Optus and the Australian National University (ANU) have joined forces to develop a national bushfire detection and suppression system.
The two will establish and maintain a Bushfire Research Center of Excellence to research and develop solutions to predict, identify and extinguish fires before they become fatal.
Funded until the end of 2024, the project will see researchers from both organizations working together to develop an autonomous ground and aerial fire detection system.
Optus said that by 2022, the program hopes to launch a constellation of satellites, managed by the ANU, to complement the fire detection system.
The first stages of the program will see a pilot of infrared sensor cameras launched in the ACT.
“Our infrared sensor pilot will be the first of many technologies tested for early detection, which is absolutely essential to contain disasters before they destroy lives, homes, wildlife and the environment,” said Optus Enterprise boss Chris Mitchell in a statement.
The Initial Trial The trial, in partnership with ACT’s Rural Fire Service (RFS), will place long-range infrared camera systems on towers in areas prone to bushfires in ACT, allowing the ACT RFS to monitor and visually identify bushfires before they get out of control.
“If we are able to improve the speed and accuracy of fire detection, it ultimately means we can improve our response and better protect communities and landscapes,” said Rohan Scott, Managing Director of interim of RFS.
In the future, the program will be complemented by a geostationary satellite to help locate and track fires as well as deploy extinguishing technologies, according to the telephone company.
Existing and new technologies will be evaluated for use, including: infrared cameras, drones, robotics and satellites. Optus said it will also use its expertise and research in the areas of space, communications, computer vision, sensing systems, defense, data analytics and space science. bush fires.
If successful, ANU’s own modeling suggested that the project would save the country $ 8.2 billion over the next 30 years.
ANU Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt said the last bushfire season has shown that fires can cause massive destruction of the environment, homes, infrastructure and cost lives.
“This is why we are building an integrated defense system to protect Australia from catastrophic fires. This will detect and attack fires before they develop.