Wildfires have been known to devastate regions and communities across Alberta.
Combatting wildfires costs Canada a lot of money, and so the government is investing $170 million over the next decade to establish a new wildfire monitoring satellite system.
Contributing to this system is OroraTech, a Germany-based industry leader in space-based thermal intelligence with offices in Vancouver.
OroraTech is partnering with US-based space-to-cloud data and analytics company Spire Global, as well as the Canadian Space Agency, to deliver preparatory work for implementation phases of a wildfire monitoring satellite.
“We are excited to partner with the CSA on their WildfireSat solution,” stated Tyler Smith, Account Executive of OroraTech in Canada. “The low-latency thermal data we are offering as a service will provide Canadian wildfire managers with a fast and complete solution for wildfire detection and situational awareness—across the continent, daily, and in real-time.”
The contract is an initial step toward building CSA’s planned WildFireSat mission, which aims to monitor all active wildfires in Canada from space on a daily basis, according to a statement.
“We are delighted to be collaborating with OroraTech on another exciting project, building upon the momentum generated from our previous mission together,” said Frank Frulio, General Manager of Spire Space Services for Spire Global.
As Western Canada approaches peak fire season, which can span 13 weeks starting in late May, the need for efficient and reliable wildfire detection solutions has become more pressing than ever.
WildfireSat will specifically close the gap in infrared observation from Space, i.e. the late afternoon “peak burn period.” In this most critical time of the day, higher temperatures, lower humidity and strong winds often result in a rapid propagation of wildfires.
“Canada is the first country investing in a dedicated solution for Wildfire monitoring from Space,” noted Dr. Axel Roenneke, Chief Commercial Officer of OroraTech. “Our system will help reduce Carbon emissions and improve air quality—with an economic impact of billions of dollars every year.”
“How valuable our sensor data is, was demonstrated during the Chile fires earlier this year,” said Roenneke. “And with a commercial service approach, our Canadian consortium can deliver actionable intelligence to the Canadian community fast.”
OroraTech was founded in 2018 and currently employs 80 experts worldwide.