NASA features Jan Mandel’s research

Published: Sept. 25, 2019

For the last few years, Professor of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences Jan Mandel (with his colleague Adam Kochanski from the University of Utah) have been developing the WRF-SFIRE model, which assimilates satellite observations to produce forecasts for fire, weather and smoke. WRF-SFIRE is a "coupled" fire-atmosphere model, which means it simulates not only fire and weather but the evolving interactions between the two. Using data from NASA and other sources to simulate the interactions between wildfires, soil moisture and local weather, Mandel and Kochanski built on previous work by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and others to develop the SFIRE module for the widely used Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF). Mandel and Kochanski hope to continue to build systems that will give forest managers better information to plan controlled fires and to help improve resource allocation during wildfires, leading to better risk assessment and recovery.