Early Fire Detection Smart Cloud-Based Thermal Camera Imager for Wildfire Safety and Security

Wildfirerefers to the behavior of forest fires that lose human control, spread and expand freely in woodland, bring certain harm and loss to forests, forest ecosystems and human beings. A forest fire is a kind of natural disasters that are sudden, highly destructive, difficult to handle and rescue. Forest fires are sudden, random and quickly damaging; so once a fire alarm occurs, quick rescue measures must be taken. Whether the decision is timely or not depends on whether the discovery of forest fires is timely, whether the analysis is accurate and reasonable, and whether the decision-making measures are appropriate. Whether the fire is put out in time, whether the decision is appropriate, most important is if the forest fire is detected in time, whether the analysis is accurate and reasonable, whether the decided policy is implemented properly.  

Damages by Wildfire  

  1. Burns down forest trees 
  2. Burns down underground resources 
  3. Harms wildlife 
  4. Causes water loss and soil erosion 
  5. Reduce the water quality of the downstream rivers 
  6. Causes air pollution 
  7. Threats to human life and property safety 

Causes of Wildfire   

Necessary Conditions 

There must be 3 following reasons behind wildfire:  

  1. Combustible materials (includes trees, grass-shrubs, and other plants) are the material basis for wildfire; 
  2. Fire weather is an important cause for Wildfire; 
  3. Source of fire is the dominant factor for wildfire; 

In the absence of one of the above three conditions, wildfire will not occur. A large number of facts show that wildfire can be prevented. Combustible materials and fire sources can be controlled by human beings, and fire weather can also be predicted.  

Wildfire Monitoring Method  

Forest fires are very harmful and difficult to put out, so it is very important to put out at the beginning of the fire. Because Wildfire often occurs in deep mountains and forests, not easy to find. Therefore, the discovery of fire is of great significance in order to put it out at an earlier stage.  

  1. Ground patrol, the main objective is to aware the general public, control man-made sources of fire, sharply patrol the dead spots found by the watchtower. Conduct inspection and supervision of people and vehicles, outdoor production and life facilities where the fire is used. The deficiency is the small patrol area, narrow field of vision, and while confirming the location of fire often leads to large error due to the rough terrain and the dense forest. In remote mountainous areas where transportation is inconvenient and sparsely populated, it is almost impossible to carry out a ground patrol, and all kinds of transportation cost and personnel wage cost can only be compensated by video surveillance. 
  2.  Construction of Watchtower  In China, there are many methods which lag in technology  Watchtower Surveillance is monitoring forest fire, determining the location of fire hazard, report fire situation from the watchtower. Its advantage is that coverage is larger and effectiveness is better. Existing shortcoming: Watchtower can’t be built in a remote forest area without living conditions; inspection effect is limited by the terrain topography; small area coverage; there is dead and blank spots which can’t be inspected, thick smoky fire ground with a larger area, embers and ground fire are impossible to inspect; Watch is a method of observation dependent on the experience of the watchman, accuracy late is low with a large number of errors. In addition, the personal safety of the watchman is threatened by lightning, wild animals, forest encephalitis and so on. 
  3. Setting Up Video Surveillance System  Current mainstream monitoring method in China.  This is a simple extension of traditional city monitoring. The collection of video images is collected through microwave, and the centralized monitoring is done manually.  Manual surveillance can easily lead to eye fatigue, fire situation in video is not easy to be detected resulting in missing report;  Video cables in the surveillance center is comparatively more, impossible to manually monitor the videos one by one, resulting in missing report;  Therefore, the biggest shortcoming of traditional video surveillance is that the rate of miss reporting is very high;  Traditional video surveillance isn’t digitalized system; a large number of smart applications can’t be implemented. 
  4. Traditional Fire Alarm System  Generally, infrared sensors and smoke sensors are used to detect smoke, temperature, light and other parameters generated by the fire. After the signal processing, comparison and judgment, fire alarm signals are sent out. The shortcoming is that the change in smoke temperature information cannot be collected quickly, and it is difficult to meet the requirements of early detection and prediction of such fire. 
  5. Air Patrol  Air patrol is the detection of forest fire using a patrol aircraft. Its advantages are a wide field of vision, high mobility, fast speed and comprehensive observation of the fire surrounding and the development of fire, effective measures can be taken in time. But still there are few shortcomings: it is difficult to take off at night, windy weather and low visibility in cloudy days. At the same time, inspection is restricted by air-route, flying time, and the scope of observation is small. Certain forest area can only be observed once a day. If somehow a certain spot/area is missed during the time of observation, the forest fire cannot be observed on the same day which may easily lead to disaster. Fixed flight cost is about $400 per hour which makes aircraft renting very expensive and serious deficiency in aircraft renting expense. This is fixed-point video monitoring is needed to make up for its shortcomings.
  6. Cloud-based Smart Thermal Camera Surveillance System  This is the development direction of forest fire prevention, smart and digitized method of forest fire prevention.  Cloud-based Smart Thermal Camera Surveillance System is usually the infrared device deployed on the highest points of the watchtower in order to determine the location of the forest fire using the highly precise cloud platform. This monitoring method can greatly reduce the workload of the watchmen. Not only the forest fire, fire distribution, and spread speed can be detected in time and accurately, combined with automatic camera real image can also be photographed. Combining infrared thermal camera with advanced computer software management platform, forest area, smoke, and fire can be automatically monitored and disaster location can be automatically located. Using such infrared thermal camera devices deployed on unmanned watchtowers in forest areas connected with the computers in the command center, fire situation can be transmitted to the command center at any time. It can realize unattended monitoring and smart remote control, provides scientific support for the timely discovery of fire and subsequent fire extinguishing. At present, in many countries forest fire monitoring tower has been replaced by such automatic infrared monitoring system. 

