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Silvanus: a holistic digital solution to wildfire management

Silvanus enables combatting wildfires through early and well-informed decision-making, by bringing new technologies to the forefront of rural communities and forest regions. This project is EU-funded under the Horizon 2020 programme.

Title, ‘A holistic digital solution to wildfire management’, over a photograph featuring an amphibious plane flying through dense smoke, dropping water over a forest fire.

The European Broadband Competence Offices Network Support Facility

Wildfires are an increasingly frequent as well as increasingly intense and devastating phenomenon across the world. Silvanus aims to provide a climate change-resilient forest management platform to prevent and suppress forest fires through its decision-support system. Internet of Things (IoT) devices are stationed in the field to collect data on weather, temperature, precipitation, and moisture content in the atmosphere. Drones can be flown over a region to detect the presence of fire or smoke, and robots can be deployed to counteract the fire itself. The data is aggregated in the cloud and then propagated to the forward command centres: the people on the ground dealing with the fire. Receiving and processing the data quickly is essential for the right decisions and responses to be made.

One of the problems that we have faced is when we have to collect data from rural areas, because of the lack of network: network is everything at this point.

Despina Anastasopoulos, Silvanus Project Partner, Senior Research and Innovation Manager at Netcompany-Intrasoft SA

We identified this problem at the very beginning, and we introduced our “mesh in the sky” module, which allows the firefighters to deploy wireless communication when there is no other communication available for the devices to be constantly connected with the central command centre.

For the IoT device solutions to be effective in combating forest fire or any natural disaster, we need connectivity, so that more informed, intelligent decisions can be taken.

Krishna Chandramouli, PhD, Silvanus Technical Manager, CTO at Venaka Treleaf, Germany

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This interview was filmed as part of the European Broadband Competence Offices (BCO) Network’s work to raise awareness of EU support for high-speed broadband deployment and share good practices in broadband projects. Discover more interviews in the BCO Network YouTube playlist and more broadband good practices, news and resources in the BCO Network Library.