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How the world is using IoT to help protect our Environment

"Consider a drone patrolling a highway and known campsites to look for heat signatures."

Yesterday the 18th of July 2022, the temperature in Ireland reached a blistering 33 degrees Celsius! That is the hottest recorded temperature in Ireland for over one hundred years! A number of years back Davra created a blog on how IoT can be used to slow climate change. Clearly we haven’t made enough significant progress, but there is things to be positive about. Over the past few years companies have been hard at work creating solutions that will work with mother nature to ensure we protect it.

Below is a number of innovative ways IoT is being leveraged across the globe and for betterment of all those creatures living within.

The Iberian Lynx, a Preservation Success Story

pain has one of the clearest examples of how to save a species on the verge of extinction through technology. At the turn of the century there were under 100 Iberian lynxes left and considered a critically endangered species. Thanks to a cutting edge captive breeding centre called La Olivilla in Southern Spain, the number of these felines now surpasses 300.

How is IoT being used to help this wildlife programme? Lynxes are tracked with location collars that georeferences them the same way other IoT asset management systems would. Scientists can study behavioral uses of space and territories by these lynx in the wild. Connected drones, less invasive than humans, also help monitor them and see how well they are doing from a distance. Researchers are considering the option, in the near future, of changing the uncomfortable (and battery-dependent) collars for weightless subcutaneous sensors that would remain under the lynx’s skin it whole lifetime as a sort of ID.

Wildfire Identification and Prevention

In 2021, wildfires in California burned more than 4 million acres. Already this year, wildfires have burned more than 2 million acres and claimed the lives of three people, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. For example someone tosses a lit cigarette butt or doesn’t properly extinguish a campfire. Maybe lightning strikes a tree and ignites a blaze or maybe when a landscaper is mowing a customer’s lawn, the lawnmower blade creates sparks that land on dry vegetation.

The 2007 Zaca Fire in Santa Barbara County, California., which burned almost a quarter million acres, started due to sparks from a grinding machine that was being used to repair a water pipe on private property.

Consider a drone patrolling a highway and known campsites to look for heat signatures for improperly discarded cigarettes or campfires not properly extinguished. Artificial intelligence (AI) could be used to provide rangers with a map of active campfires and quantify danger levels based on historic data of scenarios that caused fires. Low-cost sensors dispersed on the ground to help assess areas at risk could also help proactive wildfire detection and mitigation, she said. This would require that they be strategically placed to ensure they do not harm wildlife that may ingest them and they also should be weather resistant.

Another company called Dryad has developed a system for early wildfire detection, that reduces reaction time and enables firefighters to extinguish a fire before it spreads out of control. The system, which uses solar-powered gas sensors placed in a forest, can detect wildfires within the first hour from ignition using built-in machine-learning, analyzing the gas patterns to reliably detect a fire. The system operates using (LoRa) wireless network that has been extended with a patent-pending mesh network architecture to cover very large areas of the forest.

Smart Cities

Although the word smart cities means different things to different people with varying levels of Irony, making our cities smarter is a positive step in the right direction towards climate change. Below is few examples of how implementing change within our cities can help reduce our carbon footprint and improve the quality of live for all the cities inhabitants.

Smart Traffic Light Systems – In the simulations, traffic lights were fed the position and speed of all vehicles on nearby roads and programmed to calculate how to phase color changes in order to optimise traffic flow. As well as reducing intersection waiting times, the team calculates that CO2 emissions could fall by 6.5%.

Smart Lighting – Lighting accounts for nearly 5% of global CO2 emissions. A global switch to energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) technology could save over 1,400 million tons of CO2 and avoid the construction of 1,250 power stations.


Theo Giannopoulos, Marketing & Business Development Manager, Davra Connect on LinkedIn

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