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Self-Autonomous Wireless Sensor Nodes With Wind Energy Harvesting for Remote Sensing of Wind-Driven Wildfire Spread

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2 Author(s)
Yen Kheng Tan ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Nat. Univ. of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore ; Panda, S.K.

The satellite-based remote sensing technique has been widely used in monitoring wildfire spread. There are two prominent drawbacks with this approach of using satellites located in space: (1) very low sampling rate (temporal resolution problem) and (2) lack of accuracy (spatial and spectral resolution problem). To address these challenges, a wireless sensor network deployed at ground level with high-fidelity and low-altitude atmospheric sensing for wind speed of local wildfire spread has been used. An indirect approach in sensing wind speed has been proposed in this paper as an alternative to the bulky conventional wind anemometer to save cost and space. The wind speed is sensed by measuring the equivalent electrical output voltage of the wind turbine generator (WTG). The percentage error in the wind speed measurement using the proposed indirect method is measured to be well within the ±4% limit with respect to wind anemometer accuracy. The same WTG also functions as a wind energy harvesting (WEH) system to convert the available wind energy into electrical energy to sustain the operation of the wireless sensor node. The experimental results show that the designed WEH system is able to harvest an average electrical power of 7.7 mW at an average wind speed of 3.62 m/s for powering the operation of the wireless sensor node that consumes 3.5 mW for predicting the wildfire spread. Based on the sensed wind speed information, the fire control management system determines the spreading condition of the wildfire, and an adequate fire suppression action can be performed by the fire-fighting experts.

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Instrumentation and Measurement, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:60 ,  Issue: 4 )