- freely available
Sensors 2007, 7(12), 3084-3099; doi:10.3390/s7123084
1.1 Related Works
2. Animals as Mobile Biological Sensors
2.1. Appropriate animals and sensors for certain kind of forest' fires
2.2. Proposed System Infrastructure
- Communication channels: To build a wireless network in a forest for fire detection, two methods can be considered. One of them is a Satellite based system: Using a satellite is fairly complex and requires the satellite to focus on a certain area. In spite of the high cost this system, it has some advantage and can be used for other detection methods such as image processing, that is, TD and ABC simultaneously. When a satellite connection is unavailable or problematic (for example because some points are invisible to the satellite, especially floors in closed forests, and there may be many such blind spots in a forest), the alternative is the use of Access points. These are used to collect thermal and movement data from sensors attached to animals (MBS), which are then sent to the central computer. GSM base stations, high voltage poles, tall, massive trees, forest watchtowers, and poles particularly designed for forest use are possible access points. Frequency of access points depends on forest and territory specification, and type of sensors used in the system. If sensors enable long distance transmission facilities, access points can be set at 3-4 km intervals.
- A central classifier. This device is used to classify data received from MBS via the access points, and is assisted by a decision support system. This center continuously receives data from access points and stores them in a database. Because there may be thousands of MBS in large forests, computers located in this centre must be large enough to deal with multiple transactions concurrently.
- MBSs, which are the most important parts of the system as mentioned before, can vary in accordance with method to be used in the system. The essential activity of MBSs is to send changes in temperature or radiation level, and current location of animals to the access points.
- Trustworthy, robust and highly sensitive sensors must be combined with suitable animals to enhance system reliability and sustainability.
2.3. Fire Detection Methods in Proposed System
2.3.1 TD - Measuring the instant changes in temperature
|Animals||: 3 Loria Forest snakes, 2 Egyptian tortoises|
|Sensors||: 5 SR-TP11-25 (Temperature and Pressure sensor produced by Lotek Corp)|
|Area||: 1 acre|
2.3.2 ABC - Classifying MBS actions
Problems and Disadvantages
- It is neither easy to capture suitable animals from the environment nor equip them with sensors.
- Animals can be specially trained for this purpose, and while it may seem that using specially trained animals may infringe upon their freedom, in fact the lives of many animals may be saved by forest fire prevention. This needs to be made clear to society.
- There is a possibility of lack of appropriate animals for special forests.
- The use of batteries poses several problems. Firstly, those used in sensors may cause environmental pollution, introducing extra radiation and cadmium to the forest and animals. Moreover, each battery needs to be changed periodically, but capturing the MBS to do this is not easy. Furthermore, if the batteries operate incorrectly, the wrong data would be sent.
- In the thermal detection method, determining constraints such as usual climate conditions, daily temp differences, seasonal normal temp values, etc. are problematic.
- Determining the constraints using the panic detection method is more difficult than in the thermal detection method, since the selection of animals is very important. Data must be collected on animals' feeding, mating and other habits. In addition, classification of behaviour can only be made for the same type of animals, so exclusive groups of the same animal have to be used for panic detection.
- Proposed methods are very convenient and can easily and usefully be adapted to current forest fire detection systems.
- Using animals as Mobile Biological Sensors enables a more dynamic and wider detection as compared to fixed sensors.
- The fewer sensors needed means a significant reduction in cost when compared to fixed sensors.
- Since animals can go where human can not, previously unreachable areas can now be controlled by MBSs.
- Applying these systems will reveal more knowledge about different species of animals and their behavior.
- The methods proposed can be adapted animal tracking systems currently in use, thus, lowering cost.
- Classification of animals' individual and group behavior can be used for other purposes, in particular, the system may be use to detect poaching, and monitor comprehensive animal deaths.
- If the access points are constructed as watchtowers in apertures of forest, these can be combined with rainwater collection pools, which can be made available as water supplier to helicopters involved in fire extinguishing.
4. Conclusion and Future Works
- A number of investigations can be made regarding animal behavior in case of fire to improve system reliability.
- A reorganization of classification algorithms to be used for animals' panic detection, could be developed for classification of MBSs.
- New sensors can be produced or existing sensors can be improved to increase robustness of the proposed system.
- New wireless technologies and new satellite tracking systems can be adapted to increase the efficiency of the system.
- Some studies on fire extinguishing such as using CO2 bombs at the access points for fire spread prevention, can be made.
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|Model||Sensor Type||Physical Specifications||Estimated Life (days)|
|Size in mm (dia × length)||Air weight g.||Water weight g.||2s between bursts||5s between bursts|
|Sensors for use with SRX 400A / SRX 600 radio receiver family:|
|SR-M11-12||Motion||11 × 41||7.7||4.3||59||137|
|SR-TP11-18||Temp & Pressure||11 × 51||9.0||4.4||142||348|
|SR-TP11-25||Temp & Pressure||11 × 58||10||5.0||203||497|
|SR-PM11-25||Pressure & Motion||11 × 58||11||5.2||203||497|
|SR-PM16-25||Pressure & Motion||16 × 53||18||12||487||3 yr.|
|Sensors for use with MAP 600 MP, RT, SDL acoustic receiver family:|
|MA-M11-12||Motion||11 × 42||7.9||4.0||12||29|
|MA-TP11-18||Temp & Pressure||11 × 54||9.1||4.7||29||72|
|MA-TP11-25||Temp & Pressure||11 × 61||10||5.6||41||103|
|MA-PM11-25||Pressure & Motion||11 × 61||11||5.8||41||102|
|MA-PM16-50||Pressure & Motion||16 × 81||32||17||137||340|
|Sensors that work with both radio and acoustic receivers:|
|CH-M11-12||Motion||11 × 49||9.0||4.7||19||47|
|CH-TP11-18||Temp & Pressure||11 × 58||11||5.3||48||120|
|CH-TP11-25||Temp & Pressure||11 × 65||12||5.9||69||171|
|CH-PM11-25||Pressure & Motion||11 × 70||13||6.1||69||169|
|CH-PM16-50||Pressure & Motion||16 × 83||38||21||243||597|
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