ProRaster Bushfire

ProRaster Bushfire is a proposed application development, based on the ProRaster Scientific platform, that will provide specific workflows for bushfire-related problems in prevention, response, and recovery.

Roberts Geospatial Engineering is currently seeking a  grant from the NSW government Bushfire Commercialisation Fund. If awarded, the grant will be used to support the development and commercialisation of the software.

ProRaster Bushfire is an application for Microsoft Windows that will assist bushfire prevention, response, and recovery operations by dramatically reducing the time, cost, and complexity of rendering and analysing high-resolution satellite multispectral imagery. 

Based on ProRaster Premium, ProRaster Bushfire inherits the most advanced raster rendering engine available today. 

ProRaster Bushfire will dramatically reduce the preparation time from acquiring a satellite scene to readiness for rendering and analysis. It does this with a scene importation process that, based on all the variables of platform, satellite, instrument, processing epoch and processing product, will build a virtual raster that fully encapsulates the scene and provides pre-processing as required and on-demand, including top-of-atmosphere corrections and reflectance scaling. It also teases out the information supplied in QA bands to support per-pixel masking. 

ProRaster Bushfire assists users to build rendering algorithms for scenes, mosaics, and time series, for validated band combinations, incorporating pan-sharpening, pixel quality masking and terrain draping. Combine your satellite multispectral data with any other raster data, including WMS layers, and export as located imagery to your GIS platform. 

Without user input, ProRaster Bushfire can generate virtual rasters that compute over 100 different Indexes for Vegetation, Fire mapping, Soil moisture and more. Clip the Index data to a polygon and then use the processing operations to analyse and quantify the data, and to help plan for bushfire prevention, response, or to monitor burn scar recovery.

Elevator pitch

ProRaster Bushfire is an application for Microsoft Windows that will assist bushfire prevention, response, and recovery operations by dramatically reducing the time, cost, and complexity of rendering and analysing high-resolution satellite multispectral imagery. 

Dramatic reduction in data processing time yields efficiencies in data preparation. 

Using advanced virtual raster technology, ProRaster Bushfire will reduce the preparation time from acquiring a satellite scene to readiness for rendering and analysis from hours or more to merely seconds. In a time-critical bushfire response scenario, ProRaster Bushfire will enable critical imagery resources to be analysed as soon as they are published. 

Rapid integration of new datasets yields improved contemporaneous disaster assessment and analysis, efficiencies in data integration and analysis, and operation time cost savings. 

ProRaster Bushfire will eliminate the complexity of satellite multispectral imagery preparation, rendering, and analysis. By automating pre-processing through virtual raster technology, the software will eliminate common processing errors. By reducing complexity, ProRaster Bushfire will democratise access to satellite multispectral imagery. By reducing the requirement for advanced and expensive software suites, it will reduce costs for organisations. By enabling in-house technical data science experts to focus on high-level operations rather than low-level processing, it will improve efficiency and outcomes. It will bring satellite multispectral imagery analysis capabilities to a broad range of stakeholders, from government departments and agencies to RFS brigades and individual landholders. 

ProRaster Bushfire will be built upon the existing “ProRaster Premium” commercial application. It will inherit the rich raster rendering capabilities of that product and build upon this platform with specialised extensions and tools for importing, rendering, and analysing satellite multispectral imagery. Much will be achieved using virtual rasters, a well-tested and proven technology that improves efficiency and correctness, and dramatically reduces storage requirements, processing time and operator input.

The Problem

The number of huge raster datasets freely available for visualisation and analysis increases almost daily. These datasets, which include the full library of Sentinel 2 and Landsat 1-9 multispectral imagery data – continuously gathered over 50 years, hold enormous value, yet it is still difficult, slow, and expensive for consumers to extract that value. 

Acquiring, pre-processing, rendering, and analysing satellite multispectral imagery is complicated and particularly error prone. Even data science and GIS professionals struggle to understand the variety of data available, to what scenarios it ought to be applied, and how to do so. The existing applications and services in the marketplace are either too simple to provide useful analytic outcomes, or so complex that to do any kind of rendering or analysis requires deep knowledge of satellite data processing systems. 

Products like Landsat Look and Google Maps provide low-cost access to imagery archives, but they provide little or no ability to customise the rendered maps and no analysis capabilities. Groups like Development Seed provide access to cloud data archives using open-source tools, but their customers must acquire substantial data science and programming skills to make use of the API’s. GIS applications (like ArcGIS) and professional satellite processing applications (like ENVI) provide comprehensive tool suites. However, the cost of entry and ongoing maintenance for these suites is very high, and clients must also commit to acquiring and training dedicated data scientists and operators. 

ProRaster Bushfire aims to bridge that cost, capability, and ease-of-use gap. For a modest outlay, ProRaster Bushfire will make it easy to go from downloaded satellite scenes to rich visualisation and data analysis. The goal is to bring useful software to stakeholders across the scale spectrum – from government departments and agencies down to RFS brigades and individual landholders. 

Prior to the fire, the low cost and ease-of-use of ProRaster Bushfire will provide more stakeholders with an ability to analyse vegetation, fuel load, and moisture changes locally, or at scale. During the fire, the efficiency and highly compressed timelines provided by ProRaster Bushfire, will enable agencies to better inform their responses in a timelier fashion. After the fire, the efficiency and accuracy of ProRaster Bushfire will empower a broad range of stakeholders to analyse the effects and extent of the burn, to monitor the recovery of the burn scar, and to report on their findings.

Competetive Advantage

ProRaster Bushfire competes on cost, ease of use, efficiency, and correctness. 

