New system to help combat and assess fires
At the Faculty of Engineering they are working in the creation of a series of sensors that will be incorporated into a drone to collect and analyze information on these disasters in real time
January 17, 2018
As a form of support for the combat of forest fires, the academic from the Faculty of Engineering, Matthew Bardeen, began to develop a project that will build a series of sensors that will be incorporated into a drone for the collection and analysis of information in real time.
The initiative is called "Integrated System for UAVs in Response to Forest Fires" and was one of the six proposals awarded to the University of Talca in the last contest of the Innovation Fund for Competitiveness of the Regional Government of the Maule Region (FIC-R).
"The idea is innovative considering that drones are used in these disasters to capture images and videos, but they cannot generate the information that we will get thanks to the incorporation of our sensors," explained Professor Matthew Bardeen, who leads the first aerial Robotics Laboratory, which was implemented in Chile, located in the Curicó Campus of the University.
Sensors will be built that can generate maps for the exact location of the fire, as well as thermographic systems, among others, that will help the specialists who coordinate the fight against fire.
"The goal is to provide adequate information to those who plan how to fight a fire in a reasonable amount of time. The drone is the vehicle that carries the sensors, which are ultimately those who capture and process the information at the same time, being able to have these data on a map which may be analyzed by firefighters through an application that will be available in an electronic device on the ground," said the professor.
The proposal is supported by the National Forestry Corporation (Conaf) and the Chilean Timber Corporation (CORMA), that will benefit from the project, since two of the sensor systems which are built and are mounted on the drones will be used by these institutions.
"It is vitally important to incorporate technologies that will enable better decision-making with as much information as possible. It will allow us to plan better, evaluate and determine the propagation models. It also serves to adopt measures that will enhance the security of the resources in danger of extinction and the civilian population," said Fernando Ramirez, Engineer, Department of Forest Fire Protection of Conaf. Along with this, said the professional, the system will help in prevention, and after the fires, in the assessment of damages.
With the development of the sensors, the initiative includes training for the staff of these institutions that will maneuver the drones, to learn to use them and obtain the permission issued by the General Aeronautical Office of Chile (DGAC) for the handling of these devices in disaster areas.