Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Real-time ’movies’ will predict wildfire behavior for one hour

26.09.2003


Collaborative project promises new approach to battling fires



Someday fire fighters will be able to manage wildfires by computer.

Rochester Institute of Technology recently won a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to translate remote-sensing data about wildfires into real-time "mini-movies" that fire managers can download on laptop computers at the scene of a blaze. The model and visualization will predict the fire’s behavior for the following hour.


This four-year collaborative project also involves researchers from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Texas A&M, University of Colorado at Denver and University of Kentucky.

Leading RIT’s research effort is Anthony Vodacek, assistant professor in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science. Vodacek also heads RIT’s Forest Fire Imaging Experimental System (FIRES), a precursor to the Wildfire Airborne Sensor Program (WASP). Other team members will include CIS senior research scientist Robert Kremens and postdoctoral fellow Ambrose Ononye.

FIRES and WASP research were made possible through the efforts of Congressman Jim Walsh, chair of the House VA/HUD Independent Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, who has provided nearly $8 million through the NASA budget over four years to support wild fire-detection research at RIT.

The RIT team has two roles in its new project:

-- To collect real-time data about wildfires using the airborne sensor, WASP, and ground-based sensors; and

-- To use computer animation to visualize predicted fire behavior

In between those two steps, is a unique fire behavior model that forms the core of the project. Information collected by the RIT team will be fed into the model created by Vodacek’s colleague Janice Coen at NCAR. Based on fire-behavior models in use by the U.S. Forest Service, Coen’s model will combine RIT’s data with the influence of weather conditions. The model will output a 3-dimensional "movie" about the fire sophisticated enough to predict dangerous fire behavior, such as leaping flames.

Other members of the collaborative team will be in charge of feeding a wide variety of raw data to the model for rapid retrieval at the fire scene.

In order for this relay of information to be successful, Vodacek will need to make the scientific data meaningful to the fire fighters. "Coen’s model can track smoke and hot gases in the atmosphere," he says. "We need to translate that into what a fire looks like by using computer animation. It fits very well into what we’ve been doing in the FIRES project."

Vodacek’s team will create synthetic scenes of fires to visualize live blazes based on Coen’s model, which will tell them where flames will be in any particular situation.

"We would translate it into what a person would see," Vodacek says. "Essentially, a little movie would be generated. In the end, the goal is to make it look real to the fire manager."

The process will work like this: overhead and ground sensors will collect real-time data about a fire to feed into the model. The data will be transferred to a super computer where the model is run and then sent back to the field. (The fire could be in Montana and the super computer in Georgia, Vodacek notes.) The link is the laptop that the fire manager will use to watch how the fire is predicted to behave for about an hour.

"The idea is that all of this will occur as close as possible to real time," Vodacek says. "By the time it takes to collect the data, run it through the model and send it back to the field, it may be 15 minutes old. But, still, that gives you a 45-minute outlook, potentially."

The overall goal of the project is to demonstrate the entire system at the end of four years.


To talk to Anthony Vodacek about remote sensing and visualizing wildfires, contact Susan Gawlowicz at 585-475-5061 or smguns@rit.edu

Internationally recognized as a leader in computing, imaging, technology, fine and applied arts, and education of the deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology enrolls 15,500 students in more than 340 undergraduate and graduate programs. Its cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.

For the past decade, U.S. News and World Report has ranked RIT as one of the nation’s leading comprehensive universities. RIT is also included in Fisk’s Guide to America’s Best Colleges, as well as Barron’s Best Buys in Education.

Susan Gawlowicz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rit.edu/

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht UT professor develops algorithm to improve online mapping of disaster areas
29.11.2016 | University of Tennessee at Knoxville

nachricht New standard helps optical trackers follow moving objects precisely
23.11.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>