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Smart Capsules to Combat Forest Fires

Smart Capsules to Combat Forest Fires
24 June 2020

Last year, catastrophic forest fires resulted in the loss of 40 million hectares of green areas globally, while this loss increased 76% in Turkey over the past five years.

ISTANBUL (TR) - Last year, catastrophic forest fires resulted in the loss of 40 million hectares of green areas globally, while this loss increased 76% in Turkey over the past five years. Smart forest capsules now offer an option in response to the search for effective solutions to combat forest fires. Canada is the first country to show interest in the capsules developed by Turkish engineers.

With the summer months come the forest fire threats. Last year, approximately 250 thousand forest fires occurred around the world, resulting in the loss of 40 million hectares of green areas. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry data, every year Turkey suffers 10 thousand hectares of green area loss on average, and this impact rose 76% over the last five years.

Acting on this catastrophic outlook, Internet of Things (IoT) solutions company NetOP Technology developed an AI-based solution to help with the early detection of forest fires.

NetOP Technology, ranked among the world's 25 most innovative startups in IoT (Internet of Things) technologies and recognized with its achievements, particularly across Europe, recently received investment from Detaysoft. NetOP Technology’s Smart Forest Capsule Fire Prevention Solution will be used by the Canadian Ministry of Forestry in vast forested areas.

Smart capsules measure the heat, carbon dioxide and smoke levels in the forest

The smart capsules use their sensors to collect data and process them with the assistance of artificial intelligence, helping to detect fire risks and prevent forest losses.

The smart forest capsules, which leverage sensor-based IoT technologies, communicate with each other to inform the onset of a fire and to prevent its spread, and transmit the GPS coordinates of the origin of the fire to the control center to help avoid major green area losses. The smart capsules deployed in forests are equipped with GPS, carbon dioxide, heat, smoke and wind sensors, which enable transmission of real-time data from the fire site in a potential fire situation, and make it possible to analyze the scale of the fire risk and direction and to steer the response teams to fire site(s) with accuracy.

Dropped from helicopters and deployed in forests

Alkin Aksoy, CEO, Detaysoft and Managing Partner, NetOP Technology, noted that the forest capsules, the result of five-year long R&D efforts, function efficiently even in the steepest slopes and high altitudes, “The solar-powered capsules are robust enough to withstand dropping from a helicopter to the forest area and developed with a technology to function for a very long time with ten-year battery life. The AI-based technology measures the heat and carbon dioxide levels in the forest instantly and detects fire risk. In a potential fire, the smoke and wind sensors detect the scale and course of the fire and the GPS sensor transmits accurate location data for immediate response. Our goal is to expand the use of this solution in Turkey and around the world, and to contribute to the protection of nature.”

First deployment in Canada

Alkin Aksoy added that the forest capsules will first be deployed in Canada as part of a government-subsidized project across a land area as vast as the European continent, “Forest fires are a serious issue that not only Turkey but the entire world is striving hard to tackle. However, preventing this threat and protecting the forests requires more than just humans. At this point, IoT technologies present a great advantage in terms of circumventing negligence and inadequacies. Canadian Ministry of Forestry will be the first to use these smart forest capsules. We hope this technology gains wider use in Turkey and other countries around the world, and contributes to the fire-fighting efforts.”

Data from sensors will be made available as open source

In addition to early detection of fires and alerting emergency response actions, the smart forest capsules will also feed data to academic studies. The data that the sensors collect will be stored in the cloud and made available as open source for research conducted by universities, independent researchers, and nonprofit nature conservation organizations and associations. This will enable research on climate change and global warming to be supported by real-time data.