Curtin Sarawak graduate wins award for innovative aerial wildfire detection system

Miri – 8 March 2016 – Basil Andy Lease, an Electronic and Communication Engineering (ECE) graduate of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) was recently awarded a Best Final Year Project Award by the Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology (CPMT) Malaysia Chapter.

The award was in recognition of the quality and merits of Basil’s final year project aimed at aiding fire-fighters in fighting wildfires commonplace in Sarawak using an innovative aerial-view thermography and mapping system.

Such a system will allow the early detection of wildfires, thus reducing the risk of fires spreading uncontrollably. It is an automated detection and segmentation system with a thermal imaging, long-wave infrared (LWIR) camera mounted on a mobile quadcopter which can be flown over identified areas to provide real-time data to the user.

The data includes information regarding the wildfire’s size and temperature and the affected area’s environmental temperature, humidity and gas content.

Although the drone was flown manually in a demonstration of its capabilities, Basil related that automated waypoint survey-based flight was also possible.

Basil said it is important to design projects that have the potential to solve real problems and that the project has enabled him to independently explore the technical and research aspects of the system.

Dr Garenth Lim King Hann, a senior lecturer at Curtin Sarawak’s Department of Electrical and Communication Engineering (ECE) who has provided Basil guidance on the project, remarked that Basil has been an exemplary student through his keen interest and involvement in numerous innovative projects at the university.

“We both look forward to seeing Basil’s project make a positive impact on the issue of fighting wildfires in the region in the future,” said Dr Lim.

Head of the ECE Department Associate Professor Zhuquan Zang also commended Basil for his achievement, adding that the exposure that students gain from their involvement in academic and industrial research at the university helps them build their research credentials.

The IEEE CPMT Chapter is the leading international forum for scientists and engineers engaged in research, design, and development of revolutionary advances in microsystems packaging and manufacturing.

The inaugural 2015 IEEE CPMT Best Final Year Project Award was initiated with the aim of exposing students to career options in microelectronics’ components as well as packaging and manufacturing technology. The award also hopes to continue bringing about outstanding undergraduate research projects in areas related to electrical and electronics, and physics including materials science and information communications.

科廷大学(澳洲大学马来西亚分校) Curtin University Sarawak Malaysia

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