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Space Assets and Technology for Bushfire Management : Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program 2021 / Edited by Travis Holland and Zoe Nicole Silverstoe

Contributor(s): Publication details: Hindmarsh : ATF Press, 2021.Description: 69 pContent type:
  • text
Media type:
  • unmediated
Carrier type:
  • volume
  • 9781922582812
Subject(s): DDC classification:
  • 363.379
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The financial, emotional, and ecological impacts of bushfires can be devastating, as seen during the 2019–2020 ‘Black Summer’ East Australian bushfires. This report was prepared by participants of the Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program 2021 (SHSSP21) to address the question, ‘How can space assets and technologies be applied to better predict and mitigate bushfires and their impacts?’ The task was addressed under three pillars, namely bushfire prediction (‘Predict’), mitigation of bushfire effects (‘Mitigate’), and communication needs relating to bushfire response (‘Communicate’). Working initially in these three groups, the report was developed by combining the diverse expertise and experience of participants with the interdisciplinary knowledge gained from seminars, distinguished lectures, and workshops, and a literature review. With reference to the 2019–2020 Australian fire season, each group conducted a current state analysis and identified key challenges. Comparing this to the future desired state, we identified gaps in each of the three domains, and then worked across teams to reach consensus on a combined list of recommendations. Several recommendations were derived independently by two or more of the three groups, highlighting the importance of a holistic and collaborative approach. In summary, three geophysical components determine fire behavior—fuel, topography and weather. Earth observation data for each of these are essential for accurate bushfire prediction. As most fires start by lightning strikes, prediction of lightning using satellite infrared imagery to determine cloud top temperatures could assist bushfire prediction. Huge volumes of satellite data must be combined with weather and climate prediction models to improve forecast lead times, however, a major limitation is the storage capacity and computational power required, which could be addressed by using cloud-based technology infrastructure. Adequate communication of relevant information to authorities and communities is vital. Firefighter safety could be improved by use of protective clothing modelled on astronaut space suits, and by reinforcing fire trucks with thermal protective materials as used on spacecraft. An interoperable national communications infrastructure is needed to enable rapid sharing of information and resources, with emergency responders and citizens, across jurisdictions. While our case study was based on the Australian context, the lessons and recommendations could be applied internationally.

Item type Current library Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book Book NSW Rural Fire Service Library Fire management Fire management 14561 (Browse shelf(Opens below)) Available 14561

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