New experts on board, first satellite launching, big things ahead - what have we been up to?
Dominik Eckert and Laura Geismayr complete the final FOREST integration
First and foremost, our small crew is not so small anymore! Over the last 18 months, we have grown from a small team of just 20 to a company of over 50 people today. And rightfully so for a business offering global wildfire detection and monitoring, our team is quite global and diverse, with over 16 nationalities represented.
"A global climate crisis requires a global solution."
A time-lapse of the Evia Island fire in Greece that affected the northern part of the island. The data shown is from August 2-8, 2021.
Of course, every one of our team members is highly invested in our mission, which is to provide the first global holistic wildfire detection and monitoring system. This is proving to be even more important on the heels of what has been another record setting wildfire season in the Northern Hemisphere.
One of the worst fire seasons in recent history
A time-lapse of the Caldor Fire in California, USA. The data shown is from August 15-30th, 2021
A prolonged drought in the Western United States set the stage for an early and active fire season. As of this month, over 45,000 wildfires have burned more than 5.6 million acres of land in the US, and over 6,000 wildfires have burned more than 10.29 million acres in Canada. The devastation hasn’t been just limited to North America. Extreme wildfires in Siberia have emitted record breaking amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and in Europe there has been a 75% above average increase in wildfires this year alone, with over 1,400 blazes registered through the end of August.
Everywhere we look, the Earth is burning. A global climate crisis requires a global solution, and we here at OroraTech think we can play a key role in developing that solution. Our current wildfire system aggregates the most satellite data sources on a global scale, providing significant insight and decision support to dozens of clients. The unique combination of different satellite instrumentation gives us the advantage of being able to track wildfires in near real time, accurately capturing and monitoring the dynamical behaviour of fires like no other system can provide. But we know that we can’t stop there.
"Within the next 2 years, we will double the fire detection and monitoring capabilities of existing satellites."
The key component of our wildfire service is about to reach an important milestone. Somewhere in an air-tight sealed laboratory in Glasgow sits our pride and joy FOREST, a novel-infrared thermal camera that will be launched into space in December 2021 on a platform no bigger than a shoebox. But that’s just the start. By launching a series of these instruments on small satellite platforms over the next 2 years, we will double the fire detection and monitoring capabilities of existing satellites.
FLY, FOREST, FLY!
OroraTech Team celebrating the latest funding round
But first, we need to get FOREST to space! Our amazing engineering team is in Scotland this week, working with our partners at Spire to get FOREST fitted all nice and snug into its new spaceship house. From there, FOREST will be off to California for its last stop on Earth before it’s launched into space and settles into orbit about 600 km above the surface.
This is only the beginning. We will be sharing a lot more throughout our journey. Stay tuned.
Your OroraTech Team