The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has awarded a contract to Spire Global, subsidiary ExactEarth to deliver preparatory work for implementation phases of a wildfire monitoring satellite.
The contract is the initial step towards CSA’s planned WildFireSat mission, which aims to monitor all active wildfires in Canada from space on a daily basis to support wildfire management, provide Canadians with more precise information on smoke and air quality conditions, and more accurately measure the carbon emitted by wildfires. Spire will partner with Ororatech, the global industry leader in space-based thermal intelligence, for the contract. The two firms have previously worked together on the successful launch of OroraTech’s wildfire detection and monitoring mission on a Spire satellite in 2022.
Global wildfire losses from 2018-2022 totalled $69 billion, according to Munich Re. Canada spends around $1 billion every year fighting wildfires, with indirect costs estimated to be several times higher due to resulting property destruction, infrastructure damage, evacuations, health-related expenses and wider economic losses across business sectors such as forestry, energy and tourism. In 2016, the Fort McMurray wildfire alone led to a total cost of around $9 billion, making it the most expensive natural disaster in Canadian history. The mission will benefit the country’s forestry industry, wildfire managers, emergency services and Canadian communities, all of which are frequently impacted by wildfires.
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