Smoke radars to be installed in Thessaloniki forest

Smoke radars to be installed in Thessaloniki forest

The suburban hilltop forest of Seich Sou in Thessaloniki will by October 4 have three lidar systems: optical radars produced by Raymetrics, a firm that makes sensors for remote meteorological parameter monitoring.

No later than two minutes after a fire starts, the lidar system employs lasers to find smoke in a forest. Greece got its first lidar system in June – despite the fact that the company, which was founded in 2002, is Greek – following an initiative by the Regional Authority of Central Macedonia.

Speaking to Kathimerini, Raymetrics President and CEO Nikos Kontos said there are also plans to make the technology available in other areas of the country. The lidar system identifies airborne particles, such as smoke, moisture and ash, Kontos said.

“It’s a scanner that rotates 360 degrees in two minutes and fires millions of photons,” he said, noting that England, for example, has built the largest network of optical radars to monitor whether there is volcanic ash in the atmosphere, so that they can detect in time if Icelandic volcanoes are erupting and act accordingly.

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