The New Indian Express | Unnikrishnan S | Express News Service | 07th May 2017 |
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Detecting fire in the wild is always a tough task. Often the alert comes in late and by the time fire fighting begins a large number of flora and fauna get destroyed. It is a global issue and any cost-effective solution naturally gets attention. Ani Sam Varghese and his team became the People’s Choice Winner in the recently held NASA Space Apps Challenge, touted as the largest hackathon, in the city.
Compared to the expensive solution of a geo synchronous satellite, the team from Mar Baselios College of Engineering and Technology in Nalanchira developed Low Earth Orbit Thermal Imaging System (LEOTIS) involving multiple sensors for accurate forecasting of fire and geographic mapping of terrain for emergency services. It can detect and track forest fires and alert local public through nodal stations. Public can also share events of uncontrolled fire though the companion app. Ani is a technical assistant at his alma mater. He took up the challenge with his students and a former batchmate Joji John Varghese, who now works at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. Harikrishnan, Abhinand S, Naveen S are computer science engineering students of the college. The 48-hour hackathon challenge was put forward by the US space agency NASA to develop solutions that could contribute to space exploration missions and help improve life on Earth. Over 200 youngsters with a technical bend of mind registered for it. Technopark in Thiruvanathapuram was one of the three locations in country to host the hackathon after Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad. Each location has three winners including popular choice winner.
Students of the College of Engineering also came up with impressive performance this year. The team consisting of first and second year students of the college developed a crowd sourcing application, EcoSnap, for tracking invasive species in the neighbourhood over time. The team has been selected a global nominee. “The app helps people to track the movement of species. Movement happens when there is a change in the ecology and tracking it would help understand ecological problems,” said Vishnu S Nair who is a student of Applied Electronics engineering in CET. For the Kovalam native it is the second global nomination. Other team members include Athul Krishna A, Hari Nair, Abhijith Nandagopal and Amal Ashok. The second global nomination went to the team Gryphons. They created an application called ‘Sunshine’ which helps people understand energy output from a solar panel, and a tool to plan energy consumption based on expected energy output from solar technologies. Ajaz Sidhiq, Daniel James, Amal S Raj and Amrith M are the team members. – Courtesy / https://2017.spaceappschallenge.org/locations/kerala/ – https://2017.spaceappschallenge.org/