When it comes to forest fires, time is of the essence. In just a few days, a tiny spark can turn into an out-of-control blaze that consumes centuries-old trees, destroys precious habitts, and takes human lives. Experience has taught firefighter Ricky Staley that particular lesson. Forest fires not only pose a danger to humans and animals; they’re also harmful to the climate. For one, they produce vast quantities of CO₂. Forest fires account for as much as 20 percent of global carbon emissions. A solution is needed that detects fires early by detecting smoke, hydrogen and other gases released by pyrolysis in the early stages of a wildfire, buying firefighters valuable time to extinguish the fire before it spreads out of control. Sensing solutions from Bosch Sensortec can help to reduce wildfires.
Up to 20 percent
of annual global carbon emissions are caused by forest fires. This is equivalent to the CO₂ emitted by all the vehicles on the world's roads.
Protecting the environment by preventing wildfires
Trees are valuable carbon repositories and play an important role for the climate. It takes decades to reforest areas ravaged by wildfires. Much of this ground lies fallow for a very long time, which takes a further toll on the climate. Wildfires have a massive impact on our environment: They are responsible for up to 20% of annual global CO₂ emissions and endanger not only the lives of humans, but also of animals, and thus have a devastating impact on biodiversity. Did you know that up to 10 million hecatres of forest are destroyed by wildfires every year in the U.S. alone?
Sensor with AI detects wildfires
Our BME688 sensor can detect forest fires before they develop into open fires by measuring various gases such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Dryad Networks is using our gas sensor BME688 to fight against climate change with the launch of Silvanet, its large-scale IoT network for the ultra-early detection of wildfires.
Attached to trees, a network of thousands of our BME688 sensors is collecting data throughout the forest and is connected to a central server for wide area monitoring. Dryad is using our BME AI-Studio Server, a fully automated headless version of BME AI-Studio that enables automatic collection, labelling and partitioning of sensor data as well as automatic training of machine learning algorithms. All of this can be controlled through our newly developed API. Customers can run their own instance of AI-Studio Server on-premise, making data protection a no-brainer with a developer-friendly setup using docker compose.
Thanks to the fully computational process it is possible to dynamically collect data from all sensors in the field, to retrain and continuously improve the algorithm. As we close the loop, AI becomes a fully integrated part of IoT systems.
Fighting global climate change
According to experts' wildfires will increase in the years ahead. One of the reasons for this is climate change, which is driving temperatures up and, by extension, drying out soil worldwide. "Sort of a fire alarm for the forest — that's ingenious and a big help to us," says firefighter Ricky. BME688 is a solution for tackling wildfires at the initial smoldering stage, helping to prevent massive CO₂ emissions caused by wildfires and protecting the environment, wildlife and communities from devastation, while dramatically reducing the financial impact. Thus, we are not only protecting forests, people and animals, but also our global climate!