Innovations in automated real-time wildland fire monitoring, detection and early warning system
Sentry Systems, Inc. is committed to developing technologies and solutions that are revolutionary and meaningful. We set out to research, understand and develop a true, real-time, location based wildfire early warning system. We began a journey that we did not anticipate to be so timely, needed and critical in helping our First Responders to fight back against the ever growing destructive threat of wildfires.
After spending inordinate amount of time on studying current tools, techniques and methods as well as a number of suggested technologies for early warning detection of wildfires, we were more convinced than ever that there was a better way. But we also realized the many technological and logistical challenges we had to overcome.
But, based on decades of experience and expertise in sensor, hardware, firmware and networking design and many years of relentless work, we created a unique, sensor based wildfire early warning system operating on a smart, compact and self-healing network protocol.
What is it?
What we have developed is a complete system consisting of multiple components that work cohesively together for a true real-time and location precise wildfire early warning system. This is not a single purpose tool or a standalone device but a sophisticated network of sensors, hardware, firmware and software working together around the clock to monitor for wildfires. We call this the VELAR System.
The patented VELAR system is not only designed to continually look for presence of wildfires in real-time, it is also designed to monitor and help predict the movement and pattern of live wildfires as well as post forensic analysis of an area that has been impacted by a wildfire and much more.
What are the components?
FIRE SENSOR NODES
The system begins with the sensor node that is a small device placed in various locations of interest to monitor for wildfires. This front line device is equipped with highly accurate and sensitive sensors to measure various environmental elements such as smoke, temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2) and Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOCs.) It is also outfitted with a sophisticated, smart, self-configuring and self-healing wireless network hardware and protocol that was built from the ground up. Finally, the sensor nodes are GPS tagged and enabled to ensure actual and precise location reporting.
The Gateway or Bridge is the interface between the locally placed sensor nodes and the central data storage and management. This device was also built from the ground up to continually collect measurement data from the nearby sensor nodes and upload that data to a central, cloud based database for further processing. These are also highly intelligent devices that are capable of communication via various methods such as cell network, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Satellite, wireless signal among others.
The next component is a central, cloud based database that houses the real-time data collected and transmitted on on-going bases. The data is continuously monitored for any indication of possible wildfire occurrence by the User Interface (UI.)
This is the final piece of our systems. The backbone of our systems is running on ESRI’s ArcGIS real-time map system. This is a secure, web based mapping system that has capabilities for live monitoring, warning, heat mapping, predictive analytics as well as the ability to review historical conditions based on collected data and many other features. We have built our own specific applications on top of this system for wildfire monitoring, detection and management.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
1- The Sensor Nodes are deployed in high risk areas to continually look for presence of fires
2- The collected environmental data is transmitted through the network of Sensor Nodes to a nearby Gateway
3- The Gateway collects this data and transmits it to a central portal which in turn stores that data in a central database
4- The custom application or Dashboard, continuously monitors the database for new data
5- In an event of a fire, an alarm is generated, indicating the precise location of the fire based on GPS coordinates
Here is the block diagram of the system:
Below is an animated short video showing how the system works
We offer a number of additional components and feature to help enhance wildfire monitoring, detection, tracking and predictive analytics. Furthermore, we have developed a unique tracking device that can monitor the location, movement and biometrics of field personnel and other assets in real-time, both through cellular network, when available, and our sensor network when no cell signal is present. Here is the list of our additional components: