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Content archived on 2024-04-19

A new approach for forest fire risk assessment : risk sensor "feasibility study and related methods"


To identify relations which link inflammability of vegetation
exposed to stress conditions and emission of essential oils. To
define the feasibility of a dedicated sensor based on essential
oils sensing and to establish its characteristics. To provide
support to design and optimize a network of sensors, in order to
monitor an area with the best performance/cost ratio. To assess
a "bio-climatic" risk index, combining usual methods and data
with information provided by the sensors, in order to improve
risk monitoring.

The study will be initiated with field and laboratory experiments
and processing of results to establish relations. In the field,
representative areas will be selected in Creete and monitored for
essential oil emission and content. Different species will be
used, covering all major plants of Mediterranean type ecosystems.
Plant essential oil content and emission will be studied as
related to water stress, air temperature and relative humidity.
Water stress will be determined by measuring plant water
potential and soil moisture content. The contribution of
essential oils to plant flammability will be determined by
conducting experiments of ignitability. We will analyse the
chemical components of the plant essential oils with gas
chromatography and determine the pyric parameters using

From the results of this first phase, we will define the
sensitivity level of the sensor and establish the different
chemicals that can be used to evaluate inflammability. We will
then study the different methods that can be used to sense
essential oils, on the basis of most recent developments in
chemical sensing. From this study and from the results of field
and laboratory measurements, we will propose a detection method
with its characteristics.

To establish a method for sensor positioning, we will define a
"static risk", based on statistical data from the region to
monitor (weather, fire events), topography and vegetation
coverage, to identify the regions of higher risk and the regions
where sensor information will be the most pertinent. From this
analysis, we will propose a strategy to define the best locations
for sensors and to evaluate how many sensors are needed to cover
the region of interest.

For risk monitoring, we will study the bibliography of methods
for risk assessment and identify the conditions where data from
risk sensors can improve the estimation. Then, we will propose a
new method for risk assessment associating different scales of
time: static, integrated and real-time. Finally, we will study
spatial interpolation methods that can be applied to basic and
combined parameters, in order to build and update a map of risk
over the region. We will also propose methods to automate risk
assessment with the evolution of the parameters and sensor data.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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Avenue Claude Daunesse CNRS URA 1374

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Participants (2)