Australian government taps ICEYE for near real-time flood and bushfire data to help strengthen disaster response

ICEYE, a provider of natural catastrophe solutions and insights, has been selected by the Federal Govt to supply flood and bushfire hazard data for all states and territories in Australia.

ICEYE will contribute directly to efforts to strengthen Australia’s capabilities to manage the impact of flood and bushfire events through rapid disaster assessment and response, better resource allocation and improved coordination between national and local entities.

What does ICEYE bring to disaster response efforts?

The announcement expands on the existing relationship between ICEYE and the Federal Govt, which has been using ICEYE’s Flood Insights product since October 2022 to support response and recovery activities across over 30 agencies at both state and federal level.

During this period, the organisation analysed eight major floods, enabling a more targeted response effort, reducing related costs, and facilitating quicker disaster relief assistance to affected communities during one of the most catastrophic flood hazard seasons in recent history. To date, ICEYE has analysed 18 large-scale flood events across the country.

Through the partnership, ICEYE is uniquely positioned to enhance emergency management decision-making through the delivery of flood and bushfire insights in near real-time. This is created by leveraging its own constellation of more than 25 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites to monitor the Earth under any conditions; day or night, through clouds or smoke.

ICEYE’s Flood and Bushfire Insights products leverage SAR imagery, combined with ground data to produce actionable intelligence. ICEYE’s Flood Insights is a curated analysis detailing structure-level flood extent and depth information within 24-hours of the peak of flooding.

ICEYE’s Bushfire Insights delivers rapid property damage assessments in near real-time, helping agencies see through the smoke during bushfire events. This data enables emergency responders to quickly understand the true impacts of the event. better target critical resources, and help improve recovery outcomes for flood- or fire-affected communities.

Why is this a timely partnership?

Commenting on the strategic partnership, Gary Wood — Government Solutions, Asia Pacific, ICEYE, said: “Understanding the true impact of floods and bushfires quickly, can transform response and improve recovery outcomes for survivors. This partnership is about bringing that transformation to federal, state, and territory-level agencies across Australia.”

ICEYE’s flood and bushfire data will be made available to agencies via ArcGIS, the mapping and analytics software developed by Esri. Several states and territories across Australia have experienced flood and bushfire events in recent years, due to persistent La Ninã or El Niño weather patterns which have resulted in extensive periods of extreme rainfall or drought.

According to the Treasury, flooding in 2022 impacted economic activity in Australia by about A$5 billion. Increasing urbanisation and population growth, coupled with a rapidly evolving climate are leaving more communities increasingly exposed to extreme weather events, and putting significant pressure on government flood and bushfire response measures.