FireWatch in Germany
The core technology was created by the German Aerospace Institute (DLR)
FireWatch is the result of collaboration with the German Aerospace Institute (DLR), resulting in our induction into the Space Technology Hall of Fame
The FireWatch early bushfire detection system uses core technology developed by the German Aerospace Institute (DLR) for the NASA Mars Pathfinder Mission. The European Space Agency had the responsibility of building the technology to survey the surface of Mars prior to the Pathfinder vehicle landing on the Red Planet, and it is this patented scanning technology that IQ FireWatch evolved into the FireWatch Bushfire Detection system.
After over 6 years of success in Germany, FireWatch Australia introduced the technology in Australia in 2010. The system was trialled in the Otway Ranges in Victoria and a series of controlled tests in Tumut in New South Wales as part of a trial of early detection technology funded by the Federal Government.
The 2010 trials whilst suboptimal in a number of ways, showed the potential of the technology and since this time, FireWatch has been significantly improved and perfected with substantial continuous investment. The systems trialled in 2010 were Generation 2 systems. Today we are rolling out Generation 7 systems around the world.
National Coordinator Forest Fire Surveillance in Germany
During the 2010 trial, the German National Co-ordinator of Forest Fire Surveillance visited Australia (22 February – 10 March) to share Germany’s experience of the bushfire early warning detection system.
The German National Co-ordinator of Forest Fire Surveillance is a member and official advisor in disaster management to the State Government of Brandenburg and is the Head of the FireWatch Operations Centre in Wunsdorf.
Germany has been operating a network of FireWatch sensors for the past 20 years and has reduced the area of forest burned by over 70-90% per annum. The German National Co-ordinator of Forest Fire Surveillance is responsible for establishing and operating this network of FireWatch sensors including 178 towers and 22 Control Rooms.
The following presentation describes Germany’s experience of implementing the FireWatch technology.
Fire Operations Report, Germany:
The Vulnerability of Forests of Brandenburg – A concentrated wildfire risk on a massive scale
Brandenburg is among the areas with the highest wildfire risk in Europe, comparable to the volatile Mediterranean region.
The reasons are as follows:
- Monoculture Pine Forest (77%)
- Fire burns rapidly on the dry and sandy soil, fed by liquid pitch, pine needles and forest litter on the ground that does not decompose
- The battlegrounds of the final phase of World War II, and are still contaminated by hundreds of thousands of tons of unexploded artillery grenades and bombs
- Former military training areas of the Russian army
- High population densities with 230 people/ km² in Germany (compared to USA 32 people/ km², Canada 3 people/ km²)
Since 2001, more than 100 IQ FireWatch sensors have been successfully protecting the national forests of Brandenburg, saving lives and property.
Visit IQ FireWatch … and the German FireWatch website, to learn more about FireWatch operations in Germany, other European countries and global locations.
Contact FireWatch Australia
We are passionate about introducing this technology to Australia.
We are here to answer your questions and enquiries regarding the FireWatch product.
News & Resources
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