Platform to help prevent forest fires

in News · 08-11-2019 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

Coimbra startup “Bold Robotics” has received support from the European Space Agency to develop a platform that uses Earth observation data to optimise fire prevention and forest land management.

The ‘startup’, based at the Pedro Nunes Institute (IPN), brings together robotics and fire researchers who are jointly developing a digital platform that aims to improve the management of forest land in order to ensure better fire prevention, one of the founding partners of the company, Carlos Xavier Viegas told Lusa.

From a protocol with the Centre for Studies on Forest Fires of the University of Coimbra, the platform has received funding of €50,000 from ESA BIC Portugal (a programme of the European Space Agency to promote the application of space technology on Earth).

According to Viegas, “the idea is for the platform to receive data relating to the terrain, such as topography and existing vegetation and, through algorithms and fire simulators, make a suggestion for better management of biomass on the ground, both to comply with current legislation and to reduce susceptibility of the impacts of rural fires on the ground”.

To do so, “a mixture of data collection from various sources”, such as Copernicus (European Earth Observation Programme) and the Portuguese Institute of Sea and Atmosphere will be necessary which will be combined “with observations in the field”, through the collection of data using drones and sensors, he said.

With detailed mapping of the topography and vegetation present in the field, it is possible to know if the site is managed in accordance with legislation and, with the use of fire behaviour models, identify the most vulnerable points.
The team expects to finish the prototype of the platform for demonstration within a year and a half.


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