Articles | Volume 10, issue 6
Research article
22 Jun 2017
Research article |  | 22 Jun 2017

Forest Fire Finder – DOAS application to long-range forest fire detection

Rui Valente de Almeida and Pedro Vieira

Abstract. Fires are an important factor in shaping Earth's ecosystems. Plant and animal life, in almost every land habitat, are at least partially dependent on the effects of fire. However, their destructive force, which has often proven uncontrollable, is one of our greatest concerns, effectively resulting in several policies in the most important industrialised regions of the globe.

This paper aims to comprehensively characterise the Forest Fire Finder (FFF), a forest fire detection system based mainly upon a spectroscopic technique called differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS). The system is designed and configured with the goal of detecting higher-than-the-horizon smoke columns by measuring and comparing scattered sunlight spectra. The article covers hardware and software, as well as their interactions and specific algorithms for day mode operation. An analysis of data retrieved from several installations deployed in the course of the last 5 years is also presented.

Finally, this paper features a discussion on the most prominent future improvements planned for the system, as well as its ramifications and adaptations, such as a thermal imaging system for short-range fire seeking or environmental quality control.

Short summary
This paper presents the Forest Fire Finder (FFF) System, a long range forest fire detection system. It works by detecting a smoke column above the horizon, by analysing the light that goes through it. In the article, you will find a technical description and an analysis of the behaviour of 13 of these devices, which were installed in a Portuguese national park. We conclude that the deployed FFF network managed to detect more that 200 fires, proving the system to be effective in fire detection.