Development of the WildfireDLN Wildland-fire Data Logistics Network
During wildfire and prescribed fire operations firefighters face communication challenges such as network coverage and data portability. As a result, incident command decisions and wildfire containment are delayed, possibly contributing to human illness and injury, including deaths, environmental impacts, and property damages. Improving access to information for wildland fire incident operations would improve public safety through effective fire containment.
Funded through a Cooperative Agreement with the National Institute of Standards and Technology Public Safety Communication Research program (NIST-PSCR), WildfireDLN is a transformational application of networking and data logistics software developed and built with and for operational partners in wildland fire incident operations logistical support. Current data delivery capabilities for fire operations cannot transmit large data resources, regularly obstructing wildland firefighting operations by the limitations in the construction and maintenance of ad hoc communication networks. WildfireDLN can deliver rich and informative data with a robust system that supports file transfer and access across disconnected, heterogeneous networks.
To develop a wildland-fire data logistics network to enhance and extend current operational data sharing capabilities for:
- Improved firefighter and public safety
- Better wildland fire predictions
- More informed fire operations
To deliver data with a robust system that supports file transfer and access across disconnected, heterogeneous networks.
Develop software tools for data logistics based in existing resources.
- Deploy and test prototype hardware-software system that:
- integrates the new data sharing system with existing capabilities and relevant data
- demonstrates automated data ferrying with seamless user experience
- Work with the wildland fire management community to define specific requirements of an enhanced, resilient data-sharing system.
Provide for future technologies and capabilities.
- Design and develop an asynchronous and heterogenous data system
- Develop flexible open-source software that allows for additional functionality and broad application
- Co-develop, with fire operations personnel, software systems for data logistics based on existing tools, including future proofing and generation of ideas to advance capabilities with further research and development.
The research planned addresses the need for improved resilience. The WildfireDLN is designed to make current systems stronger, more integrated, and with more resilient features than current digital networking systems allow.
WildfireDLN Key Features/Tools
WildfireDLN has three important attributes that directly support resilience concerns: local operation, intermittent connectivity, and heterogeneous connectivity.
- High-performance wireless that removes data access barriers
- Automated/integrated connectivity that has multiple distribution modes in dynamic mobile environments
- Seamless user experience and augmented access to critical repositories (NIFC’s Fire and Aviation Management’s Enterprise Geospatial Portal)
WildfireDLN Prototype and Architecture
Portable hardware Data Ferry:
- Raspberry Pi
- Ubiquiti antenna
- Mini UPS
Overview figure of the WildfireDLN system architecture including the base station, ferry, and front-end system is below.
Completed Project Outcomes
WildfireDLN, a co-designed prototype of a software-hardware system, built from storage-enabled network components and tested with operational partners in real-world conditions.
The result is an accessible, usable, and cost-effective system that firefighters and operations support can use to send and access large, critical datasets in wilderness areas that allows for resilient and effective data sharing and communication during a wildland fire incident