The Consortium

We bring together top expertise from business and science on topics such as artificial intelligence, UAV, biogeography and disturbance ecology - to face forest fires together.

[ui!] Urban Mobility Innovations
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[ui!] Urban Mobility Innovations (B2M Software GmbH) manages the project. [ui!]'s activities focus on cloud-based, data-driven smart services in order to use existing urban real-time data in the areas of open data platforms, urban infrastructure and intelligent environmental management to add value. The [ui!] group itself is the initiator of the SMART CITY Forum and in this context is driving cooperation on the key topics Smart City and Smart Region as well as the development of DIN specifications (e.g. reference architecture model open urban platform DIN SPEC 91357) nationwide and internationally.

Contact: Tobias Heuser, M.Sc.

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Quantum Systems GmbH
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Quantum-Systems is an airborne data acquisition company providing multi-sensor data acquisition products to government agencies and commercial customers. Our electric vertical take-off and landing systems (eVTOL) are industry leaders - in terms of endurance, ease of use and reliability. We are an AND company. With our dual approach - serving both commercial and military customers - we strive to push the boundaries of aerial reconnaissance. This unique position gives us the exclusive advantage of bringing the pace of commercial development to the defense industry. Public and private sector customers use Quantum Systems' versatile UAS for defense, security, humanitarian and geospatial missions.

Contact: Pierre Ulfig

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Professur für Biogeographie (UBT-GB), Universität Bayreuth
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The Chair of Biogeography at the University of Bayreuth investigates the effects of climate change on ecosystems in different ecosystems worldwide and with a wide range of methods. In addition to classic field research, biogeography works with spatial models and remote sensing. Method development and basic research are in close exchange with practical relevance, for example in nature conservation or forestry. Biogeographical findings are transferred to teaching, for example in the courses Geoecology, Global Change Ecology, Environmental Geography, Biodiversity and Ecology as well as Environment, Climate Change and Health.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein

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Professur für Störungsökologie (UBT-DE), Universität Bayreuth
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We research and teach on disturbances and biodiversity, natural hazards and climate change. The focus of our scientific interest lies in understanding the dynamics of ecosystems and the resilience of communities. Our work includes extensive field experiments in Central Europe on the effects of extreme weather on plants and ecosystem functions. Further, detailed field studies cover altitude gradients, different biomes and continents. It is about disruption and stability in the face of drought, fire, nutrient loading, winter climate change and land use change. Our expertise lies in understanding the pulse dynamics in ecosystems and thus also in nature conservation research, as well as in disaster and process protection.

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Institut für Angewandte Informatik, TH Deggendorf
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Founded in 2009, the Institute for Applied Computer Science (IAI) at the Technology Campus Freyung is the oldest of numerous locations that THD has set up throughout Bavaria, especially in rural regions. At the IAI, scientists work interdisciplinary on the development of new technologies and their application in different domains from health informatics to mobility to industry 4.0. The IAI was formed from four research groups and brings together 35 scientists from the fields of computer science, embedded computing, geoinformatics, remote sensing and computer vision.

Projects cover the entire spectrum from company-financed studies and contract research to state, federal and EU-financed research projects. The scientists are currently working on projects in the programs ZIM (BMWI), mFUND (BMVI), KMU Innovativ (BMBF), ETZ Bayern-Tschechien (EU), Masterplan Bayern Digital II - Gesundheit und Pflege (BayStMGP) and more are located.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Dorner

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Staatliche Feuerwehrschule Würzburg
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As a state fire brigade school, we see ourselves as a service provider for fire brigades in the area of ​​training and in supporting large-scale operations.

The State Fire Brigade School in Würzburg trains around 6,000 firefighters every year in one of 190 courses, in which they learn management tasks, operational tactics and the operation and maintenance of vehicles. In addition to the usual courses, our special focus is on the training of air observers for civil protection to assess the situation from helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, as well as the training of flight assistants for forest firefighting from the air. In both areas, our fire brigade officers can also draw on experience from numerous real operations. Another focus, both in training and in operations, is the use of drones to explore operational situations.

Contact: Jürgen Schemmel

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Our Vision

The forests of Central Europe are in transition. Extreme climatic events and insect infestation primarily affect coniferous forests. They are particularly vulnerable to periods of drought, which increases the risk of forest fires. Fires not only destroy the forest habitat, but also the ability for it to store carbon and release the previously absorbed C02. This in turn contributes to climate change. Currently, when there is an increased risk of forest fires, small aircraft with specially trained air observers are often sent on patrols or a network of stationary observation towers is used. This is resource consuming and inefficient.

The KIWA project supplements existing systems for early forest fire detection with artificial intelligence (AI). It will streamline existing processes, automate them, make them more sustainable and more efficient. Special drone systems with AI-based computer vision applications use aerial photos to identify possible danger areas, fire and smoke across the board. By embedding it in existing processes, communities, disaster management organizations and fire brigades can identify sources of forest fires while they are still controllable. At the same time, the emissions from aircraft previously used for early detection of forest fires are reduced. KIWA provides high-resolution remote sensing data on forest ecosystems, forest fire risks of individual tree species and regions in Germany as well as AI-supported evaluations. In this way, sensitive ecosystems worthy of protection are identified, the development of forests is monitored and data is provided for forest management. This supports the conversion to multifunctional forests adapted to climate change. In the long term, this secures and increases biological diversity. The forest stands are becoming more varied and therefore less at risk of fire.

The project is innovative because it combines remote sensing using drones with the use of combined machine and deep learning methods to evaluate the data as well as climate and weather data analyses. This leads to novel solutions and recommendations for action for sustainable, climate-resilient and biodiversity-promoting forestry. Technology-based fire prevention and control also protects long-lived ecosystems rich in structure and species. The system developed by KIWA serves as a transferrable blueprint and can be used flexibly in regions of Germany and internationally. The transferability will be tested in the late phase of the project.

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We provide information about our research results and advise municipalities, states or anyone interested on effective measures for early forest and wildfire detection