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A geospatial platform for forest fires, the first in Europe

USAL participates in the European project ‘DRYADS’ of more than 22 million euros through its research groups TIDOP and SINUMCC whose expertise is key to the initiative.

The latest data from satellites of the European Union’s Earth Observation Program ‘Copernicus’ reveal that forest fires in Spain have already devastated almost twice the average area that had burned by mid-May between 2006 and 2021. Increasingly devastating and difficult to control, they are appearing in places where they were previously difficult to emerge. Prescribed burning and forest fires affect human health and destroy ecosystems due to the destruction of soil and vegetation and the polluting gases they emit.

In this context, the University of Salamanca participates in the European project “DRYADS. A Holistic Fire Management Ecosystem for Prevention, Detection and Restoration of Environmental Disasters”‘, consisting of the construction of a unique holistic ecosystem for fire management in the three phases of: prevention, detection and restoration. USAL is part of the international research consortium together with 47 companies and research centers from 14 different countries and will be responsible for leading the development of an unprecedented and highly valuable geospatial platform to provide solutions in the three phases mentioned above. soluciones en las tres fases mencionadas.

European Dryads project consortium

To this end, the research groups TIDOP (Information Technologies for the Intelligent Digitalization of Objects and Processes), led by the professor of the Department of Cartographic and Terrain Engineering Diego González Aguilera, and SINUMCC (Research Group in Numerical Simulation and Scientific Calculation), led by the professor of the Department of Applied Mathematics Mª Isabel Asensio Sevilla, have obtained an economic endowment of 700,000 € of the total of the DRYADS project.

The DRYADS platform developed by the University of Salamanca goes beyond being a complex advanced computational system based on Artificial Intelligence to help in the management of forest fires, as it will provide risk analysis functionalities, evacuation route planning, fire ignition detection, fire and smoke propagation simulation tools and forest restoration, among others.

Likewise, the geospatial platform will be fed with different types of images thanks to data from European Space Agency satellites and aerial drones, as well as from an unmanned zeppelin that will be located in the stratosphere and that will allow taking previously unpublished data.

Research groups of the University of Salamanca participating in the project

The TIDOP and SINUMCC groups, located in the Polytechnic School of Avila and in the Faculty of Sciences of the USAL, respectively, have been collaborating for a long time in the field of forest fires, so they have a wide experience. The contribution of the University in DRYADS is key in several important areas of the project. Among its challenges is to promote and develop this geospatial platform, the first of its kind in Europe, which will add value to the development of a global strategy for forest fire management.

The deployment of the DRYADS geospatial platform will be tested in 8 pilot cases in different countries, in order to develop an integrated plan to incorporate all the functional components developed within the project in a common operational framework. One of these 8 is located in Spain, more specifically in the Tiétar Valley (Ávila), making this area of the province one of the model areas and object of analysis and study with the most disruptive technologies.

Pilot cases on which the developed platform will be tested

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New published on 06/22/2022