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Test guidelines

Read the following guidelines carefully to ensure the fire tests are conducted properly.

Test fire guidelines

Inform local Fire Department

Before burning the test fire, ensure the local Fire Department and relevant authorities are notified of the test fire. Ensure also that burning the test fire is permitted.

Use a realistic test location

We strongly recommend running the test in a location that is similar to the Pilot or Live deployment location. Do not run the test in a location that is vastly different from Silvanet's intended deployment location.

For example, running a test in an urban parking lot causes discrepancies. The sensors are primarily forest sensors and urban areas affect the functionality.

Use Map View

Use the Map view of the Silvanet Management app to find the ideal location for the test fire. See Silvanet Management app

Use homogeneous material

Use a collection of homogeneous plant material (uniform in size and composition) for the test fire. Material should be of various sizes all of which are fast-burning branches or twigs but not logs. To create smoke, have branches with their leaves or needles still on.

Requirement Description
Use material to final deployment location Collect between 5 and 10 kg of typical plant material similar to the final deployment location, including smaller and bigger twigs, leaves as well as freshly cut and previously dried branches with needles.
Ensure material is dried and stored Dry out in advance the collected material and store them in a cool, dry location. Use the duration of the calibration period to allow the material to dry out and to be ready for burning.
Weigh material Weigh the material before placing them on the fire pit. This ensures the same amount of material is used for subsequent test fire.
Enough material for 30-minute burn Collect sufficient material to keep the fire burning for up to 30 minutes.

Burn a realistic test fire

Ensure you have sufficient homogeneous material to burn and maintain a test fire. To reflect conditions of real wildfires, the test fire should not diminish as the test runs. The fire should not resemble a BBQ fire.

As the wind direction cannot be controlled, provide sufficient time for smoke from the test fire to hit the sensors.

Ensure test fire burns for at least 30 minutes

Ensure you continually feed the fire with material to keep the fire burning for at least 20-30 minutes to allow smoke from the test fire to reach the sensors. The sensors are built to detect fire at the smoldering phase - before there is an open fire.

Normally, time to detection is within minutes (less than 1 hour from ignition). This is dependent on fuel volume, wind speed and wind direction. A denser deployment will decrease the time to detection and detection rate.

Take note of smoke behavior

Because wildfire smoke behaves differently in different locations, select a location that is realistic and reflects the final deployment environment.

A parking lot, work yard or an urban area may not be the best location for a setup although it may be convenient. The results of a test in those type of locations would not be very useful. For example, under a forest canopy, wind behavior is different from wind behavior in an open area such as a work yard.

Limit testing to once per day

When performing fire tests, it is common practice to repeatedly light a fire and check the response. However, repeatedly exposing the sensors to smoke in short time intervals will result in poor sensor performance. After being exposed to smoke, the sensors need considerable time to re-settle and restore their original fire detection sensitivity.

For best results, leave the sensors alone in the forest, do not have vehicles nearby or anything that interacts with the sensors and then wait 24 hours before running another test.

Additional resources