NNSA Labs Fight Fire With Simulation

(Released 19 July 2016) Fire season is in full swing in the driest parts of the United States, and capabilities of NNSA’s labs are helping equip firefighters in the heated battle to save property and environment.

NNSA’s labs are perfectly suited to support emergency response related to fire. A long history of adapting to climate change has prepared NNSA researchers at NNSA labs for a cascade of climate related impacts: drought, wildfires, and historic flooding.

Strategies resulting from experience not only put powerful computing to work to simulate complex physical phenomena, but also increase coordination and communication between Federal, state, and local agencies in the regions surrounding NNSA’s labs. Preparedness through science-based strategies and communication processes helpentify and aggressively manage risk from fire. 

One NNSA-lab-supported technology and company is helping model and predict where wildfires are most likely to spread or where traffic congestion will occur by projecting an interactive, three-dimensional model onto a tabletop sand surface. With algorithms that include camera-based object-tracking and projection developed by the lab, the emergency operations team can simulate a wildland fire spreading across any terrain. The system takes into account weather, vegetation and fuel conditions.

Learn more about NNSA’s simulation capabilities in advanced computing at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories.

Released by National Nuclear Security Administration. Click here for source.