conscientious koala

Let's get an open-source sensor toolkit that can be used by communities to detect forest fires as early as possible!

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An easy-to-build, low-cost, open-source sensor toolkit - with multiple configurations - that can be deployed by communities to detect forest fires as early as possible. Large numbers of devices networked using LoRaWAN protocol can be deployed throughout forests.


Due to climate change, forest fires are becoming increasing frequent, and sadly this frequency will continue to increase. What can communities that live in forested areas do to address this threat? Well, one thing we can do is help them detect fires as soon as possible! Resources can then be mobilised to prevent spread of fires at the earliest stage possible.

This will be my entry for the "Climate Resilient Communities" challenge!

How can we detect forest fires?

We've got several signs we can look out for:

  1. CO2 level above baseline
  2. Particulates above baseline
  3. NOx above baseline
  4. Audio of fire noises 
  5. Imaging of small smoke plumes

We can also look at soil temperature, air temperature, and possibly tree sap leakage.

Top priorities 

  1. Open-source hardware plans and software
  2. Low-cost sensor platforms i.e. it is not much use to communities in global south if sensor platforms cost $200 each to build!
  3. Multiple configuration profiles e.g. such and such sensor may not be available due to supply chain issues, what can we use instead!? E.g. we don't have a 3d printer, let's make our enclosure from found materials instead!

 conscientious koala

I've named this project as such out of respect for the thousands of koalas that were negatively affected by the 2020 fires in Australia! 

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  1. Sensors to consider
  2. Communication ideas

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