In recent years, the frequency of occurrences of fire-related incidences has increased and this is believed to be a result of climate change. Large patches of forest have been destroyed by fires, resulting in catastrophic consequences on the environment and property surrounding the fires. Therefore, it is important that fire-fighting teams possess an increased situational awareness regarding the fire’s propagation to act quickly in the extinguishing process. Advances in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology, combined with remote-sensing and image-processing techniques, are promising significant potential in providing forest-fire detection and monitoring solutions.
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is developing a small, cost-effective near-infrared optical imaging payload for tactical forest firefighting operations. The optical system will be integrated into and operated from a UAV using remote sensing techniques. The system will detect, geo-locate, monitor progression, track progress, and make evolution estimates of fires in real time.
The CSIR hereby invites interested companies to submit expressions of interest on the technology investment and licensing of the product to the market.
The CSIR aims to identify industry partners who are interested in the collaborative development of the system, licensing the product for commercialisation, and with experience in the following:
- Drone operation, drone gimbal operation, including developing autopilot flight paths and gimbal missions, manual control of a pointing gimbal via video feeds;
- Drone operations in firefighting applications;
- Drone systems engineering, specifically with regard to the integration of custom payloads onto gimbals;
- Certified drone and gimbal airframes; and
- Software development.
They should also be certified for flying and operations (drone pilot) as follows:
- Air Service Licence, issued by the Department of Transport;
- Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operator Certificate;
- Remote Pilot Licence; and
- Remotely Piloted Aircraft System registration with the South African Civil Aviation Authority.
All queries must be forwarded to:
The closing date for applications is 12 November 2021.