Fire-fighting, by detection, prevention, monitoring and analysis, is commonly based on estimations made by experts from visual observations and data provided from ground stations, satellites and other means. These estimations are subject to a great number of errors due to smoke occluding the flames, human inaccuracy in the visual assessment, delay in the data provisioning and errors in estimating the location of the heart of the fire. Over the last decade significant technological measures have been taken worldwide, without the anticipated results because many of these technologies still have different practical problems for their use in operational conditions, such as low reliability, high costs and others. Especially, for violent fires, the fire perimeters changes much quicker than existing systems and technologies can follow (due to strong winds and atmospheric conditions for example).
Recently, the evolution of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) technologies, the miniaturization of sensors and the new advances in communication and control systems have extended UAV technology to a wide range of civilian applications such as fire detection, localization and observation. Until today UAVs are only allowed to fly in special situations in conformance with national and EU regulations, while until 2020 regulations will open up segregated and unsegregated air space for UAV flights in crisis management situations.
Thus, FERMIS aims to fulfill the expectations and needs of the market for the next generation of Airborne sensors, by providing a complete set of tools and sensors that from one hand will improve current supported UAV features and will further expand them into "multi-sensing flying platforms".
The main goal of FERMIS is to design, develop and demonstrate a comprehensive solution for early fire detection, prevention, monitoring, prediction and fire-fighting, by the use of advanced and integrated aerial sensing system coupled with innovative sensors and a cloud-based architecture software. The system will be demonstrated on-board Bluebird's UAVs. So, FERMIS will provide a major advance, with respect to the state-of-the-art, by realizing the full potential of networked coordinated vehicles, on-board integrated sensors (e.g. Gas, humidity, wind speed, etc.), GIS tagged visual detection, real-time high resolution images transmission, and on-board image and data processing, in a manner to deliver a pragmatic and evolutionary system that shall support a quicker, précised, coordinated and reliable fire-fighting-and-controlling solution for any landscape, any time (day-night), and at any weather.