Drony SIT Pilsen

Measuring fire area has never been faster or more accurate

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Application for measuring the fire area

Large fires, long duration fires, hard to access terrain with fire occurrence or even those fires of smaller scale – we also fly on these interventions and monitor outbreaks or carry out documentation. Of course, this data needs to be interpreted somehow, and our own applications help us with all of this.

One of these software solutions is a fire area measurement application. We consult with members of the relevant units on any application progress or new application development. In this case, we have gone, and we will go several more times to consult this application at the central fire station in Pilsen at Košutka.

Presentation of the application at the central fire station Plzeň – Košutka

The reason for the creation of the application was to display, measure and monitor the fire area in time. Already during the fire, both firefighters and victims are interested in the extent of the damage caused by the fire.

Up to this point, we could measure this approximately immediately on the spot using a drone, but we did not have the right software for more accurate measurements. With the fire area measurement app and other apps we have developed, we are able to provide both much more accurate information about the extent of the fire, as well as data and an environment for further post-processing after the actual intervention is over.

Once we arrive on the scene, we can use the laser rangefinder on the DJI Zenmuse H20T camera, or the integrated camera on the DJI M30T UAV, to create points around the perimeter of the area affected by the fire using our GPS Transfer app in the drone’s controls. The GPS Transfer application runs in the background of the control device and can read the GPS coordinates from the image after the interaction of the operator of the device. These points are then stored in our database. From there, the fire area measurement application draws the data.

After opening the application, a user login is required. Access to the application is controlled via our cloud. In addition, all modifications in a specific project are matched to the corresponding user, so that it is clear who made the changes.

Once logged in, the user selects the district that the fire belongs to.

Application start menu

When clicked, the user is presented with a list of fires divided into years sorted by date. The user can also create their own projects, but will not have access to the drone data.

List of projects

After selecting a project, the orthophoto image from the drone (if available) and the polygons targeted by the drone are automatically loaded into the map. The drone image cannot be moved, edited or changed or deleted in any way.

Basic map

The same is true for the drone-measured polygons, but these can be hidden/unhidden or their colour changed. In addition, it is possible to display the GPS coordinates of each vertex for all polygons. When you click on a specific GPS coordinate, it is automatically copied to the clipboard and can be easily pasted into any map application.

GPS coordinates

There is also a measurement function where the user can measure the height/width of the affected area or field, forest, building and other possible objects.

Measurement function

An equally important function is the creation of custom polygons, where the processor can mark additional areas of interest. The application will then calculate the areas of these polygons and allow them to be deleted, changed in colour or named. If necessary, it is also possible to switch between area units. However, the units can only be switched within the whole project to prevent possible mistakes on the user’s side. It is also possible to switch between the base map and the aerial map.

Custom polygons

Another important feature for fire progress processing is the possibility of inserting graphic markers and editing them. Thanks to them, the deployment of units and equipment at a specific point in time can be marked. This then assists in the evaluation of the fire progress and the processing of the resulting report.

Drones in use

DJI Matrice 350 RTK

The successor to the DJI Matrice 300RTK which is mainly used for the needs of the integrated rescue system. Carrying DJI H20T or P1 payload and LED spotlight, it is capable of monitoring the required area for 45 minutes. The IP55 rating allows it to fly even in very harsh conditions for UAV operation. It is possible to equip the DJI Matrice 350 with up to three payloads, but as standard we use "only" the DJI H20T and P1 in combination with different spotlights. Compared to its predecessor it has a number of improvements:
  • Extended battery life: The TB60 batteries in the M300 have a lifetime of 200 charge cycles. The TB65 batteries used in the M350, have a lifetime of 400 charge cycles, double that of its predecessor.
  • Higher ingress protection rating: The M350 has an IP55 rating and offers better protection from rain and dust compared to the M300's IP45.
  • Improved FPV camera: The M350 FPV camera now offers night vision and 1080p image resolution. The predecessor had 960p resolution.
  • Arm lock indicator: The arms of both the DJI M300 and M350 must be unfolded and locked before flight. The M350 alerts you to unsecured arms with a warning on the controller, which the M300 cannot.
  • New Controller: The M350 comes factory equipped with the DJI RC Plus controller, which has improved ergonomics, a larger screen and extended battery life compared to the M300's Smart Controller.
  • More stable and reliable signal transmission: The M350 brings an improved anti-jamming algorithm and uses DJI's O3 Enterprise system and a total of 4 antennas for data transmission. The M300 supports DJI O2 and has two antennas.
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DJI Matrice 30

As a special unit of the Fire Department, we go out to interventions such as fires, traffic accidents, searching for missing people, etc. We use the DJI Matrice 350 as standard. But the DJI Matrice 30 is a complete copy of it, just in a smaller version.
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Carried equipment

DJI Zenmuse P1

Zenmuse P1 enables accurate and efficient aerial photography for subsequent creation of 2D maps and 3D models. The camera communicates with the aircraft's control unit for real-time flight information. All this information is used to build 2D maps and 3D models. With 3 sets of batteries, the DJI M350RTK UAV can cover up to 10 km².
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DJI Zenmuse L1

LiDAR laser scanner with RGB camera. Using LiDAR technology (a method of remotely measuring the distance to the object being scanned using a laser beam), we create point clouds. We then use an RGB camera to add colour to the point cloud. This gives us a very accurate 3D model of reality. Our applications include monitoring traffic accidents, scanning burnt or crumbled objects. It is also planned to be deployed in other projects such as scanning important objects for the needs of the IZS (Integrated Rescue System), where we will create a basis for simulating and planning a crisis scenario.
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DJI Zenmuse H20T

The most commonly used for the need of the IZS (Integrated Rescue System). Combination of a total of 4 different sensors. But there are also plans to integrate it into our inspection system. It has an optical ZOOM camera for detailed monitoring, a thermal camera for finding fire hotspots or searching for people, a laser rangefinder for GPS targeting of important points and counting their distance from the UAV, and a wide-angle camera for a general overview.  
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GL60 Spotlight

LED spotlight to assist the IZS (Integrated Rescue System). This is the most commonly used payload at events in the dark. It was created as a replacement for the DJI Z15 Spotlight we have used so far. It now has the ability to adjust its focal length during flight. This allows us to direct the intensity of the light much more precisely on the object of interest. It is fully compatible with the DJI Matrice 210 and DJI Matrice 300.
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Every new contract for us always has the same and only goal - success and a maximally satisfied client.

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