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Greece Partners with OroraTech to Develop €20M Satellite-Based Wildfire Early Warning System

Greece Partners with OroraTech to Develop €20M Satellite-Based Wildfire Early Warning System
Greece Partners with OroraTech to Develop €20M Satellite-Based Wildfire Early Warning System

Greece’s Ministry of Digital Governance has given a €20 million contract to the German startup OroraTech to create a satellite-based early warning system for wildfires. This project is important because wildfires caused nearly €2 billion in damages last year.

The new system will include four thermal satellites and a network of ground sensors and processing services. OroraTech will work with the European Space Agency (ESA) and several Greek universities and companies to develop the system.

OroraTech, a startup from the Technical University of Munich, makes thermal imaging satellites that can detect and track wildfires from space. They have already launched two satellites, the first on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket last June.

Greece’s wildfire system is expected to be fully operational by 2026, with a total of 100 small satellites. In the meantime, OroraTech will provide data using its current satellites and the Wildfire Solution platform.

The Wildfire Solution platform integrates imagery from OroraTech’s satellites and over 20 other Earth observation satellites. It uses an AI algorithm to automatically detect wildfires and predict their spread by analyzing weather, satellite, and terrain data.

Greece Partners with OroraTech to Develop €20M Satellite-Based Wildfire Early Warning System

Greece Partners with OroraTech to Develop €20M Satellite-Based Wildfire Early Warning System

This capability aims to support Greek emergency services by providing real-time monitoring and aiding firefighting efforts on the ground, enhancing both the speed and accuracy of wildfire detection and response.

This project underscores Greece’s proactive investment in orbital technology to combat wildfires, which pose significant threats to human lives, ecosystems, and the economy. The announcement comes as the country braces for another wildfire season, with recent fires near Athens and in southern Europe highlighting the urgency.

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission has documented ongoing fires, such as the blaze on Rhodes island, illustrating the critical need for improved wildfire management systems.

OroraTech’s collaboration extends to several Greek partners, including the National Technical University of Athens, the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Satways, and Attisat. These partnerships will enhance the development of data product algorithms, space sensors, product interoperability, and the establishment of a Greek-based ground station.

According to Martin Langer, CEO and CTO of OroraTech, Greece will pioneer the implementation of a national satellite-based wildfire system, with the third satellite, FOREST-3, scheduled for launch in November, and eight more satellites expected to be operational by early 2025.

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