Development of Forest Fire Prevention Technology  

From the 1890s to 1950s, temperature detector had been dominant, and the automatic fire alarm system was in the primary stage of development. In the early 1950s, Swiss physicist Ernst Meili successfully developed an ionic smoke detector. By the end of the 1970s, photoelectric components technology made a breakthrough, and the photoelectric smoke detector came into being. In the early 1980s, Japan began to study and experiment analog quantity of fire detectors. The most typical one is that Japanese scholars proposed to detect fire sources using a neural network in 1991. In 1994, Switzerland launched the AlgoRex fire detection system, which uses the neural network, a combination of fuzzy logic and co-decision. At the end of the 1970s, some military enterprises and subordinate enterprises of China began to develop automatic fire alarm products. After entering 80s, in order to shorten the gap with foreign products of the same kind, meet the needs of the domestic market began to introduce or copy foreign products. After the 90s, foreign enterprises entered the Chinese market, which brought advanced technology and boosted the development of the market to a certain extent.  

With the progress of science and technology and the gradual upgrading of information demand in forest fire prevention, new fire detectors are also appearing. But at present, all the automatic fire alarm technology in China is based on sensor detection. In all kinds of existing fire alarm and fire control equipment, in most places, conventional fire detection methods are being used. Its performance will directly affect the accuracy and reliability of automatic fire alarm. For example, smoke sensing, temperature sensing, and photo-receptor detectors are used to detect fire by the smoke, temperature, and light characteristics of the flame. Such as, smoke, temperature, and photosensitive detectors use the smoke, temperature, and light characteristics of the flame to detect fire. While applying in a large area forest, the signal of above-mentioned sensors become very weak because of the large space distance. In a large space, ordinary smoke and temperature detection alarm system cannot quickly collect the smoke and temperature change information from the fire. Even highly precise sensors cannot work normally due to noise interference causing false fire alarm. Unable to meet the demand for timely detection of forest fires.  

Currently, there are 9,884,220,000 acres (4 billion hectares) of forest area in the world. The forested land in the U.S. covers roughly 818,814,000 acres (3,313,622 square kilometers). The forest area of China is 432,434,000 acres (175 million hectares) and 1,551 natural reserves. Demand for the smart early warning system for fire prevention in the forest is up to a different extent. The best way to avoid forest fires is to prevent. All countries in the world have paid more and more attention to the early warning and detection of fire. In June 2010, Wildfire in Russia trembled and warned the whole world about the forest fire. The lack of forest protection systems will cause a great loss during the forest fire and either put us in nail-biting or let matters drift situation. Therefore, the Russian ecologists pointed out that the national forest protection system should be restored as soon as possible. The practical, rapid and comprehensive early warning system is particularly important. 

