A group of researchers from the Research Centre of Excellence for Wireless and Photonics Network (WiPNET), Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products (INTROP), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and MIMOS Berhad made history after successfully developing the Internet of Things (IoT) applications to expand the early warning system to curb fires in peat swamp forests at Raja Musa Forest Reserve, Kuala Selangor.
Leader of the research team, Prof. Ir. Dr. Aduwati Sali, said the research was a part of the Networked ASEAN Peatland Forest Communities (NAPC) project, which started in August 2018.
"The IoT development project is funded by the National Institute of Information and Communication Technology (NICT), Japan and the Virtual Organization of ASEAN Institutes (ASEAN IVO), which aimed at developing an IoT-based monitoring technology to prevent fires in the peat swamp forests, especially during the dry season," she said.
She added that the IoT applications are necessary to allow the Selangor State Forestry Department to give early warning as peat soil would become dry if not appropriately managed and could lead to extensive forest fires.
"The problem-solving method involved collecting real-time data of the underground water level, the surrounding temperature, relative humidity and light intensity observed through a device installed in the observation tower in the Raja Musa Forest Reserve.
“The data will be sent through the Low Range Wide Area Network (LoraWAN) to the MIMOS Internet Services of Things (Mi-MIST) network. The dashboard will then display the data of the forests, including the underground water level, soil moisture level and soil temperature, which help the forest rangers and the community to monitor the fire safety of the forests,” she said.
Apart from her, the other members of the research group are Prof. Dr. Borhanuddin Mohd Ali, Prof. Ahmad Ainuddin Nuruddin, Prof. Ir. Dr. Hafizal Mohamad, Ir. Dr. Nordin Ramli, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sharifah Mumtazah Syeed Ahmad Abdul Rahman, Dr. Sheriza Mohd Razali, Dr. Liew Jiun Terng, Dr. Nur Luqman Saleh and Azizi Mohd Ali.
The problem-solving method is able to generate information from the climate data for the use of the forest managers in providing an early warning system in peat forests. At the same time, it adds value by improving the productivity and quality of life of the local community.
The viable project could also help the state government reduce the amount of resources lost due to extinguishing efforts while reducing air pollution such as haze.
MIMOS Senior Researcher, Ir. Dr. Nordin Ramli, said for future plans, the IoT warning system is expected to forecast forest fires faster based on the integrated data collection involving three countries, namely Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.
He said MIMOS also contributes IoT expertise through Condition Based Monitoring and Forecasting Analytics.
The forest fire prevention innovation offers benefits to the local community and can be applied in other peatland areas in the country. - UPM
Date of Input: 02/04/2021 | Updated: 05/04/2021 | hairul_nizam
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