During the 2019/2020 bushfire season the operational AQFx system was applied beyond its tested capabilities. This project investigates the strengths and challenges of smoke forecasting with AQFx under conditions of extreme bushfire smoke exposure. We will deploy additional science modules to address areas where improvements in forecast robustness are sought.
Accurate near real time smoke intelligence (based on observations and modelling) is key to the successful management and amelioration of smoke risk to the Australian population. The project will substantially increase the capacity of existing observation networks in candidate states and territories through the deployment of a low-cost particle sensor network, and through improvements to algorithms of satellite-based observations of smoke across the Australian region.
The management of smoke risk in Australia is a responsibility which not only falls to the commonwealth, and states and territories, but also to individuals within families and households. A key objective of the project is to ensure that robust smoke exposure information generated by this project will be available (in coordination with stakeholder information) to the Australian population via a state-of-the-art cloud-based app.
The project’s research can be broken down into 5 key activities:
- AQFx performance assessment
- Smoke observation network
- Assimilation and blending of data
- Cloud-based communication capabilities of smoke forecasts (AQVx and AirRater)
- Rapid Update Cycle forecasts