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Drone tech to fight fires in HK

An incubatee at the Hong Kong Smart Government Innovation Lab recently announced that it has launched a new solution which is now ready to be acquired by companies and institutions.

Solution description

The solution uses drones, which can be equipped with thermal energy detection systems and sensors on the camera lens. The detected images are transmitted back to the system in real-time through 4G/5G, and the images are processed by Artificial Intelligence (AI) to find objects with a specific temperature (for example, they can detect the human body temperature and can effectively find people who are isolated in mountainous areas).

The solution can also detect temperature deviation, area and location, find out the area that is burning and identify any scattered burning debris, and immediately report the relevant situation to the relevant departments. If the fire source is found, the system will assign another drone to load a water-filled capsule, fly to the fire source via the global positioning system, and then throw the water-filled capsule at a specific height to extinguish the fire.

Application Areas

The solution was designed to be applied across a variety of areas including Broadcasting, Environment as well as Search and Rescue.

Technologies Used

The solution employs Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud Computing, Deep Learning, Mobile Technologies, Predictive Analytics and Video Analytics.

Use Case

The drones are equipped with a thermal detection sensor lens and an Artificial Intelligence (AI) computing program, which can effectively assist in the search and rescue of people who have lost contact with help in outdoor activities (hiking, paraglider, canoe, etc.). Moreover, through the installation of a broadcasting system, the solution can perform multiple searches and rescue operations as well as relay broadcasts.

CEM solutions to fight fire

OpenGov Asia recently reported that similar technology is being deployed in Australia to help fight bushfires. Australia is currently developing its first CubeSat to predict where bushfires are likely to start and those that will be difficult to contain.

The development will take place at The Australian National University’s (ANU) Mt Stromlo campus. The team to build an optical system that can detect changes on the ground through infrared detectors onboard the satellite. The ANU team will partner with other researchers and the private sector to complete the project and launch the new satellite into low-Earth orbit.

The satellite will accurately measure forest fuel load and vegetation moisture levels across Australia. The technology will be specifically tuned to detect changes in Australian plants and trees such as eucalyptus, which are highly flammable.

With this mission, the team will receive high-resolution infrared images and data of fuel conditions that will help firefighters on the ground. This infrared technology and data, which is not currently available, will help to target controlled-burns that can reduce the frequency and severity of bushfires, as well as their long-term impacts on Australia’s people, economy, and environment.

This satellite will be the first in a constellation of remote sensing satellites that will monitor Australia’s environment. The constellation will be designed to have a positive impact on Australia’s property management, insurance, geological, agriculture and defence industries.

The team will gradually build up the capacity to monitor these bushfire risks in Australia. At first, they are focusing on long-term monitoring. Within the next five years, they plan to be able to monitor changes to the landscape and environment in real-time.

CEM tech critical to boosting safety

Both solutions are examples of CEM technology. Critical event management has come to the fore with the pandemic. Forecasting, planning and management of critical events help organisations and authorities prevent disruption of life and damage to property. As regions and countries across the world battle wildfires and other natural calamities, Everbridge’s public warning solutions have been developed to significantly aid the mitigation of harm caused by such critical events.

With the pandemic forecast to be around for some time, planning responses to adverse events must continue alongside COVID-19 management. In light of this, it is expedient for governments to re-look at their systems, tools, processes and platforms they have in place to manage critical events.


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