28 Jun 2024
Research Update

Research outcomes opening doors for future projects

28 Jun 2024

The research team has been busy recently, with the AquaWatch Coastal Water Quality Pilot project having just wrapped up. The project consisted of two key case studies: one at Morten Bay, Queensland, and the other in Cockburn Sound, Western Australia.

In the Moreton Bay study, the team integrated various data sources to better understand white spot disease distribution in prawns. For Cockburn Sound, the team used in-situ and satellite data for port development plans. During the project, the team developed a visualisation tool that was demonstrated for both case studies. Collectively, these pilots provide a framework for water quality monitoring through Internet of Things (IoT) technology, which is a significant milestone for SmartSat and can be expanded for future AquaWatch projects. SmartSat is continuing to engage with CSIRO and explore opportunities to further share our findings. You can read more about the visualisation tool here.

The Real Time Fire Analytics Project Team at RMIT has successfully progressed into the next phase of the XPRIZE Wildfire competition, which could open doors for further utilisation of the project’s outputs. The Redback Fire Team is proposing a two-phase, integrated and robust solution to wildfire surveillance and characterisation. The first phase aims to detect wildfires within one minute using constellation EO sensors, while the second phase will seek to accurately characterise fire detections and behaviour using a hybrid-model approach within 10 minutes. You can find out more about the proposal and the competition here. The team is also in discussions with the forest fire services team at Victoria’s Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action to co-design a next-generation fire analytics product. In the meantime, the project continues to produce the following valuable publication outputs:

Following the successful completion of the Scarlet-β Phase 1 project, SmartSat has approved a second phase of the project that will involve demonstrating an advanced mission autonomy package on Defence Science and Technology Group’s (DSTG) Buccaneer Main Mission (BMM). The BMM project, led by DSTG, includes a deployable mechanism with a pointable mirror and self-imaging capability. For Scarlet-β, researchers from the University of Sydney have developed an autonomous algorithm that will run as part of the BMM mission system to command the mirror and camera, along with the satellite’s attitude control system, to achieve a pre-set mission objective.

Two of the projects linked to the Kanyini mission, developed with the South Australian Government’s Department of Environment and Water and Department of Primary Industries and Regions are due to start shortly. The first project, titles SAEcoMap, will use Kanyini’s Visible-Near Infrared (VNIR) imaging functionality to map key ecological areas around the state. The second project, titled HeatWaves, will use the satellite’s thermal Infrared imagery to assess broad-scale urban heat islands across Adelaide and outlying regional centres. Both projects will be an example of ‘tasking’ the Kanyini mission for Earth Observation products and will involve assessing the imagery alongside data from existing satellite sources.

Finally, this month SmartSat unfortunately had to say farewell to our Principal Scientist of Earth Observation, Dr Jamine Muir, who has departed our organisation after several years of dedicated and valuable services and partnership. Jasmine has taken an exciting position closer to her home in Perth with Landgate, Western Australia’s land information authority. We look forward to staying in contact with her and collaborating with her and her new team in the future. SmartSat is currently in the process of finding a replacement to continue supporting our portfolio of remote sensing and data analytics work.

Dr Andrew Barton
Research Program Manager