Approaches to optimizing the lookout towers placement in a forest enterprise
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fire lookout tower, television surveillance system, visibility area, digital terrain model

How to Cite

Bogomolov, V. V. (2020). Approaches to optimizing the lookout towers placement in a forest enterprise. Forestry and Forest Melioration, (136), 102-116.



Recently, we have witnessed a global warming of 0.8°C compared to the pre-industrial period. Climate warming in Ukraine has resulted in increasing number and area of fires. Among the traditional methods to minimize fire damage, the most effective one is their early detection and organization of effective fire surveillance with the usage of fire lookout towers. Apart from equipping existing television surveillance systems with TV cameras, there is a necessity to install new lookout towers or involve the cellular operators towers.

The aim of the study was to find approaches to how analyse the effectiveness of the fire lookout network of forestry enterprises equipped with television surveillance systems and to provide recommendations on how to extend the network.

Materials and Methods

To analyze existing networks of lookout towers and to project their expansion, the author has developed special software in C#, which is based on a computer apparatus of spheroidal geodesy and some well-known algorithms for operating data. The initial information for the calculations was digital elevation models (DEM) produced by ALOS, forest management data of the Ukrderzhlisproekt (tax and cartographic) and data obtained at the available lookout towers.

The efficiency of the lookout network was measured using the numerical value of the towers coverage. The tower coverage stands for a certain area or a set of the DEM cells which can be seen from the top of the tower with no obstacles. Double or triple coverage is an area that can be seen simultaneously from two or three towers respectively.

Forest management data were used to exclude parts of the territory with a low level of natural fire hazard from the observation area as well as to determine the height of smoke rise.

The methods for solving the following problems are presented:

  • calculating the coverage area of a tower with variable values of the observation range and smoke height;

  • calculating the coverage area of the lookout network;

  • identifying promising places for installing surveillance cameras on DEM;

  • choosing the best option for placing television surveillance cameras.

Results and Conclusions

To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed methods, the calculation of coverage variants for combinations of observation towers at two forestry enterprises in eastern Ukraine was performed. Based on the results of the calculations, variants of the sets of towers with the largest observation area were proposed.

13 Figs., 6 Tables, 19 Refs.

Key words: fire lookout tower, television surveillance system, visibility area, digital terrain model.
ARTICLE PDF (Українська)
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