CENIC Recognizes Technology Projects to Combat California Wildfires

LA MIRADA, Calif. & BERKELEY, Calif.–()–In recognition of labor to deliver superior IT and telecommunications to the struggle to include California wildfires, the WIFIRE, HPWREN, and AlertTahoe initiatives have been chosen as recipients of the CENIC 2018 Innovations in Networking Award for Experimental Applications.

Project leaders being acknowledged are Ilkay Altintas, San Diego Supercomputer Center; John Graham, Qualcomm Institute, University of California San Diego; Graham Kent, Nevada Seismological Laboratory, University of Nevada, Reno; and Frank Vernon, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego (UCSD).

WIFIRE is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded venture at UCSD that has developed real-time and data-driven simulation, prediction, and visualization of wildfire conduct. During this previous yr’s chaotic fires of Los Angeles, Ventura, and San Diego, WIFIRE’s publicly out there fireplace map was considered over eight million occasions, whereas the WIFIRE staff was in shut communication with fireplace response companies and chiefs from varied fireplace departments (primarily from Los Angeles and San Diego). WIFIRE offered predictive maps for the Thomas, Skirball, Creek, Rye, and Lilac Fires in Southern California and monitored the primary responder radio channels and fireplace perimeter data to shortly create simulations of the unfold of particular wildfires.

The assortment of this significant knowledge was made doable by the High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN), began in 2000 beneath NSF funding. HPWREN has constructed out high-speed wi-fi networks in San Diego, Imperial, Orange, and Riverside Counties, enabling tons of of cameras and meteorological stations to stream critically necessary knowledge to servers linked with one another by the CENIC spine and offering wide-area wi-fi Internet entry all through southernmost California. HPWREN’s distant sensor community collects knowledge from wildfire cameras, seismic networks, hydrological sensors, oceanographic sensors, meteorological sensors, and coastal radar and GPS, offering a groundbreaking wealth of data that’s shared by way of the CENIC community.

“As a constant user and monitor of the HPWREN site for many years, I have enjoyed the evolutions that are taking place. The Whittier Fire [monitoring Santa Ynez Peak live] really highlighted the value of the system. I was glued to the camera that day as the fire climbed the ridge. Great live camera work by your team! The PTZ cameras and KML data are strong new assets,” mentioned Dave Fleming, Lookout 23, Forest Fire Lookout Association, San Diego.

Similarly, AlertTahoe has, over the previous 5 years, offered discovery, early warning, and monitoring for over 350 wildfires all through the Sierras and Nevada’s Great Basin, giving wildland firefighting managers the important time and knowledge wanted to transfer shortly and reply successfully. This system of pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) fireplace cameras and multi-hazard monitoring consists of time lapse footage on-demand, smoke investigation, prescribed fireplace oversight, wildfire monitoring, earthquake early warning, and monitoring of utmost climate occasions.

“The safety of my firefighters and the communities they protect is my priority, so having more information about a fire before we encounter it is an added safety measure that benefits our first responders,” mentioned San Diego Fire-Rescue Chief Brian Fennessy. “Having access to a live view of our highest-risk fire areas will greatly improve situational awareness, our coordination with CAL FIRE, and allow for quicker response times, better response strategies, and faster evacuation orders to ensure our communities are better prepared in the face of a wildfire. During the ignition of the Church Fire, I could watch the smoke on my phone – the color, the direction – and immediately knew the resources that I needed to deploy and the time they would be engaged. Furthermore, the crews could watch how the fire progressed on their tablets as they approached the fire, providing real-time situational awareness. These fire cameras are a game changer.”

WIFIRE, headed by Ilkay Altintas, merges observations, corresponding to satellite tv for pc imagery and real-time knowledge from sensors within the subject, with computational strategies like sign processing, visualization, modeling, and knowledge assimilation, to monitor environmental circumstances and predict the place and how briskly a wildfire will unfold. The venture is funded as a part of the NSF Hazards SEES program, which reinforces sustainability utilizing superior applied sciences and new strategies. Participants in WIFIRE embrace researchers from the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology’s (Calit2) Qualcomm Institute, and the united states Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) division. Also collaborating within the venture is the University of Maryland’s Department of Fire Protection Engineering.

