Vision for the project

OzFuel is envisioned as a hyperspectral instrument to be deployed on a satellite constellation to l monitor vegetation fuel flammability worldwide. It will provide government, frontline organizations, and communities with enhanced information for planning, preparedness, and response to wildfires.

OzFuel will initially monitor Australian eucalyptus forests, but its scope will be expanded to include a wider range of vegetation fuel types. This will make OzFuel relevant and applicable to wildfire monitoring efforts around the world.

The aims of the OzFuel project are to:

Develop an instrument that can monitor vegetation fuel flammability to predict when, where, and how fires are likely to occur, spread, and behave.

Support the growth of the Australian space industry through research and development (R&D), manufacturing, assembly, integration, and testing activities.

Deliver vegetation fuel flammability data at the optimal spatial, temporal, and spectral resolution to improve fire preparedness, response, and resilience.

Research

Research explores space-based monitoring of vegetation flammability before the fire starts and spreads through several activities:

  • Satellite data enabling wide-area imaging of the Australian landscape, particularly over remote-forested localities;
  • Higher spatial, spectral and temporal resolution data to evaluate pre-fire fuel conditions and determine where and where fires are likely to start and spread;
  • 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 flammability 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. The 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.

Chief Investigators

Project Team

Prof Robert Sharp
Dr Nicolas Younes
Dr Joice Mathew
Mr Gianluca Scortechini
Mr Dale Hughes
Mr Eric Hay
Mr Mbam Itumo