Catching Wildfires With Drone Patrol

2018 has been one of the most destructive wildfire seasons on record in California, with a total of 7,579 fires burning an area of 1,667,855 acres (6,749.57 km2). That’s the largest amount of burned acreage recorded in a fire season, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the National Interagency Fire Center. This tragedy could have been prevented or lessened If California had detected the fires earlier.

There is no doubt that it is easier to extinguish a fire on an early stage before it was able to spread, therefore, the key to eliminating fires is a quick response of the emergency service. Their equipment must have cutting-edge technologies and pointing accuracy. One of the most important improvements in fire safety is the development of methods for the early detection of fires and automatic monitoring of fire-hazardous areas. Drone Employee offers the solution with advanced surveying technology available through our “Drone Patrol” service.

Drone Patrol is an enterprise-grade solution for area monitoring including security control, search and rescue, accident spotting and situational awareness. Human participation in the project is reduced to a minimum. The collection and transmission of information happen automatically with the help of an aerial drone.

Drones patrol the forest autonomously around the clock according to a mission that has been pre-programmed. They utilize onboard cameras with live streaming capability and air quality sensors to detect fire hazards. When the drone detects a possible fire, the GPS coordinates are sent in the form of a link to the dispatch service desk. Drone Patrol signs the data with its public key to keep tracking and compliance easy and efficient. The data is sent to a distributed file system where an evidence base is formed. The next step is integrating machine learning in order to accurately determine the locations of fires and the development of routes and times of regular Drone Patrol flights.

Drone Patrol has already been tested with success in the city of Tolyatti in cooperation with the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations. One of the preliminary conclusions of the Tolyatti’s tests was that the response time has reduced from 1 hour to 15 minutes with Drone Patrol compared to existing monitoring system utilizing foot and automotive patrols. Thus, Drone Patrol will help to modernize the existing system of fighting forest fires, increasing its effectiveness.

The flexibility of sensors that are available allows for different kinds of data collection. For example, high definition cameras can identify cracks and other physical damage while our thermal cameras can look for overheating cases. Using Drone Employee-powered drones helps to optimize inspection and cleaning processes and leads to dwindling maintenance costs.

Read more about Drone Employee solutions on our website!