Solution with Cloud-Based Thermal Camera:   

Fotric 123 Cloud-based Smart Thermal Camera Detection System 

In a large area of forest fire is often caused by hidden fire. This is the root of the devastating fire. It is difficult to detect the hidden fire with the existing ordinary detection methods. Whereas infrared thermal camera can quickly and efficiently find the hidden fire and it can also determine the location and scope of the fire.   

In nature, any object with a higher temperature than absolute zero will constantly radiate electromagnetic waves to the surrounding space including the infrared band. The higher the temperature of the surface of the object, the more infrared radiation. Therefore, infrared radiation can be used to measure the thermal state of the surface of an object.  

The thermal imager camera works at 8-14 μm, which belongs to the far infrared band. The radiation wavelength range of normal forest is 8.5-12.2 μm which is within the detection range of 8-14 m of a thermal camera. The higher the target temperature, the greater the value of the digital signal output from the thermal camera component that is the greater the grey level of the digital image. According to this feature, the process of overheat detection is as follows:  

The image acquisition module writes the high precision image data output from the detector to memory. The image processing module executes the overheat detection algorithm. First, the original threshold is calculated based on the contrast between the target and the background and then combined with the temperature level set by the user calculates the threshold value in binary. After finding the binary value of the image, a connectivity test is conducted, finds out the target area and coordinates, identifies the overheated region on the screen and sends alarm information through the serial port. As the infrared radiation energy received by the detector is affected by the monitored distance and the working environment, the temperature range of the target is different so in order to achieve the desired effect of alarm, the temperature level of the monitored target can be set according to the specific environment used by the user that is, the temperature difference between the target and the background.  

FOTRIC 123 cloud-based thermal camera technology is a smart thermal camera technology deeply integrated with internet, architecture design is based on Internet cloud data transmission. It can work independently from the traditional monitoring platform and technology of real-time viewing of dynamic images on portable devices all over the world. It can also monitor the temperature of the room in real time and a warning can be sent to a bound terminal when a fire hazard occurs. It is an innovative smart monitoring method for the realization of an early fire warning. 

Characteristics of Fotric 123 Cloud-based Thermal Camera Technology  

1. Smart overheat grey level early warning 
Automatically measures temperature gray value of the object in the field of view. If the alarm threshold is found to exceed the system setting, it can automatically set forest fire early warning in order to avoid forest fire. Quickly and efficiently find the hidden fire, nip in the bud. 

2. Forest Fire Detection 
Infrared thermal imaging technology is all-weather, long distance, wide range real-time monitoring, timely and accurate detection of fire and alarm, so as to make quick and effective guidance for firefighting. 

3. Rescue on the spot, command fire, reduce the loss 
When the fire occurred, especially in a forest fire, the amount of smoke produced by the flame is really large which often obscures the real fire, and the fire spread. Infrared thermal imaging technology has natural permeable and fogging characteristics. It can effectively find the real point, quickly search and rescue the trapped people and animals. It can play a very important role in firefighting. 

4. Ember Monitoring 
After the fire has been put out, sometimes there might be a sporadic type of fire and concealed underground fire. It is very difficult to detect such kind of hidden fire by the human eye or photosensitive camera. Whereas The infrared thermal technology can quickly and accurately detect these potential dangers. 

5. Monitoring Scenic Zones in Forest 
Infrared Thermal Camera Technology monitors antiques, building, and the whole scenic zone. It also monitors smoking or other ignition behavior of tourists, staff members in the scenic area.  

6. Electric Fire 
Electric equipment runs for a long time which may cause problems such as insulation aging, deterioration of material and so on. Thus reducing the life expectancy of the equipment, causing failures and accidents. Cloud-based Thermal Technology can monitor electronic equipment using fireproof infrared. It can improve the operation reliability, ensure the operation quality of the equipment, and avoid the forest fire caused by the electrical faults. 

7. Perimeter Protection
Infrared Thermal technology can quickly detect distant targets in the dark, such as man-made fire, theft, illegal hunting, illegal logging, illegal reclamation, illegal quarrying, sand, and soil monitoring. 

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