Monitoring Forest Fire: Gas Detection Sensor Phase One

Kopernik Solutions provided a sub-grant to a trusted partner organisation who is implementing this project.

We are testing the accuracy of a gas detection sensor that is able to simultaneously detect multiple kinds of gases in Central Kalimantan.

Project Type

  • Experimentation

THE PROBLEM

Haze in Indonesia puts the health of millions of people at risk every year when they are exposed to air polluted by forest fires. A common method for quickly and cheaply clearing land for palm oil or pulpwood plantations in Sumatra and Kalimantan, burning forests causes air pollutants to accumulate at levels far exceeding safe amounts. The resultant haze is linked to numerous medical problems, ranging from eye and skin irritation to asthma, pneumonia and upper respiratory tract infections. The effects are far-reaching, impacting people in neighboring countries as well, and studies have even linked haze exposure to tens of thousands of deaths a year across Southeast Asia.

Accurate haze monitoring is needed to help the government and other relevant stakeholders react quickly enough to mitigate the worst effects of forest fires. This, in turn, could help reduce the size of land destroyed by fires and the number of people exposed to the haze.

THE SOLUTION

Our partner, Pak Rony Teguh, has invented a gas detection sensor that is able to simultaneously detect multiple kinds of gases. It provides tiered alerts for ‘high risk of fire’ and ‘ignition of fire’ and uses Google Earth to collect information about the fire’s location, the nearby population and the width of roads, which can be used to determine which vehicles may access the location. The information is sent directly to a community leader and its fire team. Information from across the region is also collated and made accessible through the local partner’s website.

We want to test the accuracy of the sensor in a 10 km radius around Pulang Pisau Village, Central Kalimantan, a high risk fire location, to ensure that the technology’s basic functions work as intended.

Phase 1: Functionality Testing
For a period of six months, we will work directly with our local partner, Rony Teguh, and his team of researchers and experts from the University of Palangka Raya to determine:

  • Air pollution index (API): EM-10, Sulphuric Gas, Ammonia, Carbon Dioxide, and Ozone (which at different levels indicate a high risk of fire or the ignition of a fire) in a 10 square kilometer area in Pulang Pisau District;

  • Number of fires detected/not detected by the sensor as verified by satellite imagery;

  • Whether the information is being successfully transmitted through radio bandwidth to the relevant fire management stakeholders.

THE EXPECTED IMPACT

We expect the gas detection will ensure better control of forest fires and help to reduce the number of hectares burnt by out of control fires, reducing the number of people affected by the haze. The technology detects various kinds of gases. Once the gases reach a certain level, it is a trigger highlighting a high risk of fire. Once the gases reach a higher level still, it shows that the fire has ignited.

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PROJECT COST

Type
Description
Amount

Project Implementation & Technology

Costs associated with project coordination and the technology

$2,649

Monitoring & Evaluation

Costs associated with data collection, analysis and reporting

$966

Administration Fee

Cost of transferring payments internationally, processing online donations (5%) and a contribution to Kopernik's operational costs (15%)

$750

Total $4,365

Kopernik Solutions provided a sub-grant to a trusted partner organisation who is implementing this project.