Mexican scientists create forest fire detectors

Scientists from ITESM's School of Engineering have developed a new wireless system of sensors

Mexican scientists create eco-friendly forest fire detectors
"With this remote monitoring, the data will be collected on a database and, upon measuring certain events, it will be able to communicate if something is happening," the researcher explained - Photo: Jonathan Hayward/AP
English 22/08/2018 18:09 Notimex Mexico City Actualizada 18:09
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Scientists from the Telecommunications Research Group at the School of Engineering of the Technological Institute of Superior Studies of Monterrey (ITESM) have developed a new system of sensors that can be used in open environments and remote places, such as forests, to detect forest fires without the use of batteries.

Thanks to this device, equipped with a routing protocol for wireless sensor networks, doctors César Vargas, Mahdi Zareei, and Leyre Azpilicueta recently obtained one of the Newton Funds for mobility by the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) and the Royal Society, the oldest scientific society institution in the United Kingdom.

César Vargas, leader of the Telecommunications Research Group, explained that the protocol consists of deploying the sensors in a forest to allow for different variables such as temperature and humidity to be monitored.

"With this remote monitoring, the data will be collected on a database and, upon measuring certain events, it will be able to communicate if something is happening, instead of waiting until the fire is seen at night," the researcher explained.

"We have previously worked on applying sensors for the monitoring of the human body and to locate other devices, but now we will be applying this technology in remote environments and open areas of difficult access for the human being," he said.

However, it is important to know how to use the energy of the sensors in the most efficient way. The scientists proposed to use environment-friendly sensors that use solar energy.

"Wireless sensor networks (WSN) have traditionally been approached with the assumption of battery-powered sensors, so minimizing energy consumption was the main objective of this project, and now, the ability to extract energy from the environment has allowed us to design a self-sustaining system," explained Mahdi Zareei, a postdoctoral researcher at the Research Group.

He explained that the current wireless systems pose design challenges due to the unstable amount of energy that can be extracted from the environment. In view of this, this project proposes a new protocol that uses the adaptive transmission power to maintain constant connectivity and distribute the traffic load in the network.

"The simulation results we have performed indicate that this new protocol keeps the network connected most of the time by using efficient power management, as each node dynamically adjusts its transmission power to maximize end-to-end performance of the network "he said.


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