3 weeks ago
Unifi G3 Camera - View of a Major Australian Desert Bushfire
Used Products
×2
×1
Location
Alice Springs NT, Australia
Description

On the evening of the 12th of October, in a tinder dry environment in the Northern Territory, a number of lightning strikes occurred during a 'dry thunder storm'. Following on from a cracker wet season in late 2016, there had been no rain worth measuring for almost 12 months. This bad combination meant that there was a lot of tall, dead, grass on one of the Territories largest and most productive cattle grazing properties. The fire took hold quickly.

 

What ensued was a fire that is still burning now, 10 days later, and one that has now burnt out an area roughly 60km long x 20km wide. There's been a phenomenal amount of effort expended by the pastoralist, burning and ploughing breaks, working endlessly in an effort to stop the fire. It looks to have been a success as now the fire looks to be largely contained.

 

When my company, Distant Curve Remote Area Telecommunications installed our project out there in mid 2016, we made the decision to include a number of additional cameras that overlooked the ranges in the hope that they could be of use for fire monitoring. Unfortunately, over the last 10 days, that's become the case. When we were notified of the fire, we immediately switched on the fire monitoring cameras, and used FFMPEG on our NVR out there to transcode and broadcast a live stream to youtube so that everybody could have access to the view from our camera. During the event, we seamlessly moved this stream between cameras as required, without any need to change the stream URL. The bash shell script we devised to do that is at the bottom of this Story.

 

One of our sites copped a fire front from 4 sides during the event - it fortunately survived. The survival of that site allowed it to continue recording footage, some of which is below. At one stage, there was some concern that the fire would continue to my next site along the range, some 60km's distant, so some of the local people got out ahead of the front and did some clearing around that site. Thankfully the fire didn't go that far.

 

It became evident during the event that many local people were following the fire by visiting our facebook page, so we used the facebook page to gather information from various sources and write brief summaries twice a day during the event, and refer people to the live feed, which was being streamed through several hundred of kilometres of airfiber links to the nearest fiber optic point of presence, in the middle of the Australian Desert.

 

I think this is a very interesting use of Ubiquiti's technology, and, indeed, social media. 

 

The video below (down the very bottom of the post) shows the fire at one of it's highest intensity moments.. things get very hectic about 5 mins in. The massive glow you see to the left is an entire mountain on fire, about 1km distant. That fireball is about the size of an average city suburb. It was a horrendous thing to watch.

 

We believe the fires you see in the distance are deliberate backburns, about 30km distant. Up until that night the fire had been fairly well contained, but we think when the realisation dawned that this fire had truly escaped containment, the landowners got moving back to their core community and lit these as a last resort to try and prevent the fire from destroying their main infrastructure and homes. Similar activities were occurring at a major Aboriginal Community just behind the camera. Nobody anywhere nearby got any sleep that night.

 

Thankfully they were successful and as far as I am aware nobody was injured, and no significant fixed infrastructure or houses were lost that night or over the ensuing days.

A lot of good cattle country was burnt out, and our thoughts are very much with the Pastoralists. The need for an end to Australia's seemingly neverending current drought could not be clearer than this. We're hoping the coming Wet Season brings some much needed relief soon.

 

Once you've watched the embedded video below (from the peak of the fire), it's coming on night time here now, so if you're reading this on or around the 22nd of October, 2018 the livestream might still be going and you may still see some glow in the mountains - The URL to the live view is right at the bottom of the page.

 

 

 

  

Minesite - Looking West - Oct 17 '18 11_03_48 PM.jpg

 

Minesite - Looking North - Oct 17 '18 10_44_55 PM.jpg

 

888 - Looking North - Oct 18 '18 12_58_30 PM.jpg

 Minesite - Looking West - Oct 17 '18 02_47_28 PM.jpg

Minesite - Looking West - Oct 18 '18 08_05_51 AM.jpg

 

 

Bash Shell Script To Do YouTube Stream

 

This script must be run on the NVR, and killed via ps -aux, then kill -9 PID or it will continue spawning, by design.

 

I suggest to name it 'YoutubeStream.sh' or something similar and chmod +x YoutubeStream.sh to make it executable, then either use nohup to allow it to continue running in the background when you close you shell, or simply when you've got it running, type ctrl-z within the shell environment then type 'bg' to make it run in the background then 'disown' to ensure it will keep running even if your ssh / shell session closes.

