Minderoo announces $16m wildfire tech competition

The Minderoo Foundation is moving on its ambitious project to detect wildfires within minutes announcing a global prize to encourage new ideas.

Minderoo Foundation spokesperson Karen O’Connor says the international collaboration to support innovation in fire detection and response will reduce the chances of fires becoming disasters.

“We’re always pretty ambitious with timelines… it’s a four-year prize, but the first observation component – the component that’s about protection – we’re aiming for two years.”

Half of the prize is for a team that can best autonomously detect and suppress a high-risk fire in a 1000 km2 area in 10 minutes.

The second half is for accurately detecting all fires across a landscape larger than entire states or countries within a minute and precisely characterising and reporting data within 10 minutes.

You can find out more about the prize here.

Cosmos Science journalist Jacinta Bowler spoke to Karen O’Connor at the Australian Space Forum in Adelaide.

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