News from the CRC

St Andrews prescribed burn

St Andrews prescribed burn
This research is developing better ways to use satellites to map fires. Photo: Karin Reinke
Release date
03 Apr 2017
More information:
Dr Karin Reinke
Researcher

Fire mapping with satellites and smart phones

Research is improving the accuracy of vegetation monitoring for flammability, as well as saving critical man hours, through the development of a beta smartphone application. Fuels3D, built on the Android platform, will allow land managers to rapidly collect imagery in the field, and uses computer vision and photogrammetric techniques to calculate measures of fuel and severity metrics.

There is great potential for the app to aid decision making believes Simeon Telfer from South Australia’s Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.

“This project has engaged end-users through development of prototype products, workshops and circulating outcomes and published materials,” Mr Telfer said.

“The Fuels3D mobile phone app has been of particular interest. This app has the potential to reduce fire fuel sampling times from hours per site to minutes. This helps to improve our knowledge of prescribed burn efficacy, inputs into fire behaviour modelling and information towards risk assessment and planning.

“These improvements will improve knowledge or risk and treatment options across landscapes and thereby improve resilience of communities,” he said.

The Disaster landscape attribution project team, led by Prof Simon Jones of RMIT University, are also characterising fire landscapes using the latest satellite-based thermal earth observation systems for active fire surveillance and exploiting 3D remote sensing technologies to quantify and map changes in the landscape before, and after, a fire. The team brings together researchers from Australia, Germany and the Netherlands, with land managers, rural fire agencies and water utilities from across Australia.

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