ProRaster Bushfire will compete against products that are free and products that are orders or magnitude more expensive. As a sole trader/developer I aim to keep the cost of the software to a minimum to democratise access to satellite multispectral and other raster datasets for bushfire prevention, response, and recovery. 

ProRaster Bushfire will be substantially easier to use than any other commercially available product, whilst still empowering users to perform useful and accurate multispectral data analysis. The user interface will allow users to build rendering algorithms for scenes, scene mosaics, scene time series, and scene mosaic time series with a few mouse clicks. After the algorithm is generated, the ProRaster algorithm editing interface provides the ability to customise the rendering and to integrate it with other raster datasets. A similar user-interface driver process is envisioned for data analysis. 

ProRaster Bushfire is fast and efficient. It can run on any Windows 10 or 11 PC and does not require high-end hardware specifications. To maximise performance, the software uses multithreading in the rendering engine and in processing operations. The software makes extensive use of advanced virtual raster technology. This eliminates the need for intermediate raster datasets, reducing storage and processing requirements, and simplifying processing workflows. 

ProRaster Bushfire will automate processing tasks using virtual rasters. This will save a huge amount of time for operators and eliminate processing errors that currently bedevil all satellite multispectral processing. Basic processing operations, which are still performed manually in applications like ENVI and ArcGIS, will be coded into the virtual raster stack with no input required from the operator. When it comes to render and process the data, the operator will not need to choose and specify spectral bands as ProRaster Bushfire will know precisely what bands are available and where to find them, and automatically use them as input to render algorithms and processing operations appropriately. 

ProRaster Bushfire, using the rendering engine inherited from ProRaster Premium, is laser focussed on rendering raster data at the highest level of quality and correctness at all scales. The multi-threaded rendering engine uses hardware graphics acceleration to provide the most immersive and fluid visualisation experience. With improved interactivity and fluid rendering comes improved interpretation and enhanced opportunities for discovery in huge raster datasets.

Target Market

ProRaster Bushfire will be useful to a wide variety of customers in bushfire management, land management, and across agricultural industries. 

GIS professionals, who currently use expensive software suites such as ArcGIS or ENVI to conduct satellite multispectral imagery analysis, will find that the workflows in ProRaster Bushfire will accelerate their operations and reduce cost by orders of magnitude. ProRaster Bushfire will also provide superior raster visualisation capabilities to any existing GIS software, and the results can be exported back to the GIS software for mapping and integration with vector datasets. 

A new class of customers, who might currently use free software like Google Maps or Landsat Look, will find that, with a modest outlay, they are able to perform advanced imagery analysis that was previously out of reach due to cost, complexity, and deep specialist knowledge requirements. 

Agencies, businesses, and individuals who are responsible for land management will find value in ProRaster Bushfire. Landowners, farmers, and agribusinesses will be able to use the software to monitor the environmental and vegetation health of their properties. The product will also be useful to geoscientific professionals across the diversity of Earth Science fields – from mining and mineral exploration to environmental monitoring and research.

Economic Benefits

ProRaster Bushfire will provide considerable cost savings to bushfire management authorities in NSW and elsewhere. It will achieve this by displacing the need for expensive licences of software like ArcGIS and ENVI. In turn, this will reduce the amount of time highly trained data scientists will need to spend on basic pre-processing and data preparation, freeing resources for more advanced applications and providing more timely data delivery. 

Improved social and environmental outcomes may be achieved if bushfire prevention and mitigation strategies and be more targeted and focussed on prioritised need. By accelerating data analysis, and by delivering improved research analysis in a timelier fashion, ProRaster Bushfire may be able to help realise this goal. 

The number of huge raster datasets freely available for visualisation and analysis increases almost daily. These datasets, which include the full library of Sentinel and Landsat multispectral data continuously gathered over 50 years, hold enormous value. 

ProRaster Bushfire will integrate these raster datasets for visualisation and analysis for a wide spectrum of stakeholders including Local Government agencies, Bushfire Management agencies, Emergency Services, right down to individual RFS and SES brigades. Better understanding of the Earth will result in better outcomes in bushfire prevention, control, and recovery. 

ProRaster Bushfire will enable access to vast troves of raster imagery through low cost of entry and high ease of use, democratising its accessibility and analysis. It will be a platform that provides impressive raster visualisation as well as spatial analysis tools that will enable users to extract valuable quantifiable data and insights from raster data.


The primary goal is to enable quick, efficient, high-precision visualisation and analysis of bushfire imagery and data, well in advance of what is currently commercially available. The software will democratise the rendering and analysis of multispectral imagery for bushfire prevention, response, and recovery, by radically reducing the cost and the time required to progress a satellite scene from raw digital numbers to analysis ready data, by largely eliminating the requirement for specialist operator skills, and by improving the reliability of analysis by eliminating processing errors through extensive automation. 

A secondary goal is to enhance feature discovery and data understanding by providing immersive rendering and integration of high-resolution global imagery and raster datasets. High quality rendering, combined with high performance, enables interactive changes in scale and map composition that help users to make discoveries and acquire deeper data understanding in large scale raster datasets. 

An additional goal is to realise and expose the embedded value in the trove of high-resolution Landsat and Sentinel 2 multispectral imagery, and to bring this value to focus on the problems associated with bushfire prevention, response, and recovery in NSW. This global Earth Imagery resource, free to access for all, extends over nearly 50 years of continuous acquisition. To date, only well-resourced government, academic, and corporate interests have been able to afford to acquire the knowledge, data science programming skills and commercial software to extract value from this data. ProRaster Bushfire aims to considerably broaden access to this valuable resource.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *