Vegetation Detection Challenge

05 December 2017
Vegetation Detection Challenge

The winner of the Victorian Government’s Vegetation Detection Challenge competition was named from a shortlist of four scientific teams vying to develop an algorithm that can help reduce bushfire risk for communities.

Powerline faults can start fires in a variety of ways with the least known area being the detection of powerline ignition starts from vegetation.

The competition established by the Powerline Bushfire Safety Program follows from the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires prompting a range of powerline safety measures including the identification of risk reduction technologies.

Winners: Yidan Shang and Nan Li – took out the $10,000 prize money and a one month innovation period to work with a company towards the development of a new product, process or adaptation of technology, building safer and more resilient Victorian communities.

The winning team from Melbourne, Victoria, used their combined expertise of science, mathematics and engineering skills to radically improve the understanding of vegetation species on powerlines with results able to underpin the advancement of a device to detect plant species faults on powerlines. In identifying the plant species on powerlines, it will allow for instant response by electrical distribution businesses before a fault becomes a fire, particularly on Total Fire Ban and Code Red days.

To view Challenge video of the shortlisted entrants and for more information about each algorithm, visit

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