‘Smoke Piercing’ Satellites To Aid Firefighters This Summer
The breakthrough comes as a result of the federal government agreeing a deal with Canberra-based Geoscape Australia, which will source pictures from 27 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites.
The satellites operate in sun-synchronous orbit and are part of a constellation owned by Finnish company ICEYE and backed by the European Space Agency.
Unlike traditional images, SAR has the potential to capture accurate pictures in real-time, even when they are obscured by poor light, clouds or smoke.
Currently, emergency services usually rely on human observation from the ground or traditional geostationary satellites that struggle to see in bad conditions.
Getting up-to-date images means firefighters on the ground can better direct firefighting aircraft or conduct ‘back burns’ to block a blaze’s spread. It also gives aircraft a better chance to reach fires early before they can get out of control.
Read more in article…