FireWatch Australia

FireWatch in Germany

The FireWatch bushfire detection system is based upon technology developed by the German Aerospace Institute (DLR) as part of the NASA Mars Pathfinder Mission. The European Space Agency had the responsibility of surveying the surface of Mars prior to the Pathfinder vehicle landing on the Red Planet, and it is this patented scanning technology that innovative German company IQ Wireless developed into FireWatch.

With the system being a proven success in Germany over the past eight years, FireWatch Australia has introduced the system in Australia, with the product being trialled in the Otway Ranges in Victoria and a series of controlled tests taking part in Tumut in New South Wales as part of a trial of early detection technology funded by the Federal Government.

During this trial, Mr Raimond Engel, who is the National Coordinator, Forest Fire Surveillance in Germany, visited Australia from 22nd February to 10th March to share Germany’s experience of the bushfire early warning detection system.

Mr Engel is also a member and official advisor of disaster management to the State Government of Brandenburg and is Head of the Fire Watch OP Centre in Wunsdorf.

Germany has been operating a network of FireWatch sensors for the past eight years and has reduced the area of forest burned by over 80-90%.  Mr. Engel is responsible for establishing and operating this network including 178 towers and 22 Control Rooms.

Over the course of his visit, he presented information about the German experience of the FireWatch system in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra.

Download: Forest fire detection and monitoring system, FireWatch Germany, Raimund Engel, Chief Forest officer (4.6Mb)

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