Dr Marta Yebra is using satellites to help predict and manage fires. Credit: Jamie Kidston.
The ANU-Optus Bushfire Research Centre of Excellence will undertake advanced research and develop hi-tech solutions to predict, identify and extinguish blazes before they become deadly. The ambitious program will run until 2024. In the short-term, experts from Optus and ANU will work together to develop an autonomous ground-based and aerial fire detection system.
By 2022, the program proposes launching a constellation of satellites, managed by ANU, to complement the fire detection system. The program will look to be augmented by a geostationary satellite to help spot and track fires as well as deploy extinguishing technologies.
The program will investigate how to use existing and new technologies including infra-red cameras, drones, robotics and satellites. It will also harness expertise and research in space, communications, computer vision, sensing systems, defence, data analytics and bushfire science.