Wildfire Detector

Summer (2021) Researcher, Gridware

Paper: (in process)

Summary: Wildfires have played an increasing role in wreaking havoc on communities, livelihoods, and ecosystems globally, often starting in remote regions and rapidly spreading into inhabited areas where they become difficult to suppress due to their size and unpredictability. In sparsely populated remote regions where freshly ignited fires can propagate unimpeded, the need for distributed fire detection capabilities has become increasingly urgent. To aid in the effort, I spent the 2021 summer working as a researcher for Gridware, a San Francisco Bay Area startup focused on building sensor units that are designed to detect electric grid faults and wildfire events. By having a densely distributed sensing architecture, Gridware can not only detect hazards but aid in giving truth data to wildfire computer simulation efforts to better predict the temporal evolution of wildfire events. As a summer researcher, I architected and tested a low-cost, distributed, wildfire detection system; further details will be released in our upcoming journal paper. I also helped the team with issues related to product design, mechanical fixtures, test equipment, manual electronics rework, firmware, and experiment design.