Multi-Level Wild Land Fire Fighting Management Support System for an Optimized Guidance of Ground and Air Forces
Publication from Digital
Geophysical Research Abstracts , 1/2016
Climate change will lead to a dramatic increase in damage from forest fires in Europe by the end of this century. In the Mediterranean region, the average annual area affected by forest fires has quadrupled since the 1960s (WWF, 2012). The number of forest fires is also on the increase in Central and Northern Europe. The Austrian forest fire database shows a total of 584 fires for the period 2012 to 2014, while even large areas of Sweden were hit by forest fires in August 2014, which were brought under control only after two weeks of intense fire-fighting efforts supported by European civil protection modules. Based on these facts, the improvements in forest fire control are a major international issue in the quest to protect human lives and resources as well as to reduce the negative environmental impact of these fires to a minimum. Within this paper the development of a multi-functional airborne management support system within the frame of the Austrian national safety and security research programme (KIRAS) is described. The main goal of the developments is to assist crisis management tasks of civil emergency teams and armed forces in disaster management by providing multi spectral, near real-time airborne image data products. As time, flexibility and reliability as well as objective information are crucial aspects in emergency management, the used components are tailored to meet these requirements. An airborne multi-functional management support system was developed as part of the national funded project AIRWATCH, which enables real-time monitoring of natural disasters based on optical and thermal images. Airborne image acquisition, a broadband line of sight downlink and near real-time processing solutions allow the generation of an up-to-date geo-referenced situation map. Furthermore, this paper presents ongoing developments for innovative extensions and research activities designed to optimize command operations in national and international fire-fighting missions. The ongoing development focuses on the following topics.