The Radio Systems group of the atlanTTic center of the University of Vigo will apply radio and radar communication technologies to reduce the potential impact of fires, by (1) early detection of them, and (2) with the improvement of communications between the extinguishing team.

The project involves partners from Galicia and Portugal. The partners are the followingAmtega (Axencia para a Modernización Tecnolóxica), Dirección Xeral de Calidade Ambiental e Cambio Climático (Metogalicia), IPMA (Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera), Retegal and the University of Vigo. UVigo will be the coordinator of this technological project.

The impact of fires is undoubtedly in our region as in Portugal. The existing problem, which refers to global warming and other identified factors, requires new perspectives that help reduce this impact. The project has two very clear objectives:

  1. Reduction of detection time (early detection): Both the research center, as well as the IPMA and Meteogalicia have a lot of experience in the use of weather radars to detect various phenomena. The challenge is to apply this knowledge to the phenomena that occur in the atmosphere in the first moments of a fire. The ability of this radar network to measure atmospheric refraction changes, with high temporal and spatial resolution, will be used in this project to develop algorithms for the early detection of forest fires at any time of the day, especially in remote or sparsely populated areas.
  2. An efficient and coordinated action of fire departments requires reliable communication systems. Commercial communication systems do not provide the necessary capacity or coverage in large forest areas. Communication systems based on the TETRA (Trans European Trunked Radio) digital radio, which will be developed in this project, can guarantee communications and coordination between fire fighting team.

The initial meetings between the partners have already started in October 2017 with the presentation of the project in Brussels. The first results and field deployments are planned for 2019.

Undoubtedly, the project represents the will of the different administrations in cooperation in the forestry protection, in this case, through innovation and technology transfer.