“Wildfires have become a major threat to both Northern and Southern California. The WIFIRE, HPWREN, and AlertTahoe projects are now actively collaborating with each other, the first-responder community, and CENIC to give California new digital tools to reduce the wildfire danger, including early detection/warning, situational awareness, predictive simulations, and first-responder planning. Their pioneering results set the stage for wildfire threat reduction via wireless extensions from any CENIC-connected entity in California,” mentioned Larry Smarr, Director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology.

While working at UCSD’s Scripps Institution for Oceanography, Graham Kent was a robust collaborator on HPWREN. When he left to grow to be a professor on the University of Nevada, Reno, he based AlertTahoe, a fireplace digital camera system that makes use of a non-public, high-speed Internet microwave communications system for real-time fire-spotting and monitoring. AlertTahoe offers protection of the Lake Tahoe Basin and surrounding mountains, hundreds of sq. miles of northern Nevada’s Great Basin, and areas as far south as Bishop, California, within the japanese Sierra.

The networked fireplace cameras found seven wildland fires within the Tahoe basin in AlertTahoe’s inaugural two-year deployment, and in 2017 alone offered discovery, early intel, and/or monitoring of 207 others. The HD/4K fireplace cameras are remotely controllable for tilt, pan, zoom, and, for some new cameras, steady rotation.

“The cameras are strategically sited to provide a landscape overview,” mentioned Paul Petersen, Fire Management Officer, Nevada Bureau of Land Management. “All cameras are equipped with on-demand time-lapse functions to allow playback throughout different time periods. This allows dispatchers and duty officers to play back the camera feed to detect anomalies and gather a local picture of what is happening, and has happened, within the field of view of the camera. This camera network gives fire managers a real-time picture of what is happening from both a weather and fire behavior standpoint. We have almost 500 people looking at the public site at various times, and 12 duty officers and dispatchers have access to the cameras for tactical fire response 24/7.”

In 2017, AlertTahoe experimented with machine-vision auto-detect software program, which is designed to mechanically detect and report smoke. In 2018, Kent and co-founder Ken Smith will be part of forces with Doug Toomey on the University of Oregon to develop the system into Oregon and Idaho. Similar efforts with Neal Driscoll at UCSD are targeted within the San Francisco Bay Area and Napa areas.

“The resources provided for our first responders and the public have made possible swift, effective fire-fighting and evacuation strategies, and potentially saved countless lives,” mentioned Louis Fox, President and CEO of CENIC. “The impact that these projects have made in keeping Californians, our communities, and our natural resources safe from wildfires is profound. The projects we are recognizing with this award have highlighted the usefulness and value of wireless extensions of the CENIC fiber network and set the stage for continued support and scaling up of these and other, related wireless initiatives.”

The CENIC Innovations in Networking Awards are introduced annually at CENIC’s annual convention to spotlight the exemplary improvements that leverage ultra-high bandwidth networking, notably the place these improvements have the potential to rework the methods during which instruction and analysis are performed or the place they additional the deployment of broadband in underserved areas. The CENIC convention will likely be held March 5 – 7, 2018, in Monterey, California.

About CENIC: www.cenic.org

CENIC connects California to the world—advancing training and analysis statewide by offering the world-class community important for innovation, collaboration, and financial progress. This nonprofit group operates the California Research and Education Network (CalREN), a high-capacity community designed to meet the distinctive necessities of over 20 million customers, together with the overwhelming majority of Ok-20 college students along with educators, researchers and people at different very important public-serving establishments. CENIC’s Charter Associates are a part of the world’s largest training system; they embrace the California Ok-12 system, California Community Colleges, the California State University system, California’s public libraries, the University of California system, Stanford, Caltech, the Naval Postgraduate School, and USC. CENIC additionally offers connectivity to modern establishments and trade analysis organizations all over the world, serving the general public as a catalyst for a vibrant California.

About WIFIRE: https://wifire.ucsd.edu/

WIFIRE is an NSF-funded venture at UC San Diego that has developed real-time and data-driven simulation, prediction, and visualization of wildfire conduct.

About HPWREN: http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/

The High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN) has constructed out high-speed wi-fi networks in San Diego, Imperial, Orange, and Riverside Counties, enabling tons of of cameras and meteorological stations to stream critically necessary knowledge to servers linked with one another by the CENIC spine.

About AlertTahoe:

AlertTahoe is a fireplace digital camera and multi-hazard monitoring system that features smoke investigation, prescribed fireplace oversight, wildfire monitoring, Earthquake Early Warning, and monitoring of utmost climate occasions.