Last updated on: March 2, 2021 at 7:50 am
In an effort to better protect our beloved bushland against fires, RAA has recently embarked on a collaboration with the State Government and private enterprise to trial innovative drone technology.
The technology is among the first in its kind in Australia, and was trialled successfully on a drone dubbed ‘Firefly’ on February 22, bringing hope for its future use statewide.
The specially designed sensor stack (attached to the drone) is able to capture and detect vegetation density and moisture levels on bushland.
The aim? To discover which areas of bushland may be at risk of damaging fires in future.
George Freney, founding partner of SA technology information firm 11point2, says if given to firefighters and local governments, the data could aid in bushfire management.
It’s particularly useful in regional areas hard to reach by foot.
“Among Firefly’s functions is to identify more frequently high-risk areas due to foliage density and moisture levels in regions otherwise hard to access,” he says.
After bushfires ravaged the state, and country, in 2019-20, the project has been welcomed with open arms.
South Australian Fire and Emergency Services Commission Chief Executive Dom Lane says they look forward to the potential benefits to the public that these emerging technologies could bring.
“As we look to increase our community’s resilience, this project is an opportunity to collaborate with local industry and use innovative ways to capture data, while sharing results of the test with the Emergency Services and community,” he says.
The initiative is just one of a number of innovation projects in the works at RAA, with emerging technologies a major consideration in our aim to keep our members, and South Australia, moving.
“Partnering with key stakeholders in exploring the potential of technology innovation like this is a key part of RAA’s role in being future focussed for the benefit of it’s members and the community as a whole,” RAA Managing Director Ian Stone says.
“Our innovation team is very keen to explore, with our partners, the extent to which this drone data collection system can potentially aid the prevention of bushfires.”