• The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology directorate is working with four companies to develop sensors to help thwart wildfires threatening urban areas. Credit: U.S. Bureau of Land Management photo
     The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology directorate is working with four companies to develop sensors to help thwart wildfires threatening urban areas. Credit: U.S. Bureau of Land Management photo

DHS Evaluating Wildfire Sensors

February 10, 2020


The Science and Technology Directorate selects four companies.


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) selected four new industry partners to participate in a new wildfire sensors project with Smart City Internet of Things Innovation (SCITI) Labs.

Having recently concluded a two-year effort focusing on sensor-based technologies for public safety, the SCITI Labs team will now embark on a similar effort for the fire service. Over the next six months, these wildfire sensor technology partners will begin the process of prototype development or product modification, to be evaluated against DHS requirements specific to combating wildfires that impact urban areas.

“Wildfires continue to threaten lives, homes and critical infrastructure. The goal of this effort is to identify where technology solutions can be brought in line with other commercially-available products for home and property security,” Jeff Booth, director of S&T’s Sensors and Platforms Technology Center, says in a recent press release. “We want to identify a development roadmap that works hand-in-hand with a commercialization path that advances not only the science and engineering aspects of this technology, but also the availability of these capabilities to the broader homeland security enterprise—from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to state and local emergency management to civilians.”

The four industry partners are:

SCITI Labs will work with end users—including FEMA, state and local fire services, and the industry partners to incorporate feedback and assessment data into market-ready products. The SCITI Labs “commercial first” approach is designed to guarantee a streamlined commercialization process is included in the technology evaluation, ensuring the technologies are useable, affordable and scalable to suit the mission needs of DHS components, first responders, industry and other stakeholders.

Capabilities evaluated in this workstream will focus on real-time and continuous identification of heat sources and smoke to detect ignition location, track fire perimeter, track fire characteristics, and allow for geographically targeted notifications and warnings.

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