20 Jun 2023
Project News

Information for partners on XPRIZE Wildfire

20 Jun 2023

Several SmartSat partners have reached out to inform us they are interested in the XPRIZE Wildfire competition, so we have made a brief summary of the objectives and format of the prize here. We hope this will inform partners and encourage them to get involved.

An XPRIZE is a public competition intended to encourage technological development to benefit humanity​. Run by the XPRIZE Foundation, the competition is open to individuals, companies and organisations across all disciplines ​to participate in this incentivised competition with large cash prizes and major publicity​ opportunities available. Teams are motivated to develop innovative ideas and technologies​ to help shape a better future for all.

Although SmartSat is not planning to commit funding or resources to this prize, we are happy to facilitate contacts within our network as well as examine the possibility for licensing IP of SmartSat research projects that have already been funded.

Summary of XPRIZE Wildfire

Key goals:

  • Detection of fires: rapidly, accurately (<< 1km), and precisely (false positives <<40%), and
  • Suppression of fires: swiftly (<<60 mins) for the potentially most destructive fires

Other goals:

  • Ensuring the safety of firefighters
  • Safe management of environmentally beneficial fires
  • Improved coordination among fire responders


  • The XPRIZE Wildfire Prize Purse totals US $11,000,000
  • First Place Team in each track will receive US $3,500,000
  • Milestone prizes will be awarded incrementally across the two competition tracks
  • Teams that advance to a Semifinal Round in either track will share a milestone prize purse of US $750,000
  • Teams that advance to a Final Round in either track will share a milestone prize purse of US $750,000
  • A bonus prize (the Lockheed Martin Accurate Detection & Intelligence Bonus Prize) of US $1,000,000 will be awarded to one or more eligible teams across both tracks whose competition entries successfully demonstrate Accurate, Precise, and Rapid Detection

There are two “tracks” for prizes:

  • Track A: Space-Based Wildfire Detection and Intelligence – teams will have one minute to accurately detect all fires across a landscape larger than entire states or countries, and 10 minutes to precisely characterize and report data with the least false positives to two ground stations.
  • Track B: Autonomous Wildfire Response – teams have 10 minutes to autonomously detect and suppress a high-risk fire in a 1,000 km2, environmentally challenging area, leaving any decoy fires untouched.

The competition requires real-life field demonstrations, under controlled and safe conditions, are required to win a prize. Teams will be assessed (in part) on their safety planning and risk mitigations for their demonstrations

For more information or to find out more about how SmartSat can help you with your submission, contact Research Project Manager Andrew Barton at [email protected].