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.
  • Purpose modified Learjet 35A, VH-LRX and VH-LPJ.
  • 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

An example of Line Scanner imagery over an active bushfire, press play to view .

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.