WASHINGTON (August 4, 2010) – ProxFire Detection System, an integrated system using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to detect forest fires in real time, proved successful in a controlled burn test in Castaic, Calif. Introduced by ProximaRF, ProxFire Detection System supports early and rapid response protocols, thereby greatly reducing the potential for damage to the environment and property, loss of wildlife and its habitat, and loss of human life.
The July 20 test was conducted in partnership by the U.S. Forest Service, San Dimas Technology Development Center, and the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Four experiments were conducted during the live burn including dozer burnover, structure protection wrap, vehicle tracking, and early detection systems.
The objective of the early detection systems experiment was to evaluate the effectiveness of ProximaRF’s ProxFire Detection System (PFDS) sensors. The PFDS operates on a sensory-gateway network. Heat sensitive, lightweight sensors carrying RFID technology comprise the first stage of PFDS. When heat from a developing fire energizes the sensor, it transmits an alarm signal with a unique code to the PFDS wireless gateway in range of the signal, which relays the alarm to a central location such as an operations center for forest fire response and management. ProximaRF’s advanced technology allows for the PFDS sensor to withstand significant heat without producing a false alarm while reliably transmitting alarm signals when exposed to real fire conditions.
“We are enormously pleased by the performance of our system during this test. The first sensor went off within four minutes of fire ignition, relaying information that would have made a critical difference in terms of the rapidity of response,” said Brent Chapel, CEO of ProximaRF. “The cost of suppressing wildfires is skyrocketing. We know that early detection and precise localization of wildfires can significantly reduce suppression costs. Our calculations suggest that, based on current costs, our system, properly configured, would yield an ROI of 69-1 for every acre saved from fire damage. Obviously the ROI would be significantly greater for higher value areas.”
The early detection test results can be observed at www.rfidalaska.com (this site is best viewed in Internet Explorer).
ProximaRF has accepted invitations to participate in subsequent pilot projects for other entities including county and private forest owners, based on the successful outcome of the Castaic, Calif. test burn.
ProximaRF Technology Corporation manufactures passive high-frequency (pRFID) and ultra high-frequency (UHF) radio frequency identification (RFID) readers and reader modules with applications in Forest fire Early Warning Sensor Systems, Nanosensor applications for firefighter and warfighter uniforms, Real-time temperature tracking for blood and pharmaceutical shipments, Real-time inventory control for high security installations, Food safety monitoring for small and large scale container shipments and Battlefield and Border security alert systems.