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Operationalising Spark the Bushfire Predictive Modelling Capability developed by CSIRO’s Data61

Contact Information

Mahesh Prakash

EMSINA's 5 Capability Questions

Q1: What is the Project Scope / What is trying to be solved?

Operationalising Spark the Bushfire Predictive Modelling Capability developed by CSIRO’s Data61


Q2: What will be available to the EM community / decision makers at the end of your project?

The Spark Operational capability that will allow the EM community to be able to predict the spread of bushfires in an operational sense (real time) in a nationally consistent manner and aligned with the AFDRS framework.


Q3: How will the EM Sector access the results?

++ The tool will be able to be accessed via web and hosted on the cloud. For the evaluation period Spark Operational is being hosted on the Microsoft Azure cloud. Whoever is interested in such access should contact one of the following people:

1. Mahesh Prakash (CSIRO)
2. James Hilton (CSIRO) or
3. John Bally (AFAC)

We are also in the process of setting up a parallel research version of Spark to be hosted most likely on the research NeCTAR cloud via the ARDC challenge.


Q4: What are the main hurdles faced in completing your Project?

There are a range of challenges including provision of nationally consistent inputs, inclusion of relevant models especially a well validated ember transport model and business roles around provisioning of Spark Operational (which we are working on in collaboration with FPS/AFAC)


Q5: What input data / work do you need from jurisdictions?

The key ones are fuel/vegetation (dynamic), terrain (we already have this), weather (we are sourcing this from BoM), methodology to create ignition sources (we have a fair idea about this but would appreciate further input and insights), fire history data for ongoing validation of Spark (again we have some good quality datasets but the more we have the better it would be).


Other Information

Other information provided by the presenter.


Question and Answers

The following are overflow questions that the presenter was unable to answer during the meeting.

Is there a cost associated with using spark?

    We have not set a cost associated with using Spark Operational and this is something that will be decided by AFAC and FPS in consultation with the agencies. We may provide some input into the costing if this is something that gets asked of us. I think it is still early days for these sorts of discussions and any feedback would be really appreciated.

Is this going to be available through CaRSA?

    The technicalities of this happening is relatively straightforward. However I am not sure about who is steering the entire CaRSA roadmap especially from a platform implementation perspective. My view is that Spark should be available via CaRSA and I have had some discussions with folks building the platform but I should reiterate that this only my view. I think it would be good to have a discussion about this and influence if found sensible and necessary.

What's the timeline for full implementation?

    Around 2 to 3 years depending on resource availability.

Can you change the weather stream to a custom one?

    Yes for sure

Will ensemble simulations be available using the online version?

    Yes including the ability to ingest ensemble weather products as they become available.
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