Bushfire prevention projects

CTRC researchers are working on two separate projects to help early detection of bushfires and to better understand fire characteristics.

Scattering characteristics of bushfires

This project is investigating the material properties of forest fire ash at microwave and millimetre-wave frequencies.

The base complex permittivity and Radar-Cross Section have been analysed with respect to temperature in order to identify the organic material behaviour. These include mass, colour variations, particle size distributions, and aspect ratio distributions based on exposed temperature.

The material properties have been analysed for their volumetric backscattering capacity using a co-simulated MATLAB – CST-MWS (Microwave Studio) routine. Basic microwave and millimetre-wave radar systems performance parameters have been identified for fire particle detection.

Scattering characteristics of bushfires

This project is investigating the material properties of forest fire ash at microwave and millimetre-wave frequencies.

The base complex permittivity and Radar-Cross Section have been analysed with respect to temperature in order to identify the organic material behaviour. These include mass, colour variations, particle size distributions, and aspect ratio distributions based on exposed temperature.

The material properties have been analysed for their volumetric backscattering capacity using a co-simulated MATLAB – CST-MWS (Microwave Studio) routine. Basic microwave and millimetre-wave radar systems performance parameters have been identified for fire particle detection.

Using Continuous Wave (CW) radar to detect bushfires

Automated early fire detection systems have recently received a significant amount of attention due to their importance in protecting the global environment from fire related destruction.

Some emergent technologies such as ground and satellite based remote sensing and distributed sensor networks systems have been used to detect forest fires in the early stages.

This project aims to investigate the unexplored technique of detecting fire using radio wave incoherent scattering from the ionised electron density of combusting plant material.

This new technique offers new information and capabilities to fire services beyond what is currently available.

Superheated forest matter causes a certain amount of plant salt ionisation, creating a natural plasma frequency. A continuous wave radar system operating close to the plasma frequency of the fire will experience higher signal reflection than the surrounding environment, hence the fire can be detected.

A primary aim of this project is to investigate the plasma frequency of combustion for different Australian bush vegetation at various fire temperatures, and the scattering of RF signals at these frequencies.

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