Monitoring Environmental Parameters and Human Influence in Forest Areas
The objective of the MEPHIFA experiment is to develop a system for monitoring human influence in forest areas, which can also be used to record various environmental parameters such as temperature, humidity, light radiation levels, air pressure, etc.
Given the importance of the forest environment in maintaining ecosystems and the way in which the reduction of forested areas due to economic development is already influencing environmental conditions (global warming, extreme weather events and pollution), permanent monitoring of the forest environment by monitoring parameters and human activity in forested areas is a first step towards limiting and possibly creating a reversible mechanism for forest degradation. The system is also useful to achieve a rapid response time to natural disasters (fires, landslides, floods, etc.). The proposed system eliminates human presence by analyzing environmental information and signaling possible environmental events.
- Challenge 1: The need for further implementation of European environmental legislation, in carrying out our own activities as well as the potential beneficiaries’ (environmental agencies, NGOs, government agencies with responsibilities in the field of environmental protection, local authorities, etc.) especially in the geographical area considered.
- Challenge 2: The need to reduce the operating costs for the specific services offered, as well as to minimize the risks for own staff (possible use of drone-type equipment for collecting data from sensors and forest mapping), for beneficiaries (non-invasive access in special status areas such as reservations) and for third parties.
- Challenge 3: The need to decrease the response time to critical events. In such situations, a good knowledge of the conditions in the field can allow teams to intervene more efficiently, with minimal human and material risks.
- Challenge 1: the need to have a detailed knowledge of the physical environment and its evolution, prior to the realisation and installation of the network
- Challenge 2: maintain a balance between creating a miniature system (so that it does not stand out), size of batteries, size of antenna (for low-frequency radio waves) while keeping the deployment and maintenance costs as low as possible.
- Challenge 3: create a system that has the ability to withstand specific conditions such as temperature, pressure or vibration
In order to save energy consumption, reading and primary processing of the signals will be done at certain time intervals (several minutes, for example), while the sensors are in a low consumption state (stand-by). The signals can be stored locally (data logger) and / or sent to a central station that further processes and interprets the results. Sensor networks are made for transmitting data from a sensor array to a data server. Depending on the extent of the monitored surface, data collection may also have aerial support. Thus, data collection can be done with drones. The communication, which represents the most energy intensive operation, will use a limited bandwidth. The network will use minimal energy resources, either by eliminating the communication or by closing the radio link when no communication is needed. The proposed system for detecting and signalling forest changes aims to protect the environment, mainly forests, by timely detection of illegal logging attempts.
The second phase of the project will focus on the analysis, testing and validation of the equipment