The Fire Drone

Detects fires at night


Why the Fire Drone?

Over the last ten years, there has been a yearly average of about 75,000 forest fires that burn 7.3 million acres of forests and cause 1.7 billion dollars in suppression costs each year. This presents a serious problem to the wildlife destroyed by these fires, the residents whose homes get destroyed in the fire, and the government, which has to pay for the suppression costs of the fires. Coming from California, where forest fires are frequent and severe, we both have witnessed first hand the devastation that these fires cause. We wanted to figure out a way to try to prevent these fires. Our target user is the U.S. government because it operates the national and state parks where many of these destructive fires occur. Our product provides the government a cost effective detection system that will allow it to stop potential fires or contain fires in their nascent stages. Thus, the fire drone can significantly lower the 1.7 billion dollar cost that these wildfires currently incur. We predict that the government would implement the Fire Drone in national parks located in drier, hotter areas, which are more prone to fostering forest fires. Ideally, the fire drone would be an autonomous drone that would fly around at night in a designated area in a forest and detect fires using infrared sensors. These fires could either be campfires in a no-campfire area or an actual forest fire. The drone would send a signal and location of the fire to the park ranger, whose actions would lead to the extinguishing of the campfire and a fine for the campers or the containment of the forest fire. Thus, a potential forest fire would be prevented or a forest fire would be contained before it becomes very large.

Technical Description

We have four components to our project: 2 LCD shields with attachments, an infrared emitter, and a AR Parrot 2.0 drone. On the first LCD shield is an arduino, a small breadboard, and a Xbee wireless transmitter. On the breadboard is the accelerometer that measures the acceleration of the drone while in flight. Also on the breadboard is an infrared sensor that detects infrared light. The red LED on the board only lights up when the infrared sensor detects infrared light that lies above a certain threshold. The Xbee wireless transmitter relays the acceleration of the drone while it is flying to the Xbee wireless receiver on a separate LCD shield. This LCD shield is attached to the drone. The second LCD shield contains the Xbee wireless receiver that receives the accelerometer data from the Xbee wireless transmitter that is attached to the drone. It also contains an LCD screen that displays the acceleration of the drone. Moreover, the shield contains a prototype controller for the drone. The buttons control the altitude, left, right, forward, and backward directions of the drone. Unfortunately, we could not sync our controller to the parrot drone. But, our controller is functional and outputs the corresponding data received from the pushing of the buttons. The third component is the infrared emitter. We put this together using a Ramsey electronics kit. We had to solder the components on and connect it to a power source. We put a cup on top of the infrared emitter and punched a hole at the top of the cup so that we would create a concentrated infrared beam that the infrared sensor could easily detect. Finally, we used the AR Parrot Drone 2.0 and attached the LCD shield containing the XBee transmitter and infrared sensor to the drone. We controlled the drone using the AR.Race 2 iPhone application.

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