Following the Amazon fires, Professor Izzet Kale, Head of the Department of Engineering, was featured on BBC News Channel’s programme ‘Click’ about the University’s research on detecting and managing fires.
The University has been researching a system combining sensors on the ground and those in a drone as a solution. They track carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, oxygen, humidity, temperature, GPS and altitude. The aim is to deploy them en masse in areas susceptible to wildfires in a miniaturised, cost-effective version.
Professor Kale said about the sensors on the ground: “If there is something, they will alert their neighbouring sensors. They then form into a network, take the measurements, convey it to the master node, which then conveys it further out to the server. This then alerts the drones, which fly up to get a visual.
“It knows what the wind speed and wind direction is, and what the temperature variations are. It travels over the fire and knows where the fire is going to be. It then makes a release of these pellets flying and hitting the target where the fire is. You can fight fires day and night, 24 hours a day with no visibility.”