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An international technological solution to prevent and act in large wildfires

The current wildfires are different from those of ten decades ago. Nowadays, they are much more aggressive and tend to affect urbanized areas, thereby putting people’s lives at risk. In this context, the University of Salamanca participates in the international project ‘DRYADS: A Holistic Fire Management Ecosystem for Prevention, Detection and Restoration of Environmental Disasters’ which, with funding of 23 million euros, will address the greatest challenges currently present in the field of large forest fires with the development of a technological solution that allows actions for their prevention and action in them.

The University of Salamanca is part of the international research consortium, made up of 47 members from 26 different countries, through their research groups TIDOP (Information Technologies for the Intelligent Digitization of Objects and Processes), based at the Polytechnic School of Ávila and directed by the professor of the Department of Cartographic and Terrain Engineering of the University of Salamanca Diego González Aguilera, and SINUMCC (Research Group in Numerical Simulation and Scientific Calculation), located in the Faculty of Sciences of Salamanca and directed by the professor of the Department of Applied Mathematics Mª Isabel Asensio Sevilla.

For this, USAL research groups will use computer vision, mathematics, statistics and artificial intelligence techniques that will allow them to advance in descriptive, predictive and prescriptive models of forest fires.

To face this challenge, TIDOP and SINUMCC have obtained € 700,000 funding from the Horizon 2020 call dedicated to the European Green Deal ‘Green Deal’, which aims to mobilize research and innovation to respond to the climate crisis and help protect European ecosystems and biodiversity.

Thus, the aid will allow them to develop within the framework of ‘DRYADS’ their innovative proposal for the implementation, maintenance and operation of a fire prevention system (FPS-Fire Prevention Risk) through real-time monitoring of fuel, atmosphere and soil through a web information system.

The idea behind the system proposed by USAL scientists is to provide a better estimate and description of topography, vegetation, fuel models, and meteorological information, among others. To this end, the Tiétar Valley in Ávila will become one of the work epicenters of the project and will be a model and object of analysis and study with the most disruptive technologies that can be applied today in all phases of a forest fire.

forest fire. The development of this FPS constitutes an important challenge for TIDOP and SINUMCC since they will need to process multiscale and multimodal information in intelligent forest models that integrate three-dimensional data, fuel models, soil models, and / or vegetation, among many others. In this way, the free data provided by the European Space Agency will be combined with other observations such as hyperspectral sensors and LiDAR, in addition to historical data on forest fires, which will improve the decision-making process in the event of a possible forest fire.

Three-dimensional model of a forest scene

New published on 07/14/2021