 

#!/usr/bin/env bash

cmd="ffmpeg -rtsp_transport tcp -i rtsp://##NVR_IP_AddressHere##:7447/##RSTPSStreamCodeHere## -acodec aac \
-strict experimental -ar 44100 -b:a 128k -pix_fmt yuv420p -profile:v baseline -s 640x360 \
-bufsize 6000k -vb 400k -maxrate 1500k -deinterlace -vcodec libx264 -preset ultrafast \
-g 30 -r 30 -f flv rtmp://a.rtmp.youtube.com/live2/##YoutubeLiveCodeHere##"
until $cmd ; do
echo "restarting ffmpeg command..."
sleep 2
done


  

  

URL to live view, if it's still active - https://youtu.be/NK-SDj2bsDE

Unifi G3 Camera - View of a Major Australian Desert Bushfire

by 3 weeks ago - last edited 3 weeks ago

On the evening of the 12th of October, in a tinder dry environment in the Northern Territory, a number of lightning strikes occurred during a 'dry thunder storm'. Following on from a cracker wet season in late 2016, there had been no rain worth measuring for almost 12 months. This bad combination meant that there was a lot of tall, dead, grass on one of the Territories largest and most productive cattle grazing properties. The fire took hold quickly.

 

What ensued was a fire that is still burning now, 10 days later, and one that has now burnt out an area roughly 60km long x 20km wide. There's been a phenomenal amount of effort expended by the pastoralist, burning and ploughing breaks, working endlessly in an effort to stop the fire. It looks to have been a success as now the fire looks to be largely contained.

 

When my company, Distant Curve Remote Area Telecommunications installed our project out there in mid 2016, we made the decision to include a number of additional cameras that overlooked the ranges in the hope that they could be of use for fire monitoring. Unfortunately, over the last 10 days, that's become the case. When we were notified of the fire, we immediately switched on the fire monitoring cameras, and used FFMPEG on our NVR out there to transcode and broadcast a live stream to youtube so that everybody could have access to the view from our camera. During the event, we seamlessly moved this stream between cameras as required, without any need to change the stream URL. The bash shell script we devised to do that is at the bottom of this Story.

 

One of our sites copped a fire front from 4 sides during the event - it fortunately survived. The survival of that site allowed it to continue recording footage, some of which is below. At one stage, there was some concern that the fire would continue to my next site along the range, some 60km's distant, so some of the local people got out ahead of the front and did some clearing around that site. Thankfully the fire didn't go that far.

 

It became evident during the event that many local people were following the fire by visiting our facebook page, so we used the facebook page to gather information from various sources and write brief summaries twice a day during the event, and refer people to the live feed, which was being streamed through several hundred of kilometres of airfiber links to the nearest fiber optic point of presence, in the middle of the Australian Desert.

 

I think this is a very interesting use of Ubiquiti's technology, and, indeed, social media. 

 

The video below (down the very bottom of the post) shows the fire at one of it's highest intensity moments.. things get very hectic about 5 mins in. The massive glow you see to the left is an entire mountain on fire, about 1km distant. That fireball is about the size of an average city suburb. It was a horrendous thing to watch.

 

We believe the fires you see in the distance are deliberate backburns, about 30km distant. Up until that night the fire had been fairly well contained, but we think when the realisation dawned that this fire had truly escaped containment, the landowners got moving back to their core community and lit these as a last resort to try and prevent the fire from destroying their main infrastructure and homes. Similar activities were occurring at a major Aboriginal Community just behind the camera. Nobody anywhere nearby got any sleep that night.

 

Thankfully they were successful and as far as I am aware nobody was injured, and no significant fixed infrastructure or houses were lost that night or over the ensuing days.

A lot of good cattle country was burnt out, and our thoughts are very much with the Pastoralists. The need for an end to Australia's seemingly neverending current drought could not be clearer than this. We're hoping the coming Wet Season brings some much needed relief soon.

 

Once you've watched the embedded video below (from the peak of the fire), it's coming on night time here now, so if you're reading this on or around the 22nd of October, 2018 the livestream might still be going and you may still see some glow in the mountains - The URL to the live view is right at the bottom of the page.

 

 

 

  

Minesite - Looking West - Oct 17 '18 11_03_48 PM.jpg

 

Minesite - Looking North - Oct 17 '18 10_44_55 PM.jpg

 

888 - Looking North - Oct 18 '18 12_58_30 PM.jpg

 Minesite - Looking West - Oct 17 '18 02_47_28 PM.jpg

Minesite - Looking West - Oct 18 '18 08_05_51 AM.jpg

 

 

Bash Shell Script To Do YouTube Stream

 

This script must be run on the NVR, and killed via ps -aux, then kill -9 PID or it will continue spawning, by design.

 

I suggest to name it 'YoutubeStream.sh' or something similar and chmod +x YoutubeStream.sh to make it executable, then either use nohup to allow it to continue running in the background when you close you shell, or simply when you've got it running, type ctrl-z within the shell environment then type 'bg' to make it run in the background then 'disown' to ensure it will keep running even if your ssh / shell session closes.

