Thermal Imaging Cameras Extinguish Fire SeasonMarch 04, 2016
This year alone, a record 25,000 wildfires have erupted throughout the US. Of them, a whopping 2,500 took place in California mostly due to the state’s notorious heat, strong winds, and low humidity. Over 18,000 acres of land fell victim to what many are calling the most damaging fire season to date.
While many of the nation’s fire departments are investing in solutions to stop the fire in its tracks, thermal imaging companies like Opgal, through its Vumii brand of thermal imaging cameras, is innovating solutions that prevent the fires from starting in the first place.
Thermal imaging cameras have the capability of detecting fire by rendering infrared radiation as visible light. The cameras are embedded with fire detection and fire risk software whose precise, accurate algorithms can detect both existing fires as well as unborn fires from up to a three mile (6 km) distance. They can literally see heat, making them the ideal preventative measure against pending forest fires.
Opgal’s Vumii brand line offer two types of algorithms; active fire detection and risk of fire detection. The fire detection algorithm is able to detect an almost unlimited amount of fire sources while comprehensively overlooking any hot spots that could trigger a false alarm.
Depending on the application, a wild fire can be detected anywhere from two to ten seconds and communication can be relayed via visual, serial, or IP communication.
The High Risk of Fire algorithm (hot-spot detection) has the capability of surveying a particular area and identifying pixels that have exceeded a temperature limit whose settings are defined by the user. Since thermal imaging can see heat levels, the algorithm is able highlight an area that exceeds the setting’s threshold of heat using a red pixel.
In other words, if a thermal imaging camera is set to watch over the Angeles National forest, it can notice and alert fire responders any time a tree, leaf, or shrub in its visual range exceeds a certain temperature.
Instead of waiting until a wild fire engulfs acres of forestry, now fire responders can respond and neutralize smoldering wood even before it develops into a full blown fire.
The Department of Forestry and Department of Interior issued quarterly reports which reveal that the federal agencies can expect to spend $470 million more in assistance with fighting wildfires this year. Hopefully, they will realize that thermal imaging cameras and their sophisticated fire preventing algorithms can save both the heavy burden on taxpayers, as well as our ecosystem.
Fire Detection Fire Season Thermal Imaging
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