As part of NASA’s Safety Awareness Campaign and Engineering Colloquium, Prof. Michael Gollner will present a talk on Modeling Wildfires: Past, Present and Future.
Date & Time: Monday, April 28, 3:30 PM
Place: Goddard Space Flight Center, Building 3 Auditorium
In order to fill this gap, several research efforts are under way to improve current models of wildland fire spread and a means to circumvent increased accuracy of these models with real-time data. In a joint project with the US Forest Service, recent research has revealed that, despite their large size, wildland fires often spread via small-scale interactions with discrete fuels, dominated by buoyancy-enhanced boundary layer instabilities. Implications from this research towards the current approach to modeling wildland fire spread will be presented. Another avenue being pursued, through a joint project between the University of Maryland and UC San Diego, seeks to develop a cyber infrastructure for real-time sensor-driven modeling of wildland fires. Rather than relying on an increased physical accuracy of models, real-time data is used to improve predictions over time, highlighting a potential new avenue similar to weather forecasting.