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Thermal-Drones as a Safe and Reliable Method for Detecting Subterranean Peat Fires

Burke, C, Wich, SA, Kusin, K, McAree, O, Harrison, M, Ripoll, B, Ermiasi, Y, Mulero-Pázmány, M and Longmore, SN (2019) Thermal-Drones as a Safe and Reliable Method for Detecting Subterranean Peat Fires. Drones, 3 (1). ISSN 2504-446X

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Abstract

Underground peat fires are a major hazard to health and livelihoods in Indonesia, and are a major contributor to carbon emissions globally. Being subterranean, these fires can be difficult to detect and track, especially during periods of thick haze and in areas with limited accessibility. Thermal infrared detectors mounted on drones present a potential solution to detecting and managing underground fires, as they allow large areas to be surveyed quickly from above and can detect the heat transferred to the surface above a fire. We present a pilot study in which we show that underground peat fires can indeed be detected in this way. We also show that a simple temperature thresholding algorithm can be used to automatically detect them. We investigate how different thermal cameras and drone flying strategies may be used to reliably detect underground fires and survey fire-prone areas. We conclude that thermal equipped drones are potentially a very powerful tool for surveying for fires and firefighting. However, more investigation is still needed into their use in real-life fire detection and firefighting scenarios.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: astro-ecology; drones; peat fires; remote sensing; thermal infrared
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QB Astronomy
T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: MDPI
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2019 10:55
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2019 11:00
DOI or Identification number: 10.3390/drones3010023
Editors: Wang, E
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10221

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