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European Space Agency signs CGI for wildfire mapping



The European Space Agency (ESA) has signed CGI to develop a wildfire mapping service that combines Earth Observation (EO) data, artificial intelligence and cloud computing.

A team from the University of Leicester has begun work with CGI on the project, which is aimed at supporting wildfire risk management and for which the initial users are to be Geoscience Australia and ONF France.

It will be open for agencies from other countries to review, with a demonstration service expected to be available on the open EO4SD Lab portal – developed by CGI and run by the ESA – in early summer.

The service will use AI algorithms and frequent satellite observations to support burnt area mapping products.

Kevin Tansey, professor of remote sensing and principal investigator at the University of Leicester, said: “After 20 years of research into the use of satellite data to measure burned area and severity from local to global scales, the opportunity to work with CGI and agency partners to develop new wildfire services is very exciting.

“I am further delighted that this project will be one of the first to be delivered out of Space Park Leicester, our new state-of-the-art, high tech facility for research, development and manufacturing.”

The UK has remained a member of the ESA following Brexit while not having access to EU funded space programmes.

Image from iStock, Tao55

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