NTForest creates sensors that can track forest fires in real time

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This Spanish firm has devised sensors that gather data about humidity and relative temperatures in order to predict the progress of forest fires in real time and help put them out.

NTForest, a company based in Valencia’s Parque Tecnológico de Paterna technology park on Spain’s eastern coast, has invented a system called Senticnel. This system improves detection and monitoring of forest fires while being more economical than others that use thermal cameras and remote surveillance.

In addition, Senticnel automatically connects its detection networks with Farsite, developed by the US Forest Service, which is one of the world’s most widely used fire growth simulation modeling systems.

Spain’s Information Technology Institute or ITI (Instituto Tecnológico de Informática), collects data from the system’s wireless sensors. This information is automatically introduced into a simulation using Farsite that models a fire’s expected path. The sensors gather meteorological data about wind, topography, relative humidity and CO2 levels among other information, all of which is sent in real time. This gives firefighters a predictive model of how the fire will progress.

The ITI is a division of REDIT, the Network of Technology Institutes in the Community of Valencia Red de Institutos Tecnológicos de la Comunidad Valenciana (REDIT).

Senticnel is initially aimed at owners of forest land possessing a high level of ecological value such as nature reserves, housing developments and tourist areas. It offers them a fire detection system that is continuous and almost instantaneous, available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Currently the company is collaborating with public entities to put in place a network on a broader scale, in areas that are not visible from ground surveillance observation posts. It has also made contact with the US Forest Service in order to study possible areas of collaboration with the Farsite program.