Sensor based measurements of fuel and soil moisture as well as microclimate, provides broadscale assessment of bushfire and wildfire risk and potential behaviour, as well as informing forest managers of optimal times to conduct hazard reduction burning. Connecting the sensors used for these measurements via CATM1/NB-IoT or LoRaWAN allows for near real-time communication of the data for decision making on mitigation strategies and hazard reduction burns.
New South Wales, Australia
The ICT International LoRaWAN supported Fire Hazard & Environmental Monitoring Stations consist of sensors to measure 10 hour fuel moisture, soil moisture, air temperature and rainfall. Supported by the MFR-NODE-L1 with LoRaWAN communications, the sensors configuration included:
The system can optionally be expanded to support the measurement of humidity, vapour pressure deficit (VPD) and solar radiation.
A series of LoRaWAN gateways have been installed by Meshed (utilising the MeshedX Private Network with SLAs on uptime and performance). The network currently provides approximately 2,500km2 LoRaWAN network coverage to the expansive pilot area, incorporating North Coast, Hunter & Central West Regions of NSW.
Using the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) LoRaWAN network, the ICT International Fire Hazard & Environmental Monitoring Stations report real-time data reports to the Meshed visualisation dashboard. The dashboard (below in Example Dashboard) enables users to assess more accurately the weather and ground conditions that are critical for prescribed burn planning, fire hazard rating and bushfire behaviour prediction.
The project is currently ongoing and will assess the accuracy of remotely collected fuel moisture readings against long term fuel monitoring plots which use manual reading. Moving to remote fuel moisture readings will allow for better utilisation of resources (personnel and equipment) a more responsive approach in the undertaking of hazard reduction burns.
ICT International monitoring systems provide accurate, real time, fuel, soil, and weather data for the management and timing of prescription hazard reduction burns. Under the NSW Government Bushfire Technology Pilots Program (BTPP), the LoRaWAN Network Provider Meshed, in partnership with the Department of Planning and Environment and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), have deployed a network of ICT International Fire Hazard & Environmental Monitoring Stations to remotely assess the environmental conditions for fuel reduction burning and fire hazard.
The Meshed Visualisation dashboard enables the users to assess the conditions that are critical for planning of prescribed burns, forming the fire hazard rating, and bushfire behaviour prediction.