Forest Alert IoT System
The Forest Alert are small, cheap, and safe devices that are meant to be dropped from a plane/ helicopter deep into the forest to act as an early forest fire detection system. Current fire detection systems require a large infrastructure setup, however, this system is designed to drop and forget for a significantly lower cost. The system is designed to access areas of the forest that otherwise wouldn't be able to have any type of ground detection system. No maintenance or ground access is needed to deploy the system. Using LoRa as a way to communicate between nodes, the system is equipped with multiple sensors that will detect a wildfire before it can get out of hand and send that information to a fire response team. This system will detect a fire fast and accurately before it spreads to hundreds of acres and is out of control.Current Systems:
Limitations of Current Systems
These are some of the current fire detection systems that are mainly used. The Forest Alert isn't meant to replace any of these systems but instead acts as one more tool in the toolbox for a Forest Protection Agency.
The Devastation of Forest Fires
Forest Alert System:
- In 2020 there were 58, 950 wildfires
- ~10.1 million acres were burned across the US
- 4.5 million US homes currently face high/extreme wildfire risk
- The US 2020 fire season cost $130 - $150 billion in damages
Forest Alert are small, cheap, and efficient IoT devices that are dropped from a plane/ helicopter deep into a forest and alert the authorities when a fire is detected.
- Deep Forest Access
- No infrastructure setup
- No External Power Source
- Easy to Deploy (Drop from Sky)
- Low Cost
- No Reception Required (Hub connects to Satellite communication
Smoke Billows During Fire
The main form of detection is from a Laser Dust sensor within each device. The sensor checks for certain concentrations of smoke particles in the air. Mixing that data with the temperature/ humidity, it runs through an algorithm to determine if it believes there is a high likelihood of a fire in the surrounding area. If a fire is detected, it sends that data and an alert to the base station through the different nodes. Each node sends a signal back when they receive one, confirming the transmission was successful.
Node Based Communication Diagram
The system is intending to be marketed towards State/ Government Forest Protection Agencies.
Production Model Goals:
- Low Cost per Device ~ $3-5
- High Detection Area ~ 5-10 miles per device
- Enhanced algorithms to trigger a fire alert
- Possible Cloud ML Enhancements to predict based on device data
- 5+ year life span
- Integrate into other fire detection systems
- Hikers Expiration Date Tag (remove from the spot if a set amount of time has passed)
As a way to try and reuse some of the devices when their lifecycle is over, each node could be outfitted with a "Hiker Tag". This tag will have the expiration date of when the lifespan of the device is supposed to end printed on top, If someone happens to find the device in the forest, they can pick it up and ship it back using a prepaid label inside of it. This could help cut down on these devices collecting in the forest over time as well as let hikers know why the devices are there in the first place.