Chattanooga Regional Science and Engineering Fair Winner:
NASA Earth System Science Award
(Mary Loveless, project mentor)
The time between the start and reporting of a forest fire is critical. A quick response, especially under certain weather conditions, can determine the intensity and spread of the fire. Reducing the response time is particularly important in urban forests, which tend to be near cities and homes. Satellites and drones have been used to monitor for this activity, but these methods can be costly and low resolution. This work demonstrates a low-cost wireless sensor network, configured in a tree-based topology, with sensors tailored to identify nearby fires. Infrared, CO2, temperature, and humidity sensors were configured with an Arduino microcontroller. A wireless network was created using Digi XBee Pro S1 wireless modules (60 mW) to transfer sensor date from the Arduino to other nodes in the network. Enclosed in a custom housing structure, each node is affordably priced under $50. Future directions include finalizing sensor calibration and remote testing of the multiple nodes.