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Can technology stop forest fires?

28 Jul 2022
George Tzanetakos

George Tzanetakos

Business Unit Director, Vodafone Greece

We’ve spoken before about how the Internet of Things (IoT) can play a big role in protecting forests from climate change or illegal logging. But what about natural disasters like a fire?

In Greece, we’ve been using IoT, AI and the power of our Green network to quickly and promptly alert local authorities to forest fires.

No smoke, without fire

Creating the first “smart” forest in Greece in Parnitha’s National Park, we are testing the use of artificial intelligence and state-of-the-art cameras and sensors running on our green network, to detect smoke and changes in temperature across the forest floor.

Equipped with IoT sensors, a special long-distance thermal camera with panoramic 360 detection technology, dual spectrum cameras and special Super Starlight surveillance cameras for low light conditions, ensure constant and reliable records of changes in temperate over a radius of several kilometres.

Park authorities can also identify why changes occur with various environmental indicators such as humidity level and atmospheric pressure.

With data being monitored 24 hours a day, any rise in heat is picked up immediately. The cameras can then check for smoke and communicate with each other via IoT, AI and our network, for verification.

Upon detection of an early-stage fire, the solution activates an alarm and sends the exact location, as well as an image, to the control centre operator via a web-based application, accessible from anywhere.

image-No smoke, without fire

A pilot for change

This is a pilot initiative that is being developed and will be implemented for a 12-month period in Parnitha. Although we hope this technology can be applied to other smart forest projects to protect areas of natural beauty throughout Greece in the future.

Just last year, The European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) reported that nearly 100,000 hectares of forestry and farmland burned in less than two weeks in Greece in the worst wave of wildfires since 2007.

Combining the best technologies, we want to change this and protect the quality of life for the 5 million inhabitants of the Attica Basin, and beyond.

The protection of the planet is a key part of our purpose. We believe that through our technologies and projects such as this we can contribute to a more sustainable future for all and tackle the climate crisis together.

Find out more about how IoT can protect the environment.

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