As it stands, it is South Africa’s first space-application export. It is currently applied in 40 countries from Chile to Portugal and has 30 pilot projects for fire-detection, fire-danger indices and burnt-area assessments worldwide.CSIR’s Advanced Fire Information System (AFIS) is a trusty technological battle axe in the fight against run-away wild fires. The system stood the test in the infernos that scorched Cape Town’s mountain side by providing advance warning to authorities, allowing the rapid mobilisation of firefighters.
It is only fitting that the South African Institute of Forestry (SAIF) tipped its hat to the team behind the robust system. The Institute recognised the team’s efforts by awarding it with an Excellence Award for its technological contribution, good work and the tenacious support it has provided to fire managers and the forestry industry over the last 12 years.
The AFIS team, led by Philip Frost, has contributed significantly to fire management in afforested areas through the development of the Advanced Fire Information System and related products. Furthermore, they have, over the last three years, performed research that directly influenced a change in the veld and forest fire legislation,â€ reads the citation by SAIF.
Always there for the industry
A case in point of the AFIS team’s commitment to the firefighting community is the Kruger National Park campaign. When a new active fire detection algorithm needed to be evaluated, calibrated and validated on behalf of NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the team put its hand up for the job. This cumulated in a large field campaign at Kruger National Park. An academy of fire scientists assembled to work on the validation of the algorithm implemented at CSIR Meraka within the AFIS environment.
Take a bow AFIS TEAM.
AFIS team from Names of staff starting from the left: Ndumiso Booi, Riaan vd Dool, Graeme McFarren, Lee Annamalai, Philip Frost, Werner Raath, Cheewai Lai.