Using satellites and Ion, space-based technology is shaping future firefighting

Current competition is not just for billionaires.

With the advent of satellites, drones, and artificial intelligence, hundreds of thousands of acres of fire are burning across West America, and firefighting agencies and governments are changing the way firefighters respond to growing fires.

New programs are being developed by start-up and research institutes to predict fire behavior, track drought, and start fires for the first time. As climate change continues to increase the frequency and frequency of fires, these findings provide at least one tool in the ever-increasing prevention and suppression strategies.

“This is not a substitute for a fire extinguisher on Earth,” said San Diego, a computer scientist at the University of California, San Diego. When we can provide more science and information to firefighters and the public, we will quickly find solutions to fight and reduce forest fires.

As of Friday this year, more than 80 major fires and complexes have burned more than 1.3 million hectares in 13 states, and more fires are occurring almost every week, according to the National Intervention Fire Center.

The Botleg fire in southern Oregon has forced thousands of residents to evacuate since the country’s largest volcano erupted on July 6. Sunrise and foggy sky.

The Statue of Liberty will be seen on July 21, 2021, in Brooklyn, New York, under the cover of a wildfire.Brendan McDonald / Reuters

At a Science, Space and Technology Court hearing last month, “As the risk of severe fires increases, so should our ability to predict forest fires and reduce fires,” said Zo-Lofgen.

Last year, CZU had its own district of San Matthew County, which covered more than 90,000 acres[90,000 ha]in more than five weeks after the lightning struck. “Lofgrin is one of the many congressional leaders who are working to introduce legislation that strengthens financial support for the understanding, forecasting and management of wildlife fires. He said the bill aims to better integrate science agencies into federal fire response strategies.

San Matoto is close to Silicon Valley, but the technology capital has been slow to embrace innovation. That began last year as more startups entered the sector looking for federal and state partners to fund projects.

The U.S. Forest Service uses firefighting equipment to monitor the weather, fires and fuels, and to forecast information for emergencies, firefighters and support personnel. But many of the tools available are based on satellite imagery, which can take hours to broadcast and analyze.

For his part, Andre Coleman, director of a team of researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington Richland, said:

On July 17, 2021, firefighters were prevented from extinguishing the Dixie Fire at Pallas National Forest, California.David Swanson / Reuters

With the initial funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Coleman In 2014, they helped develop a system that uses imaging technology (RADR) to evaluate the impact of RADR on satellite response. Natural disasters, including fires. The expanded version of the device, called RADR-Fire, can define forest fires several times a day and can link impact and hazards to local structures, sites and other critical infrastructure.

Typically, event organizers will order aircraft support to record images of the fire when they do not know how big the fire is or how accurate it is in the area where it is burning, Coleman explained. Those images are analyzed by fans creating maps of fire lines. The process can take hours while the Coleman device can provide the information in minutes.

Coordination can be challenging, he said. This search can help you understand where to go for search and rescue.

The German company Ororattech is also a global provider of real-time fire information. Originally based in Munich, the company is building a constellation of 100 small satellites, each about the size of a shoe box, equipped with thermal infrared cameras to monitor and report the planet, any fire higher than 10 meters, or about 33 feet.

The first of these nanostatics will be launched in December with the help of the Silicon Valley-based Spire, Space to Cloud Data and Analysis Company and Space X, and fourteen more satellites could be launched in 2023.

“From an overview, this is the most important part,” said Bureau Stoffers, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Bureau Stoke.

“We have seen that each region has its own system and its own warning devices, and we have seen significant differences in those maps, especially because they are outdated,” he said. “We are already a little faster.”

A fire-fighting tank on July 11, 2021, will make a drop in the Grandview fire near Sisters, Ores.Oregon Fire Department / AP.

Last year, millions of people across the country were shocked by the blaze, and Auroratek graduated from Google. Since then, the company has raised $ 7 million to build an international fire alarm system. The software platform is already being used in Canada, South America, Africa and Australia, but the biggest goal is to sign partners in the United States, Stoffers said.

Google Earth’s map of Google Earth shows not only the location of the fire but also the surrounding fires, dust, wind, and cloud cover. The researchers are working to increase the lightning risk layer on the current platform. Users can measure the distance of the chimneys and see if they are moving in the direction of dangerous air bubbles in real time.

Auroratech is one of the many companies that use space-based technology to control wildfires. The San Francisco-based artificial intelligence company, Chuch AI, uses satellite imagery to analyze the location of a new fire every 10 minutes, the Associated Press reported. And a technology startup, Salo Science, in partnership with NASA, a satellite company, uses AI and satellite imagery to create a detailed map of California’s forest cover in California to build a monitoring system called the California Forest Observatory. Fires.

“Especially in California, if Silicon Valley is next to those fires, you can bet that there are other companies working to ease the stress,” said Stoffers.

The WIFIRE Laboratory, a team of computer scientists from the University of California, Ilkay Altintas and the University of California, San Diego, developed a fire map for the event and could be used by real-time firefighters and researchers to record real-time fire behavior.

The map uses artificial intelligence and data from previous fires to predict how new fires will burn and to plan ordered fires.

“In California, we really do science and technology,” Alintas said. It is an evolution that we have already had.

Local and government agencies in Southern California are already using the WIFIRE Laboratory Fire Map, and are helping to report plans for the Palisades fire that destroyed homes in affluent Los Angeles neighborhoods and last year’s Bobkat fire. It is located near the historic Wilson Mountain in the National Forest of Angeles.

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