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Madeira Protects UNESCO World Heritage By Robots

Leitek Innovative Solutions brings next-generation wildfire mitigation technology to Portugal.

Figure 1: Mr. Clelio Dinis Leite, CEO of Leitek Innovative Solutions and Chairman, Working Group on Drone Scenarious BVLIS Operations, UVS International

Portugal is one of the earliest nation-states in Europe and the world. Located at the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe, with an area of 92,212 km2 and a 10.3m population. A beautiful country with a Mediterranean climate. 35% of Portugal is forest area.

“With the rising temperature and prolonged dry summer, Portugal is one of the EU countries with the highest wildfire risk. The wildfires in June 2017 killed 66 and injured 204 people! I wanted to do something to protect my country and my community!” said Mr. Clelio Leite, CEO of Leitek Innovative Solutions.

“There are many unstaffed watchtowers in Portugal. In the early 2010s, many traditional CCTV surveillance systems were installed to monitor wildfire. However, these CCTVs are not purpose-built to early detect wildfire” said Clelio. “Operators can see big smokes and big fires from these CCTVs. The detections are slow and not accurate due to insufficient manpower resources to detect wildfire. I think we can do better with the latest technology.” explained Clelio.

After almost a year of market research and testing, Clelio was impressed by the performance of the InsightFD early wildfire detection system. “Dual-sensor signal capturing robot using thermal and optical cameras, power-efficient edge computer running AI detection programs, GIS-based management software providing accurate real-time wildfire information, and situational awareness. All these are must-haves of next-generation early wildfire detection system!” said Clelio.

Figure 2: The first InsightFD installed on a hilltop in Funchai, Madeira

Leitek introduced InsightFD to Madeira in 2018. Madeira, situated in the northern Atlantic Ocean and southwest of Portugal, is an autonomous region of the country. It is a popular year-round resort, being visited every year by about 1.4 million tourists, almost five times its population. The region is noted for its Madeira wine, Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira International Airport, gastronomy, historical and cultural value, flora and fauna, landscapes (Laurel forest) that are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Figure 3: Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal, an island of 740.7km2 area located at southwest of the country. Source: Wikipedia.org
Figure 4: The President of the Regional Government of Madeira, Miguel Albuquerque, visited the first InsightFD site. Source: madeira.gov.pt

“The pilot project of a new wildfire detection solution, based on infra-red and optical technologies, performed reliably in the Madeira. It detected a 2m2 fire at a 5km distance. It met our goals of detecting and fighting wildfire outbreaks in their early stages” said Miguel Albuquerque, the President of the Regional Government of Madeira, in an interview by the newspaper Jornal Economico [1] in March 2019. “We will add more robots in the coming years. The plan is to cover 50% of Madeira’s forest area”. [2]

Figure 5: President Miguel Albuquerque shared the plan to deploy InsightFD robots to protect 50% of the forest area in Madeira in a TV interview [3]. Source: www.rtp.pt

“It is our honour to provide state-of-the-art wildfire detection to Madeira. I am happy to help my country to become a safer and better place” said Clelio in a phone interview in December 2020. “It is my pleasure to continue supporting Madeira to increase wildfire detection coverage. COVID-19 caused some delays. We will deploy more InsightFD robots in the summer of 2021”.

Please contact us for more information about InsightFD.


1.Jornal Economico, https://jornaleconomico.sapo.pt/noticias/madeira-reforca-vigilancia-com-sistema-de-deteccao-remota-de-incendios-florestais-422855

2.Regional Government of Madeira

3.TV interview of President Miguel Albuquerque by RTP (between 04:00 and 06:19), https://www.rtp.pt/play/p85/e395542/telejornal-madeira

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