 

#!/usr/bin/env bash

cmd="ffmpeg -rtsp_transport tcp -i rtsp://##NVR_IP_AddressHere##:7447/##RSTPSStreamCodeHere## -acodec aac \
-strict experimental -ar 44100 -b:a 128k -pix_fmt yuv420p -profile:v baseline -s 640x360 \
-bufsize 6000k -vb 400k -maxrate 1500k -deinterlace -vcodec libx264 -preset ultrafast \
-g 30 -r 30 -f flv rtmp://a.rtmp.youtube.com/live2/##YoutubeLiveCodeHere##"
until $cmd ; do
echo "restarting ffmpeg command..."
sleep 2
done


  

  

URL to live view, if it's still active - https://youtu.be/NK-SDj2bsDE

{"location":{"title":"Alice Springs NT, Australia","placeId":"ChIJk3fE-iscMisRcIQkKqgXAgQ"},"addedProducts":[{"id":"unifi-video-camera-g3-5","count":2},{"id":"unifi-video-nvr","count":1}],"solved":"","numbers":"","description":"","mainImage":"179672iEC29185EC2DCD5B9"}

Minesite - Looking North - Oct 17 '18 10_44_55 PM.jpg
Minesite - Looking West - Oct 17 '18 10_17_50 PM.jpg
Minesite - Looking North - Oct 17 '18 02_47_43 PM.jpg
Minesite - Looking West - Oct 17 '18 02_47_28 PM.jpg
Minesite - Looking North - Oct 17 '18 11_30_19 AM.jpg
Comments
by
3 weeks ago

That's dramatic, Karl! I've recently been on California land

that suffered a similar enormous firestorm--with far more

devastating effects. In one fire [of several that have raged

over California in the last year], over 700 homes were

lost--and six lives. They're still trying to rebuild.

 

One result of this catastrophe has been renewed interest

in fire monitoring; a non-profit group has been tacking up

cameras on hilltops all over our West. Much of California,

Utah, Oregon and other places is now under watch. We

can only hope that early detection results in early control.

 

Unfortunately, this is a story of development in tinder-dry

places where small fires weren't allowed to take out the

underbrush; 30, 40, 50 years accumulated. Now disaster.

 

I sure hope folks didn't lose too many cattle; when most of

your valuables are on hoof, that's a lot of risk!    Dave

 

by
a week ago

Targeted Automation is something I feel the entire surveillance industry needs to think about and move towards. Targetted monitoring & recognition such as vehicle registration plates, natural disasters such as fires, typhoons, and others where automated detection and alerting/notification will definitely be very useful for all of us living on earth and battling against climate changes which are affecting many lives and even perhaps survival in some less fortunate locations on earth (e.g. fighting and killing just for water in some parts of some countries).

by
a week ago - last edited a week ago

That's an important point In the American West, for example, there

will now be dozens or even hundreds of camera views. Who is

going to watch all those images on a continuing, reliable basis?

 

I asked the installers that question early-on; I am sharing towers

with a few of their sites. I had read some promising research on

automated fire detection that I thought they knew about. I didn't

get any clear response, so I still don't know the answer.   Dave

by
a week ago - last edited a week ago

In terms of fire detection, that tends to be done by satellite. Here in Australia we use the output of NASA and NOAA satellites (TERRA, AQUA and NOAA - see link about them here) for initial fire detection in remote areas. The downside of them is that the updates only tend to come through every 4 to 6 hours. It would not suprise me if America has geostationary satellites that do the same thing, and so therefore doesn't have that 4 to 6 hour limitation.

 

For us where the cameras come in handy is monitoring the fires movement in real time in between the updates, and checking for false positives.

 

This is where something as simple as a PTZ (pan tilt zoom) camera really excels and if we had the budget required I'd mount PTZ's on all my sites as a public service... as it is, at the moment the good ones are too expensive to justify that investment in these very remote areas.

 

Nonetheless the fixed G3's still proved quite useful during this event. I don't build a tower these days without including at least 2 or 3 cameras.

by
a week ago

NASA does have resources for fire detection. Of course,

satellite trajectories and weather have strong effects on

what's actually available or useful. Here's an overview:

   https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GlobalFire/fire_5.php

 

NASA's GEOS 'weather satellites' acquire 4km near-infrared every

15min.; I don't know what products it generates.

 

This NASA 'FIRMS' site says mapping products are available online

within a few hours of satellite pass:  

    https://firms.modaps.eosdis.nasa.gov/

That might result in several hours before a fire will be displayed.

 

You can download maps and KMZ files for locations world-wide:

   https://earthdata.nasa.gov/earth-observation-data/near-real-time/firms/active-fire-data

 

There still seems to be a place for camera-based auto-detection.   Dave

 

 

 

by
a week ago - last edited a week ago

Thankfully they're getting some rain out there today... massive lightning storms last night..  Video below.

 

The local's are reporting that they received 8.6mm last night (about 1/3rd of an inch).. it's not much, but when you haven't had any rain in 12 months it's worth celebrating. Hopefully it's enough to start green shoots emerging in the burnt areas.

 

PR1 - Looking North - Nov 07 '18 07_00_39 AM.jpg