FireFly | And YOU can Help Fight Fires!

Everywhere / Virtual Participation

Awards & Nominations

FireFly has received the following awards and nominations. Way to go!

Global Finalist (Best Use of Hardware)

The Challenge | And YOU can Help Fight Fires!

Build a fire-monitoring and crowdsourcing tool that will allow local fire managers to respond to wildfires.


The less humidity the more temperature the quickest for fire to spread through, sensors on quad-copter collect data, it's analyzed, our app then spread mapping results and receive reports from others near the fire site


-the idea:

We are using data from NASA satellites, and quad-copter that we launch as soon as a fire is detected to design an automated system to quickly provide a map for the region, in which we can identify:

1) Where the fire has started.

2) where it is spreading or might spread.

3) best paths for rescue and fire management teams to enter and navigate the areas of concern.

4) best paths to help people evacuate.

Considering the reasons such as (low level of humidity, high level of temperature, and existence of fallen leaves if it's a wildfire) are exactly the same paths the fire will take during spreading, so we suppose that all the possible chances for fire to spread through some path not the other is based on the degree of the humidity value, and temperature degree.

We mean, for example if there's a wildfire, we will collect the data from NASA satellites, fly our quad copter, which is supplied by GPS, humidity sensor, temperature sensor,smoke sensor and a camera to collect the information we need to know about the fire location, and provide (location info., humidity value, temperature of the side, and capture a picture for the location showing the regions where leaves are more, and regions where leaves are less) respectively, therefore by taking some several readings of these requirements in different regions of the fire location, because the quad copter is flying, moving, changing its position and therefore collecting as much information as possible for the different locations surrounding the starting position of fire. Now this data needs to be compared and analyzed to come up with the final map. We want to integrate the values of these different types of date to result in a final percentage of how likely would the fire spread in this direction. Finally, it is time for the application we designed to enter the game. So let us illustrate the data flow through the system generally in order to reach better illustration for the function of the app:

1) We have a base (data center) where we receive the signal from satellites to know fire is starting.

2) Depending on this data, the base launches a quad copter to collect the previous info. From the fire location.

3) Data is then revised, compared, and published in the easy to use android application where it is allowed for users to send their reports. Anyway these several forms of data would be integrated to get a table of how likely it’s for the fir to spread in each region of the location.

4) Table data is blogged by colors on a map in the data center and is sent for the firefighters and published on the app, the colors on the map represent :


*And in all of the steps the data flow smoothly and is updated continually by the data center, actually the data center can publish any comments they need. It is noticed that we depend on humans in this data center to do some functions, and here is an advantage. It is a fire, man. Moreover, we all know that the smartest machine is still a machine; it cannot take serious or critical decisions, especially in such dangerous situation, in our system not only machines operate, nor only humans, but a combination of both, where machines are harnessed and employed for humans to use them and safe lives.

*Date journey from the satellite to the Firefly data center:

Transmission from satellites is either by a high gain antenna or a low gain antenna. High gain antennas have to be pointed in exactly the right direction, but can send a lot of data very quickly. Low gain antennas don't require precise pointing, but transmit data much more slowly. We chose to work with high gain antennas because we want the signal that a fire has started to be transmitted very quickly so we can manage to launch our quad copter collecting data from fire site, quickly. Based on on the principle we considered through our process (the less humidity and the more temperature, the more probable it's for fire to spread in this direction and vice versa) to identify best paths to evacuate, and guide firefighters to the best paths entering and navigating the area of concert. As we searched about the best relay systems we found what we exactly target in terms of speed and quality, one of the best relay systems is the TDRSS system. This involves several Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRSs) in geostationary orbits around the earth. TDRSS can receive and send data very quickly, at rates from 6 Mbps (mega-bits per second) to 300 Mbps. The TDRS routes that telemetry down to their own set of earth-based antenna and it gets stored in our computers in Firefly date canter, so now we are able to know anytime a fire starts, that it started and where exactly it is, to we direct our quad copter, looking for more accurate data, and some several readings around the starting point of the fire.

It's time to talk about how the data will be transmitted smoothly from the quad copter to the Firefly data center again to be compared, analyzed and blogged on the colored map showing a detailed map for fire location.

Date journey from the Quad copter to Firefly data-center:

When our quad-copter reaches the fire region, it will collect data by using humidity, temperature and smoke sensors. After that, it will fly to the area surrounding the fire to collect other data from sensors to make it easier for the Firefly data center to determine where the fire might spread or not by comparing these data with the direction of wind and the properties of this place. But how the quad-copter will send these data?!

Now, it’s time for the Radio Telemetry 915 MHz (3DR) to perform its role. this Radio telemetry allow our ground station computer to communicate with your quad-copter wirelessly, providing easy way for viewing real time-flight data and changing the mission during the flight.


1- APM2.6

2-LiPo battery5500mAh

3- Brushless motors



6- 3DR radio telemetry

7-RC flysky

8- Propellers

9- Temperature & Humidity sensor

10-Smoke sensor

11-Arduino Uno

12- Breadboard


After launching our quadcopter by the RC flysky. Once the quadcopter become closer to the fire the sensors starts to read the first sensor is the GPS will detect the fire location and will help the firefighters to find the best and safe way to enter the forest. The second sensor is the smoke sensor will detect the density of the smoke this will help the fighters to trace the fire and know where the fire started. The third sensor is the temperature and humidity sensor this will determine the temperature in Celsius and the humidity in percent this will predict when the fire will happen. Then the readings will be sent using 3DR radio telemetry to FireFly center then it will go to the center again.



SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.