Washington and Hamburg. Hamburg-based environmental analytics company Breeze Technologies has been selected as an industry partner for a new wildfire sensor workstream by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). The project is part of the Smart Cities Internet of Things Innovation (SCITI) Labs.

Breeze Technologies’ CEO Robert Heinecke says: “One of the great advantages of our fully digital air quality monitoring solutions is the possibility to add new features based on existing data and infrastructure capabilities. Already today, our sensors are monitoring all common air quality parameters. As wildfires have a major impact on air quality levels, it is only logical to further explore this direction of leveraging our environmental sensing solutions.”

Over the next six months, Breeze Technologies and several other technology partners will work on prototype development or product modification, to be evaluated against DHS requirements to detect wildfires that impact urban areas.

From the official press statement of the Department of Homeland Security:

“Wildfires continue to threaten lives, homes and critical infrastructure. The goal of this effort is to identify where technology solutions can be brought in line with other commercially-available products for home and property security,” says Jeff Booth, Director of S&T’s Sensors and Platforms Technology Center. “We want to identify a development roadmap that works hand-in-hand with a commercialization path that advances not only the science and engineering aspects of this technology, but also the availability of these capabilities to the broader homeland security enterprise – from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to state and local emergency management to civilians.”

SCITI Labs will work with end-users – including FEMA, and state and local fire services – and the industry partners to incorporate feedback and assessment data into market-ready products. The SCITI Labs “commercial first” approach guarantees a streamlined commercialization process is included in the technology evaluation, ensuring the technologies are useable, affordable and scalable to suit the mission needs of DHS components, first responders, industry, and other stakeholders.

Capabilities evaluated in this workstream will focus on real-time and continuous identification of heat sources and smoke to detect ignition location, track fire perimeter, track fire characteristics, and allow for geographically targeted notifications and warnings.

“We’re excited to embark upon this effort where our technical subject matter experts will work directly with commercialization experts and first responders to advance these capabilities,” said John Merrill, Director, First Responders and Detection Division. “We hope this will drive down costs of available solutions to responders and introduce innovation into the marketplace.”