FireSwarm: Testing Sites
The Dutch researchproject FireSwarm will develop small, independant flying robotplains for the fire-brigade. These unmanned robotplains will be used for detecting and monitoring nature fires.
Here you can see, the exciting start of this challenging project to get a ‘swarm’ of unmanned robotplains up in the air, and have them trace any reported fires. FireSwarm is a project initiated by Almende, DevLab, KITT Engineering, TU Delft, State University of Groningen, EagleVision, Fire-brigade Bergen and the Safetyregion North-Holland-North.
Little cheap plains are equiped with different sensors (for carbon monoxide, temperature for example)and camera’s. The project focusses on smart image-and patterndetection techniques, with which the system itself can actually recognize and localize fires.
Furthermore the challenge is to learn these little robotplains to fly in a swarm, as it is impossible to control them one by one by hand.
In March 2012 the first testflights took place. During these flights the sensors were tested on their ability to recognize fires. Different objects were used placed, like a car with the motor running, a barbecue and an open fire. As such their distictive ability was tested. following sensors were tested:

  • Normal camera (with a IR block filter)
  • NIR camera (camera wit a IR pass filter)
  • Thermopile array (like in a thermal imaging camera, but low resolution)
  • PIR (like a movement sensor, very cheap)
  • Microwave sensor (sends microwaves and picks up the reflections)
  • Gas sensor (for example carbon monoxide)
  • Smoke sensor

During these testflights the UAV flew at various heights, to measure the influence of the height on detecting fires. The FireSwarm project is subsidized by the Dutch Agency on Innovation Social Security.

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