WIFIRE helps firefighters get a jump on wildfires

August 5th, 2014

Categories: User Groups



SAGE™ middleware, the Scalable Adaptive Graphics Environment, is being used by researchers to better convey related and relevant information to firefighters and disaster response teams, to better assist them in monitoring, forecasting and mitigating wildfires in the future.

A video and print story, titled “WIFIRE helps firefighters get a jump on wildfires,” was produced and released by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Science Nation online publication on July 28, 2014. The video was filmed at UC San Diego’s Calit2-Qualcomm Institute (QI) - and Calit2 director Larry Smarr is one of the people interviewed.

On August 1, 2014, PBS NewsHour released the NSF video along with a print story titled “Firefighters get high tech to douse wildfires.” Though SAGE™ middleware is not credited, its user interface is clearly recognizable on all the display walls - except for Calit2’s TourCAVE (a large virtual-reality system where the tiled screens are positioned vertically). SAGE™ enables researchers to juxtapose a variety of information on the display walls - observations, such as satellite imagery and real-time data from sensors in the field, with computational techniques like signal processing, visualization, modeling and data assimilation - to enable them to monitor environmental conditions and predict where and how fast a wildfire will spread. WIFIRE is a UC San Diego and University of Maryland project funded by the NSF Hazards SEES program, which enhances sustainability through the use of advanced technologies and new methods. UC San Diego’s Calit2-QI is a major SAGE™ user.

About SAGE™ Middleware
The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) and the University of Hawai’i at Manoa (UHM) Laboratory for Advanced Visualization & Applications (LAVA) currently receive NSF funding, award #ACI-1441963, to develop the next-generation SAGE™ middleware. While SAGE™ is available as open source, EVL partnered with Vadiza, Inc. to commercialize an enterprise version. SAGE™ is a trademark of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. More information.