Bushfire Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance

Air Affairs Australia has provided Airborne Bushfire Reconnaissance services throughout Australia since 1994. Since it’s first demonstrated capability in the summer of 1994-95, the service has been used extensively in this unique role. Established as a crucial element in Bushfire intelligence gathering, the service was placed on a term contract with the NSW Rural Fire Services between 2003 and 2011. Since this time, the service has been utilised throughout Australia on a Call When Needed basis.

Since the operation commenced, AAA has continued to develop and further enhance the bushfire reconnaissance capability.

The current capability today consists of:

  • 4 customised Multispectral / Infrared Line Scanner systems.
  • Purpose modified Kingair 200T aircraft, VH-LAB.
  • Custom designed and manufactured AIRPOD-101 Wing Pod system for Learjet Line Scanner operations.
  • Rapid on-board image data processing system.
  • Broadband Satellite Communication system enabling rapid world-wide data transfer.


Images from the system

Air Affairs Australia

An example of Line Scanner imagery over an active bushfire using the Learjet and Airpod system combination, captured at an altitude of 22,000ft at a speed near 750 km/h.

The images are from the same dataset, displaying a true colour combination, along with the enhanced visible and infrared combination. The IR combination imagery clearly defining active fire and post-burnt area, through thick smoke over the fire.