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Fighting Fire with IoT: Dryad Networks' Silvanet Suite of Sensors Prevents Vast Wildfire Devastation

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In 2023, wildfires in the U.S. (in Maui, California, Washington, Oregon, and elsewhere), in Canada, Greece, and Chile (to name more than a few, unfortunately) took over news cycles, wreaking fiery damage and unrest. August, in particular, was an awful month regarding spikes in wildfires; we even covered news about a forward-thinking company that was awarded a sizeable provincial services contract to utilize support drones and other technologies to assist Canadian emergency service crews.

Enter another wildfire-related story, this time regarding Dryad Networks and what it describes as “Ultra Early Wildfire Protection” measures. Dryad uses a large-scale IoT network of sensors to detect wildfires and provide valuable forest insights and analytics, as well as other health and growth monitoring solutions for public and private forested areas.

Side note: If you’re into mythology, it’s worth mentioning that dryads are basically tree spirits living in symbiotic relationships with their hosts, i.e. the forests themselves. That’s why Dryad Networks’ artificial “Dryad” solutions monitor and protect forests via cutting-edge tech in order to tackle earlier detection while directing measurable efforts towards forests’ ecosystems. Protecting and restoring their vitality is critical for myriad reasons, including the safeguarding of wildlife and natural resources.

Moreover, Dryad has developed its wireless environmental, solar-powered sensor network based on a topic our news coverage frequently touches on: LoRaWAN. Dryad’s patent-pending distributed architecture enables large-scale deployments in areas without existing network coverage, and the data collected is processed using cloud-based big data tools for supplemental analyses and alerts.

Specifically, these Dryad sensors are part of its Silvanet suite for that aforementioned Ultra Early Wildfire Protection.

In this vein, we have a new Dryad-centric update to report on:

Dryad recently announced that this Silvanet suite of systems was able to successfully identify and raise alarms concerning an unauthorized fire at a customer site located in Lebanon. The customer in question: Mada, a renowned telecom solutions provider in the Middle East and Africa.

In late December, Mada reported that Dryad’s Silvanet swiftly detected a small illegal fire, prompting proper response measures and underscoring the effectiveness of this type of technology in real-world scenarios. (i.e. while also highlighting Dryad’s overall role in actioning responsible environmental safety)

Another side note: Lebanon is often characterized by its dry and hot climate, thus facing substantial risks of wildfires that can spread super rapidly. It reportedly loses approximately 1,500 hectares of forested areas each year that pose major risks to natural habitats, communities and the critical infrastructure therein. Thus, solutions like Dryad’s help to prevent the devastation of centuries-old trees, damages to homes and businesses, and more.

According to the official announcement: “Silvanet’s AI model and its systems’ ML 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, said fine-tuned AI models are executed in the sensors, distributed over-the-air (OTA) throughout the network without requiring physical maintenance.”

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

From Mada’s leadership:

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

Also, from Dryad Networks:

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




Edited by Greg Tavarez
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