were choosing a class project for ECE 492 and 493, Advanced Senior Design, where students produce and present a project for a final grade.

Tran and Robertson’s 20-pound, Flash Gordon-style prototype was born through $600 of their own money and about as many trials. Their sound-wave device is free of toxic chemicals and eliminates collateral damage from sprinkler systems. If mounted on drones, it could improve safety for firefighters confronting large forest fires or urban blazes.

 

 

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