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‘Electronic nose’ – New invention could help forest fires ‘ultra-early’ warning
‘Electronic nose’ – New invention could help forest fires ‘ultra-early’ warning

Dryad, a startup in Germany has successfully built the device aims to reduce the detection time of wildfires and catch them at the smoldering phase – when there is not yet an open flame – usually within the first 60 minutes. To do so, the company has designed a solar-powered sensor fitted with a gas detector. “It can detect hydrogen, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds – it can basically smell the fire,” says Brinkschulte. “Think of it like an electronic nose that you attach to a tree.”

Once the sensor detects a fire, it sends out a signal over a wireless network using a built-in antenna. The signal is then relayed to more complex devices and transmitted to the internet by satellite and 4G. Finally, the information is sent to the forest managers.

“We also send out an alert and we can interface directly with the local fire brigade’s IT systems. What you get is an alarm with the exact GPS coordinates of the sensor that picked up the fire,” says Brinkschulte. […]