The socio-economic and environmental cost of bushfires to Australia in 2020 alone amounted to more than $7.4 billion, a cost set to increase in the coming years with the impacts of climate change.  

The Bushfires Royal Commission, NSW Bushfire Inquiry and Australian Space Agency Bushfire Earth Observation Taskforce have all made independent assessments and have suggested the following space-based mitigation activities: 

  1. Satellite data enabling wide-area imaging of the Australian landscape, particularly over remote-forested localities; 

  1. Higher spatial, spectral and temporal resolution data to evaluate pre-fire fuel hazard conditions and prevent catastrophic events in the first place; 

  1. Smart-satellite sensor systems capable of on-board processing, enabling near-real-time dissemination of critical data to help emergency and tactical response teams on the ground. 

Whole-of-continent fuel load and moisture imaging is crucial for fire prevention, highlighting vulnerable areas and allocating tactical ground resources more effectively to manage breakouts. High spatial and spectral resolution imaging is not yet currently optimised via existing satellites or upcoming planned international EO missions. InSpace’s OzFuel program uses novel infrared technology to fill this critical need by providing the first of an envisioned constellation that can address these challenges in pre-fire mitigation. More importantly, it will guide response activities such as allocating tactical ground resources more effectively to manage breakouts. 

For more information, please contact:

Dr Jia-Urnn Lee | Business Development Manager | jia-urnn.lee@anu.edu.au | + 61 02 6125 0066

Assoc. Prof. Marta Yebra | Mission Specialist and Director, ANU National Bushfire Initiative  | marta.yebra@anu.edu.au  |   +61 02 6125 4107