The Silvanet System monitors a forest by obtaining data from Silvanet devices deployed throughout the forest. These devices consist of Silvanet Sensors attached to trees and one or more Silvanet Mesh Gateways that forward sensor data to Silvanet Border Gateway(s). Border Gateways communicate with the Silvanet Cloud Platform via the Internet.
The key component of the Silvanet Network is the Silvanet Sensor, which are permanently attached to trees in a distributed configuration throughout a forest. It detects forest fires during its early stages (even during the smoldering phase) within the first 60 minutes.
These sensors monitor the microclimate of the forest air by using a gas sensor which measures temperature, humidity and air pressure within a large radius of the sensor. It can also detect a decline in air quality. It uses this air quality measurement to determine if the source of the decline is the beginnings of a fire or from some other source, such as a diesel engine.
The device is designed to be attached directly to trees using crop wire or treenails and is designed to provide maintenance-free service for ten to fifteen years. It has very low-power consumption as it obtains its energy source from a built-in solar-panel. As a precaution against the device itself starting a fire, it stores its energy in super-capacitors rather than batteries.
To connect with the Silvanet Network, the sensor includes a LoRA-integrated radio for LoRaWAN wireless data transmission that is robust within a large forest environment.
For installation instructions, see Installing a Silvanet Sensor.
The sensors are responsible for sending periodic messages with environmental data (temperature, pressure, humidity) to the mesh network via a LoRaWAN transmission.
By monitoring the air quality, it learns to distinguish between "normal air quality" and "declining air quality". If it does detect a decline, its built-in machine learning (ML) model determines if the cause for the decline are gases from a burning tree or some other source, such as a diesel engine. If the sensor does determine a fire has started within the vicinity of the sensor, it immediately sends a fire alert message to the Silvanet Network.
The ML model determines the “normal air quality” around the sensor by calibrating over fourteen (14) days the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) in the air around the sensor. This calibration "smells" the air around the sensor for existing VOCs. This determines a base "air quality" that is unrelated to a smoldering fire. After calibration, any deviation from the “normal air quality” triggers a process to determine if the deviation is the result of gasses produced by the smoldering phase of a burning tree.
VOCs are compounds that have a high vapor pressure and low water solubility.
Alerting users of a fire
If the sensor detects a smoldering fire, the sensor immediately sends a Fire Alert to registered users via an email and displays a Fire Alert icon in the Site Management app. This allows for preventing the fire turning into a wildfire by detecting it in its early stages.
The Silvanet Mesh Gateway extends the range of the Silvanet Sensors. It allows for extending the Silvanet Network to large deployments beyond the reach of the sensors.
The solar-powered Mesh Gateways are placed in the forest itself, forming a mesh network. The typical coverage area of a single Mesh network is between 2-6 km, depending on the physical terrain, the density and type of forest.
As a range extender, it does not need direct 4G/LTE radio or Ethernet connectivity. This ensures the device has low power consumption which is supplied by its built-in solar panel. It provides range extending capabilities by using the same LoRaWAN network as the sensors to receive and forward messages.
Dryad developed the Mesh Gateway to allow for large-scale deployments of Silvanet Sensors throughout large forests. Using mesh network topology, multiple Mesh Gateways allow messages to hop from gateway to gateway until they reach the Silvanet Border Gateway(s).
Each Mesh Gateway can support up to 100 sensors.
The Mesh Gateway includes a built-in solar panel to provide its daily energy needs.
The Silvanet Border Gateway is placed at the border of the target forest area, typically in a forest house or near a village. The Border Gateway communicates with the Silvanet Cloud Platform via an internet connection, relaying messages from Wildfire Sensors (directly or indirectly via Mesh Gateways).
Border Gateways have power and communication requirements that are met by installing them at borders (edges) of forests. They need clear line of sight to communicate via wireless mobile networks, access to Ethernet connectivity or direct to satellite communication.
Connectivity is provided wirelessly using the built-in LTE radio or using the built-in Ethernet adapter via a wired Internet connection. For remote deployments where there is no mobile network coverage and no access to mains power, the Silvanet Border Gateway has built-in support for satellite uplink using the SWARM satellite network.
Each Border Gateway can support the deployment of up to 1000 Mesh Gateways. This gateway is LoRaWAN compliant which means it can communicate directly with Silvanet sensors, if required. Normally, the Border Gateway receives messages from the sensors via one or more Silvanet Mesh Gateways and sends the messages via one of the communication methods to the Silvanet Cloud.
The typical coverage area of a single Border network is between 2-6 km, depending on the physical terrain as well as the density and type of forest.
The Silvanet Border Gateway requires an increased power supply compared to the Silvanet Mesh Gateway. To provide for the power requirements of the Border Gateway, it should ideally be connected to a mains power supply through PoE (Power over Ethernet). If PoE is unavailable, the solar panel included with the device can also provide for its daily energy requirements.
Silvanet Cloud Platform
Sensors are connected via a multi-hop mesh network of gateways and share the collected data to the Silvanet Cloud platform, which works as an information hub and sends automated alerts in case of detection of a wildfire.
Messages sent from the Silvanet Cloud to Border Gateways use the mesh network to perform software updates on all sensors simultaneously.