Spire Global Partners with OroraTech to Build an Eight-Satellite Constellation for Monitoring Wildfires

By Sophia Francise

June 29, 2023
Sensors for Early Fire Detection

OroraTech was chosen by Spire Global to develop an advanced solution for monitoring wildfires consisting of an eight-satellite constellation for global temperature monitoring.

The technology, which is expected to be launched by mid-2024, will be the largest constellation of satellites for tracking wildfires.

Each satellite in the eight-satellite constellation will carry OroraTech’s proprietary thermal-infrared optical payload and data processing unit with on-orbit fire detection capability.1

The urgent data the satellites acquire will be downlinked and transmitted to OroraTech via an API via Spire’s ground station network. 

The satellites will aid in detecting and monitoring areas vulnerable to wildfires and allow for early detection of these fires, which are rapidly spreading due to the adverse effects of climate change.

OroraTech has successfully operated a precursor sensor on a Spire satellite for 15 months, serving as an active fire monitoring instrument for customers worldwide.

The active fire monitoring instrument sensor is currently assisting SOPFEU, Quebec’s fire agency. 

A second Spire satellite carrying OroraTech payloads was launched on SpaceX Transporter-8.

Spire Space Services enables organizations to use its infrastructure to launch their businesses in space. 

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They have previously collaborated with OroraTech to validate the FOREST constellation and demonstrate its functionality in orbit. 

Spire now plans to scale the constellation, providing data every 30 minutes and within three minutes of wildfire detection.

“Spire’s Space as a Service model, which is designed to rapidly bring new customers like ourselves to the vantage point of space within a few months of contract signature, proved invaluable in moving us quickly towards our goal,” said Dr. Axel Roenneke OroraTech’s chief commercial officer. 

“By continuously monitoring the Earth’s temperature, customers, like fire-fighting agencies, forestry and utility companies, are provided with real-time detection capability, continuous situational awareness as well as predictive insights to maintain control of wildfires.”

The Growing Threat of Wildfires

Wildfire seasons in the US and Canada have been highly dangerous, with governments investing billions in firefighting efforts. 

However, first responders still lack real-time data, causing delays and increased damage. 

To address this issue, Spire Global and OroraTech have announced a collaboration to launch a constellation of eight global temperature and wildfire-monitoring satellites by mid-2024.

Identifying areas at risk of wildfires is crucial for proactive measures and early intervention. 

Advanced satellite technology from Spire Global and OroraTech will provide valuable insights into areas prone to wildfires, enabling authorities to implement preventive measures like controlled burns, improved firebreaks, and enhanced monitoring in high-risk regions. 

This real-time wildfire detection and monitoring data will benefit first responders, insurance, and energy sectors. 

First responders will have access to up-to-date information on wildfire location, size, and behavior, enabling informed decisions and resource allocation. 

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Insurance companies can assess risks and develop more accurate pricing models, while the energy sector can identify infrastructure threats and take necessary precautions.

References

  1. Business Wire, ‘OroraTech Selects Spire Global to Provide Eight Satellites for Wildfire Monitoring Constellation’, 28 June 2023, https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20230628762416/en/OroraTech-Selects-Spire-Global-to-Provide-Eight-Satellites-for-Wildfire-Monitoring-Constellation[]
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