February 29, 2024

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Adoption of AI, Cloud for Disaster Response and Mitigation in the U.S.

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) utilise technology to lessen the impact of natural disasters. They are expanding PNNL’s operational Rapid Analytics for Disaster Response (RADR) image analytics and modelling suite to mitigate damage to key energy infrastructure. PNNL collaborates with the Department of Defense’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, and the Department of Homeland Security.

By using a combination of image capturing technology such as satellite, airborne, and drone images, artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud computing, the team works to assess as well as predict the damage. Accurately forecasting the movement of natural disasters such as wildfires, floods, hurricanes, windstorms, tornados, and earthquakes allows the responders to take measures to reduce damage, conduct advanced resource planning, and increase infrastructure restoration time.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office stated that the effort to apply AI is exciting and timely as it reduces the impact of wildfires, protects energy infrastructure, and ultimately saves lives. The work has the potential to make a difference in a very challenging wildfire season.

The project originally started with the creation of a change-detection algorithm, which analyses different types of satellite imagery and determines what changed in the landscape after a storm. Authorities use the tool to rapidly assess the physical damage impact of natural disasters, often before ground teams can get in.

To improve the timeliness and ground-level assessments, the team incorporated new and different image sources. RADR can pull in images from a variety of satellites with different sensing capabilities, including domestic and international government satellites that are offered as open data as well as commercial satellites that are available through the International Disasters Charter.

Having multiple sources of overhead imagery improves response time to just a few hours with the key limitation being the latency of overhead imagery, or the time between images being collected and being available for analysis. Once imagery is received, the RADR software can generate analysis in just over 10 minutes.

The team is also integrating publicly available and crowdsourced images from social media. By pairing overhead imagery with on-the-ground images, the team can provide a more complete assessment. Satellite images, for example, may show damage to a generation resource, power lines, or the electric grid; however, ground images may indicate otherwise. The tool takes all these images, removes the redundant ones, and sews the images together to provide a more accurate view of changing conditions.

The added imagery sources provide additional data for RADR to interpret, improving accuracy. To predict possible outcomes of a wildfire, the team is combining the imagery analysis with the weather, fuel and forecast data. For example, wind, vegetation, and anything a fire can consume all factor into the size of a fire and the direction it takes. By marrying imagery with fuel data and wildfire models, the team hopes to be able to accurately predict the path a fire takes.

Coordinating a response requires local, regional, and national resources, each in different locations but needing the data as quickly as possible in a format that can be readily accessed and interpreted, particularly in a data communication constrained environment. A cloud-based system provides an end-to-end pipeline for retrieving available imagery, processing the analytics, and disseminating data to be used directly in a user’s own software, through desktop web browsers, and/or via mobile applications. Added visual analytics produce images and datasets that can be easily discernable to a wide audience of responders.

Recent years have brought an increase in the frequency and severity of wildfires, floods, and other extreme weather events. The researchers hope that the added capabilities of RADR will give responders information that can be used to make informed decisions, reduce or plan for damage to key energy infrastructure, plan relief efforts, and save lives.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, U.S. Researchers have been utilising the power of AI to mitigate disasters such as the adoption of AI-the powered tool in firefighting. The tool was designed to predict and warn of a deadly phenomenon in burning buildings known as flashover, when flammable materials in a room ignite almost simultaneously, producing a blaze only limited in size by available oxygen. The tool’s predictions are based on temperature data from a building’s heat detectors, and the AI is designed to operate even after heat detectors begin to fail.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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