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Dryad’s Silvanet detects unauthorized Wildfire in Lebanon in 30 Minutes, prompting timely response and resolution

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Successful alert underpins the global need for effective ultra-early detection technology

Dryad, a leader in ultra-early wildfire detection, has announced that its Silvanet system successfully identified and raised the alarm about an unauthorized fire at a customer site in Lebanon.

On the morning of Monday 11th December, Mada® (XOL Broadband), a leading telecommunications operator in the Middle East and Africa, reported that Silvanet, Dryad’s ultra-early wildfire detection system, detected a small illegal fire swiftly, allowing for prompt response measures. The incident underscores the effectiveness of Silvanet’s technology in real-world scenarios and its role in enhancing environmental safety.

Background

Lebanon, characterized by its dry and hot climate, faces a substantial risk from rapidly spreading wildfires. It loses 1,500 hectares of forested areas to fires every year, posing threats to communities, natural habitats, and critical infrastructure. In June this year, a massive wildfire burned in the mountainous Sinn region of Akkar, consuming 90 hectares of forest, devastating centuries-old trees, and causing damage to several homes.

With 139,000 hectares of forest, equivalent to roughly 13% of its land area, Lebanon’s forests are increasingly at risk. Extended periods of drought pose a threat, elevating the risk of fires in higher-altitude regions that historically experienced fewer wildfires. Additionally, pest outbreaks are contributing to the desiccation of trees before the onset of the fire season. Lebanon’s renowned cedars, along with junipers and firs, are among the endangered forest ecosystems.

Against this backdrop, Mada decided to capitalize on its telecommunications expertise and corporate social responsibility commitments by deploying Dryad’s Silvanet at a pilot site at Deir Mar Moussa in central Lebanon. This collaboration aims to leverage cutting-edge technology to proactively protect nature and address the growing risk of wildfires.

Dryad employs artificial intelligence-enabled gas sensors within a large-scale, solar-powered mesh network embedded in forested areas. The technology focuses on early detection, providing a crucial advantage in preventing wildfires.

In the pilot deployment, Silvanet has been deployed since January 2023 with 91 sensors and 2 gateways, covering an extensive 78-hectare area in the forest adjacent to Deir Mar Moussa.

Incident

Silvanet demonstrated its effectiveness by successfully detecting and alerting an unauthorized fire at 10:33 am on Monday 11th December. The incident involved a farmer burning dry grapevines. This illegal activity posed a severe threat as the fire could potentially spread to nearby forested areas.

Silvanet’s success lies in its comprehensive approach. The system detected a change in air composition through the Bosch BME688 gas sensor. Subsequent gas scans identified hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Silvanet’s AI then analyzed the patterns, predicting a 70% probability of smoke at 10:33 am, triggering an alert through the Silvanet mesh network to the customer.

Silvanet in Action

The above screenshot shows the Silvanet Cloud Platform displaying a fire alert along with precise GPS coordinates and further supplemental information pertaining to the fire outbreak.

An aerial view of the pilot site. The fire alert was triggered by a sensor located at the bottom-left corner of the site. The deployment includes Silvanet Wildfire Sensors, LoRaWAN Mesh Gateways, and a Border Gateway for 4G/LTE connectivity.

Silvanet’s gas scanning and AI in action. The first graph displays readings of the Bosch BME688 gas sensor used in the Silvanet Wildfire Sensor sensitive to hydrogen, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The second graph provides a glimpse into the inner workings of Silvanet’s AI system, interpreting the gas scans with a pre-trained machine learning model. The AI system is activated by deteriorating air quality and starts analyzing gas scans shortly after 10:00 am. At 10:33, it surpasses the confidence threshold of 50% and triggers a fire alert, as seen in the third graph.

Silvanet’s AI model is the result of extensive research performed over the past three years. The system’s machine learning models are finely tuned and can be adapted to the specific environment of a deployment site, minimizing unnecessary alerts and enhancing the reliability and sensitivity of wildfire detection. To reduce network load and enable large-scale deployments, the fine-tuned AI models are executed in the sensors, distributed over-the-air throughout the network without requiring physical maintenance.

Outlook

Looking ahead, Mada plans to extend the pilot to a full-scale deployment, safeguarding Mount Lebanon, a region of immense ecological relevance, extending along the entire country parallel to the Mediterranean coast. This expansion underscores the significance of proactive measures in protecting communities and natural landscapes.

Dryad’s Silvanet, in collaboration with Mada, demonstrated its efficacy by swiftly detecting and alerting the customer about a small fire. This proactive response prevented the escalation of an illegal fire under challenging conditions, showcasing the reliability of Silvanet in real-world scenarios.

Quotes

Dr. Nassif Bechara, General Manager of Mada: “Our partnership with Dryad reflects our commitment to leveraging advanced technology for the greater good. Silvanet’s success in detecting and preventing wildfires reaffirms the importance of such collaborations in safeguarding our environment.”

Carsten Brinkschulte, CEO and Co-founder of Dryad Networks: “We are dedicated to refining our technology to address evolving challenges. The recent incident in Lebanon highlights the crucial role of ultra-early detection in protecting vulnerable regions from the devastating impact of wildfires.”

About Mada®

Mada®, a global telecoms solutions provider, serves 250 million customers in 195 countries. We offer industry-leading services such as Voice, Messaging, Data, Billing, Fintech, Cybersecurity, and Digital Transformation. Our agile teams deliver top-notch Professional and Managed Services to public and private clients worldwide, ensuring sustainable, breach-free environments. Committed to client success, we customize cost-competitive, secure solutions, aiming to be the preferred communication provider in the Middle East and Africa, facilitating growth across industries. To learn more about Mada, please visit mymada.com.

About Dryad Networks

Dryad provides ultra-early detection of wildfires as well as health & growth-monitoring of forests through the Silvanet solution – solar-powered gas sensors deployed in a large-scale IoT sensor network. Dryad aims to reduce unwanted wildfires, which cause up to 20% of global CO2 emissions and have a devastating impact on biodiversity. By 2030, Dryad aims to prevent 3.9m hectares of forest from burning, preventing 1.7bn tonnes of CO2 emissions. To learn more about Dryad, please visit dryad.net.

By mac