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Using Solar-Powered AI Sensors to Detect Wildfires Earlier


Look at this: Electronic nose “smells” forest fires for ultra-early detection

If a tree catches fire in the forest and no one notices, how can first responders prevent the situation from spiraling out of control?

That’s where Dryad Networks’ AI-powered wildfire detection system comes in. It uses solar-powered sensors to detect gas changes in the air. When the sensors are distributed throughout the forest, the system can detect fires more quickly, even during the initial smoldering phase.


Dryad Networks’ solar-powered gas sensors are placed in trees, about three meters above the ground. They can monitor an area the size of a football field.

Networks of Dryads

Once the system detects a fire, the company uses its own communications network to send a signal to firefighters telling them the location of the threat.

Dryad leverages machine learning to help reduce the risk of false positives, using an AI system trained on data acquired through the controlled burning of various forest materials.

ai training

Burning forest materials to train Dryad Networks AI wildfire detection system.

Networks of Dryads

Each sensor can monitor an area the size of a football field. To be effective, the company must therefore manufacture and deploy a large number of them.

The sensors are designed to be waterproof and store their energy in capacitors, rather than lithium-ion batteries which themselves pose a risk of catching fire.

The sensors have already been deployed in parts of Europe and North America, and Dryad is currently focused on scaling up its operations.

To see this solar-powered fire detection array in action, watch the video in this article.


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