London, March 1 (ANI): Researchers have modified an ordinary CCTV surveillance system to develop an automatic early warning system that can detect the first flames of a bush fire.
According to a report in New Scientist, the bush-fire alarm, devised by fire-safety engineer Yaping He of the University of Western Sydney in Australia and colleagues, uses specially developed software to analyze video images for the characteristic flicker and colour of a flame.
The software looks for pixels which change from one frame to the next, and which also have a fire-like colour.
"If it's not flickering, then it is not a flame," He said.
The team successfully applied this method to video clips of scenes with various lighting and backgrounds.
Early detection can prevent a fire taking hold and doing serious damage, but conventional detectors, which pick up heat or soot particles, struggle in the breezy outdoors, while infrared cameras are expensive, according to He.
"The system has promise," said Grant Wigley of the University of South Australia in Adelaide, who was not involved in the work.
But he suggested that it would need further development to work with smoky fires, where the flames may be masked. (ANI)