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Fire Technology

, Volume 52, Issue 5, pp 1343–1368 | Cite as

Autonomous Fire Suppression System for Use in High and Low Visibility Environments by Visual Servoing

  • Joshua G. McNeil
  • Brian Y. Lattimer
Article

Abstract

An autonomous fire suppression system was developed for localized fire suppression in high and low visibility environments. The system contains a multispectral sensor suite, including UV sensors and infrared stereovision, to detect and target a fire for suppression. The UV sensor provides an alert to the system to begin fire detection. IR imagery is used to segment fire from the field of view and target the base of the fire and IR stereovision to determine the 3D coordinates of the fire. IR tracking provides continuously updated information on the size and intensity of the fire before and during suppression and alerts the system when to cease suppression activity. Visual servoing is used to correctly position a nozzle based on feedback of changes in the fire location and size. The autonomous system was used to suppress wood crib fires (40 kW to 50 kW) in high and low visibility environments and at varying distances (2.8 m to 5.5 m) and elevations (0.4 m to 1.3 m). The suppression time in clear conditions was 3.72 s ± 1.51 s and 4.49 s ± 1.62 s in low visibility conditions. To simulate wind effects and inaccurate initial target coordinates, forced offsets were input to the system to show effectiveness of the feedback control algorithm when an initial estimate of spray trajectory does not accurately spray the center base of the fire. System performance with a forced offset resulted in suppression times of 4.11 s ± 0.84 s.

Keywords

Autonomous fire suppression Fire detection Suppression systems IR stereovision Visual servoing 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to acknowledge our funding through the Office of Naval Research Grant No. N00014-11-1-0074, scientific monitor Dr. Thomas McKenna.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mechanical Engineering DepartmentVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA

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