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A tactical decision-support system, using latest Artificial Intelligence technologies for managing Wildfires

Wildfires have swept across Europe over recent years resulting in loss of human-life, forcing thousands to evacuate, and causing damage to homes, infrastructure, livestock, and local environment. Response to wildfire-events in Ireland involves multiple government departments, agencies and external organisations including; the Air Corps and Firefighters, on the frontline. The current challenge revolves around how we can better manage our response to wild-fire events here in Ireland, to reduce the threat to human-life as well as the economic and environmental cost. 

The highly-experienced CoPilot-AI interdisciplinary research team plan to carry-out a focused 12-month project employing the latest AI technologies (Drones, Robotics, Sensors, Machine Learning) and construct a Common Operational Picture (COP) digital platform, capable of smart multi-thematic sensor data-capture, highly-automated data-fusion, deep-learning & analysis, enabling more effective information-sharing and effective decision-making. Key disruptive-technology areas will include novel in-field drone robotic-sensing platforms, dynamic terrain and scene-analysis and multi-criteria risk-modelling. 

Project Overview


The Maynooth University (MU) interdisciplinary team comprises seven principal researchers, recognized nationally/internationally as leaders in their respective research fields; Earth Observation, Drones, Computer Vision, Robotics, Machine Learning (ML), Electronic Engineering, Mathematics, and Climate/Weather disciplines. The team will work closely with the DefOrg Liaison Officer during both the Concept and Seed phases of the project. The MU team has met and discussed this project over a past number of weeks and members are already actively collaborating on various R&D projects, inside/outside the University, in areas that are directly relevant to the proposed research areas detailed in this submission. The principal researchers will be supported (secondments/new recruits) by 2 X Postdocs (ML & Data Fusion) as well as 2 X Geospatial Web/App Developers. Two external Irish-based Aerial/Drone Technology Startups, have made contact and wish to join the team and collaborate on this project, taking part in a real wildfire event and supporting field-based Drone Operations and advanced aerial mapping & monitoring R&D.


Principal Researchers

Prof Tim McCarthy (TMcC)

Earth Observation, Drones & Geocomputation

Dr Stephanie Keogh (SK)

CoPilot Team Coordination

Prof John McDonald (JMcD)

AI, Robotics, Computer Vision & SLAM

Dr Charles Markham (CM)

Computing, Vision Systems, Modelling, Instrumentation

Prof Rowan Fealy (RF)

Climate Modelling, Land-Atmosphere Interactions

Dr John Dooley (JD)

Wireless Communications

Comdt. Jay O’Reilly

Defence Organization Liaison

Mohsen Nurisa

Geospatial Web Developer
CoPilot-AI FireGuard Exercise​ ​

Multi-agency exercise to test and assess CoPilot-AI Platform

Common Operational Picture WebApp

Contact Us

CoPilot Address

NCG/CS, Iontas Building
Maynooth University
Maynooth, Co Kildare, Ireland





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    A tactical decision-support system, using the latest Artificial Intelligence technologies for managing Wildfires.

    This material is based upon works supported by the Science Foundation Ireland under Grant No. 21/FIP/DO/9945

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