Bushfire and lightning detection tech for Melbourne Water

Wednesday, 07 July, 2021

Bushfire and lightning detection tech for Melbourne Water

Axis Communications, a provider of IP video cameras, audio and associated security products, will collaborate with software engineering innovators EYEfi to produce a solution to protect Melbourne Water from bushfires and lightning strikes. Axis Communications will provide state-of-the-art thermal sensors and high-precision visual spectrum cameras, enabling the geo-targeting of smoke plumes and lightning activity using EYEfi’s SPARC technology. This allows the solution to accurately detect lightning strikes as well as pinpointing the geographic location of a fire to within 75 metres of the incident and over long distances.

The solution allows firefighting personnel to maintain 24/7 surveillance on a determined area without the need for staff to constantly man watch towers, and provides continuous reports and updates in real time. EYEfi also plans to release an autonomous software update later in 2021 that will provide real-time AI capabilities, negating the need for firefighters to maintain ‘live’ 24/7 surveillance positions and at times of high fire danger, instead providing updates and reporting digitally.

The AXIS Q8742-LE bi-spectral visual/thermal camera provides high-resolution imagery in all lighting conditions. With PTZ functionality, users at Melbourne Water can hone in on areas of interest, detecting and geo-targeting potential trouble spots before they get out of control. Wai King Wong, Regional Director (Oceania) of Axis Communications, said a system like this can save lives and critical infrastructure, while making life easier and more efficient for those involved.

“This is a very smart deployment, and one which demonstrates the many and varied uses of video technology in the wider community. There is so much scope these days for connected video and audio to be integrated with features such as geo-mapping and analytics, and people are only limited by their imagination or knowledge of what is possible,” Wong said.

The EYEfi Spatial Video Platform, coupled with SPARC technology, is capable of geo-pointing and reverse geo-pointing, allowing users to pinpoint a specific area and geo-coordinates on a virtual map, and have the Axis cameras provide clear images in real time. The high specification visual spectrum cameras and thermal sensors with lightning detection enable bushfire teams to accurately locate a fire or thermal heat anomaly over a wide area, without the need for other frames of reference or triangulation.

“EYEfi has been working closely with Axis for several years, utilising Axis cameras across our range of products in the market. The combination of Axis camera technology with EYEfi’s spatial video smarts and cloud software provides our customers with entirely new situational awareness and intelligence gathering capabilities,” said Simon Langdon, CEO and Head of Research and Development, EYEfi.

Melbourne Water Corporation is a statutory authority responsible for the management of Victoria’s largest water catchment. The body has direct responsibility for bushfire planning, management and the identification of bushfires in and around the water catchment area. This is performed by staffing a network of bushfire towers, which have been successfully trialled by using the EYEfi SPAC solution and Axis cameras.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/VAKSMANV

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