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"Eye in the Sky" project highlighted as forestry innovation in Portugal

by IT on 21-03-2024
Project Eye in the Sky International Forest Day Wireless Technologies Network Applications and Services Integrated circuits

In 2024, United Nations dedicated International Forest Day (today, March 21) to “Forests and Innovation: New Solutions for a Better World”. They highlight two aspects of forestry innovation: biomaterials, appealing to the powerful solutions in the “chemistry of trees”, and the technologies that bring these and other solutions to our lives.

In this scope, platform has chosen six projects that illustrate a variety of solutions, being studied, developed, or tested, that benefit from the involvement of universities, research centers, technological labs, and corporations in Portugal. Among these is “Eye in the Sky” project, which uses high-altitude balloons for decision support in rural firefighting operations.

“Eye in the Sky” has developed and improved an unmanned high-altitude balloon, designed to detect, and monitor rural fires in real-time. The balloon is similar to a mini-satellite in terms of altitude and coverage of the observed area, which allows it to monitor large perimeters – helping to know the area and direction of the fire. It is launched only when necessary and is low-cost. In addition to these advantages, it is another way of ensuring that information reaches those who manage and carry out operations in the field, functioning as a signal repetition antenna complementary to other communication networks. Designed as a forestry and rural innovation for fire monitoring, the solution can be adapted to other types of territorial monitoring, including surveillance and border security.

“Eye in the Sky” project, presented in December 2023, was developed by a consortium that involved Instituto de Telecomunicações, Centre for Studies on Forest Fires, the Association for the Development of Industrial Aerodynamics (ADAI) of the University of Coimbra, and the Institute of Mechanical Engineering (idMEC) at Instituto Superior Técnico.

The Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) funded the project through the competition “Projects for Scientific Research and Technological Development within the scope of Forest Fire Prevention and Combat – 2018”.


Video credits: Eye in the Sky

Photo credits: Eye in the Sky

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