The Aerometrex Ltd (ASX: AMX) share price will be on watch on Thursday after the announcement of a very promising new product development.
What did Aerometrex announce?
This morning the Nearmap Ltd (ASX: NEA) rival announced that it has developed a new technology that is able to determine, in three dimensions, the exact fuel load densities in any bushfire prone region in Australia.
The aerial mapping company believes the breakthrough should allow emergency authorities, government, and communities to adopt a far more science-based and pre-emptive fuel load strike position ahead of this year’s bushfire season.
Management advised that this product is an advance of its existing LIDAR (Light Detecting and Ranging) technology. It was developed by the company’s research and development team over 2020 in consultation with government and industry following the disastrous Black Summer fires across Australia last summer.
How does it work?
The release explains that the system employs up to two million individual laser pulses per second. These are emitted from a sensor within an aircraft as it flies above the area of interest.
The system then measures the time taken for each laser pulse to travel down to the surface and get reflected back up to the aircraft. This allows the precise location of the point of reflectance to be calculated in three dimensions. Positively, it can be applied regardless of location, topography, or ground cover.
This delivers a far more accurate image of vegetation and is more sensitive to variations in vegetation structure and density compared to remote sensing techniques such as satellite imagery and RADAR. After which, data from the advanced LIDAR technology allows for the extraction of understorey fuel load estimates that would otherwise be fully obscured from view in satellite or aerial imagery by overlying canopy.
Management notes that the outcomes and product development from its research are both timely and relevant following the detailed recommendations of the Bushfire Royal Commission, state-level bushfire inquiries, and the final reports published by the Bushfire & Natural Hazards CRC.
This is because many of these reports highlighted remote sensing technologies such as LIDAR as critical resources that have the potential to revolutionise bushfire management and response practices.