Industrial fires and wildfires are a risk within the Channel area given that it has a population of around 27.5 million and a large industrial sector, where dangerous substances may be used or stored in large quantities.
In total, there are 289 industrial sites in France and 150 industrial sites in the UK which are part of the Channel region and have been identified as potentially dangerous for the population and environment in case of a major accident. This is due to the use of dangerous chemicals, which is unavoidable and vital in a modern industrialised society.
In particular large-scale fires involving these dangerous chemicals pose a significant threat to humans and the environment and results in huge economic costs. The smoke generated by these fires exists of particles named black carbon or soot. Their precise and rapid monitoring is crucial for saving health and lives. However, there is currently no tool available that is sufficiently responsive, safe and inexpensive to be routinely used during fire response operations.
In this context, the FIREDRONE project will increase the safety, speed and accuracy of firefighters’ response to industrial fires and wildfires by developing a compact airborne robotic system for live monitoring dangerous emissions in smoke, as well as by designing its operational procedures and providing demonstrations to fire emergency services.
The system will be developed in close cooperation with experts in drone operations and end-users, such as fire brigades and training centres. Two adaptations of the system will be implemented, one for application on a quadcopter-type drone and one for application on a fixed-wing drone.
The devices will analyse particles in fire smoke 90% faster and 80% cheaper than current equivalent solutions while providing more accurate data. The project will publish its results widely and ensure they are accessible to enable other regions to benefit.