A firewall of sensors (Ref: TTT 2692)
Network, test monitoring support equipment
No one needs to be told about the be easy to deploy," Mikael Gulliksson explains,
devastation that forest fires can cause. "They should cover large forest areas, should
Images of towering pillars of flame rapidly have lengthy life spans, and be maintenance free.
marching their way through millions of They should not contain any material or chemical
acres of trees are all too frequent. The components harmful to animal or wildlife."
rapidity and intensity with which they can
spread can make even the most advanced
fire-fighting technologies seem critically Smoke through the Trees
inefficient. Recent fires in Portugal and
It is not surprising that with such requirements,
Greece are a raging example of the
fundamental weaknesses of current fire the pursuit of the ideal ground based sensor has
suppression methods. taken the efforts of two European research and
development companies infused by the energies
of their respective Innovation Relay Centres
A Blazing Concern
It is commonly agreed that prevention is better Marco Brini, CEO of MINTEOS, Italy, describes
than cure, and in the case of fire fighting, this the development as an "in situ monitoring
maxim holds a particular, glowing wisdom. "It is," [system] based on a cheap and highly reliable
says Mikael Gulliksson, CEO of Sensible Solutions network sensor deployed in the forest. The
Sweden AB, "commonly accepted that forest fire network is able to sense where no satellite can
prevention and its detection at the earliest monitor, providing 24 hours per day reliable
possible stages are among the most critical control at low maintenance effort.
exercises in fire prevention and suppression."
A number of early-detection systems are
available, but at the moment most are troubled by
certain drawbacks in the nature of their
manufacture or because of environmental factors
present at the time when they are needed most.
"Traditional imaging systems often lack necessary
resolution and sensitivity, processing algorithms
may require very high resolution images and
often need quite significant processing time,
making ‘real-time’ fire detection impossible."
Mikael Gulliksson says, adding that "Serious
complications for the data processing are also
caused by the thick clouds, covering the region in
Ground based sensors are likewise limited. To be
a truly dependable sensor, such technologies
Sensor and radio test of a low cost forest fire sensor by
should comply with several criteria. "They should Sensible Solutions.
Success Story Page 1 of 3
The wireless sensor network provides the
backbone of the solution for collecting data from In a similar manner, Mikael Gulliksson found the
the sentries (where Action Activated Tags are services of the IRC to be "informal and effective,"
used) and forwarding them to the central server stating that their potential as a "network for
where GIS software elaborates the information, potential business contacts" was one of the most
providing monitoring statistics and immediate valuable services provided by the IRC.
alarm in case of wildfire."
"MINTEOS," says Marianna Mucci "is a young
The fusion between the wireless sensor of innovative company open to international
Sensible Solutions and the information and collaboration and very interested in the
communication architecture of MINTEOS has its opportunities offered by the IRC network.
beginnings as early as 2005 with an expression of MINTEOS’ CEO, Mr Marco Brini, expressed his
interest concerning a Technology Offer found on appreciation for the IRC services and found them
the IRC's bulletin board system. very useful for his company."
In May 2006, negotiations between the two
As a client of IRC ALPS, Marco Brini has made
companies began, with IRC Northern Sweden
consistent use of their services, explaining that the
acting as a trusted discussion partner and IRC
driving force behind contacting the IRCs was that
ALPS providing support to MINTEOS. Within the
"We operate in innovation technology. That’s a
space of four months, an agreement between the
business you can’t approach locally, so
two had been reached and signed. Marianna
monitoring constantly what’s on the market
Mucci from IRC ALPS says of the agreement: "It’s
globally, is a must."
a close technical collaboration for the realisation
and implementation of an innovative system for
And who better to approach than the IRCs with forest fire detection with the use of Sensible
their European wide service and systems such as Solutions’ knowledge about sensors and
their Automatic Matching Tool? It is through using MINTEOS' knowledge about communication
the Automatic Matching Tool that MINTEOS networks."
eventually found the Technology Offer of
Sensible Solutions Sweden.
Börje Vestin of IRC Northern Sweden, who first
started working with Sensible Solutions in January
2005, says it is the IRC’s aim "To assist them in
business and advising services and also to include
ways of finding markets and partners for their
From left to right: Ph.D. Mihai Lazarescu,Marco Brini CEO and Eng.
Umberto Zollo (MINTEOS)
From Diaper Detection to Fire Fighter
The Burning Future
The AAT generated considerable interest,
especially from southern European nations where While the partnership between MINTEOS and
annual forest fires are significantly higher. Sensible Solutions remains in the development
Originally designed as a detection system for phase - the agreement is, for Sensible Solutions -
incontinence diapers, the tags have been adapted "The first opportunity to get an income out of their
for use in fire fighting. development of the sensor for early forest fire
Success Story Page 2 of 3
detection," says Börje Vestin of IRC Northern IRC contacts:
Given the fact that the technology arising from
Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato e
this combined IRC assisted union, according to Agricoltura di Torino
Marco Brini produces "a zero false alarm result: Via San Francesco da Paola 24
FN (False Negative) and FP (False Positive) are I - 10123 Torino
totally eliminated," and that the technology can Tel. +39 011 5716 322
Fax +39 011 5716 324
be produced at extremely low costs, it can only
be expected that it will cause a sizzling sensation www.to.camcom.it/alps_irc
when it reaches market.
Innovation Relay Centre
Tel: +46 612 13907
Fax: +46 612 14930
Mobile: +46 70 5648148
Via Pier Carlo Boggio 61
10138 - Torino
Tel. +39 (0)11 5645124
Fax. +39 (0)11 5645126 - +39 (0)2 700505755
Mobile: +39 393 9738406
Sensible Solutions Sweden AB
Akroken Science Park
851 70 Sundsvall
Visitors: Storgatan 90
+4670 514 5275
Success Story Page 3 of 3