**Some programs are limited. Please read solicitations carefully and consult your Office of Research for specifics, such as limited applications through your university and internal application deadlines.**

NASA's Earth Science Division (ESD) is prioritizing improvements in the prediction, management, and the understanding of overall impacts of wildfires within the United States and around the world. ESD’s Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO), through coordination with the division’s Applied Sciences and Research and Analysis elements, the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD), and the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program, is introducing this new program element, Technology Development for Support of Wildfire Science, Management, and Disaster Mitigation, or "FireTech", to seek new, innovative Earth system observation capabilities to predict and manage wildfires and their impacts.

Recent reports from the Environmental Protection Agency have helped quantify the rapidly growing problem of wildfires in the U.S. The total burned area during summer months increased from about 250,000 hectares for the period 1984-2000, to over 650,000 hectares in the following 20 years. Costs for wildfire suppression have increased from $500 million in 1985 to $3 billion today, with inflation-adjusted losses due to wildfires increasing from an average of $30 million in the 1980s to $1 billion today. In response, the Biden Administration has tasked the federal agencies with a whole-of-government approach to climate security, with wildfire management as a priority. In August 2021, the NASA Administrator announced a new Agency wildfire initiative that would "...draw from our satellite and airborne observations, our eyes in the sky…The technology will develop data-driven tools to support the heroes who are fighting the fires. And they’re trying to prevent the next fire."

In response, the ESD will establish the Wildland FireSense Project, which will consolidate science objectives and NASA applications toward a broad set of wildfire management objectives. The project will work closely with interagency partners such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Forestry Service, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the National Interagency Fire Center, and others. The overarching goal of the project is to contribute NASA resources in such a manner that the end-to-end management of wildfires in the U.S. is improved, with an expectation of global impact. Over the next 5-6 years, a series of airborne field campaigns is being planned for which the technology investments under this program element (see Section 1.2) will be implemented and tested, culminating with a capstone mission to demonstrate the investments and their contribution to progress in wildland A.53-2 fire management. To achieve its goals, the project will make use of broad capabilities in instrument and information technology, along with new observing platforms in space, in the air, and on the ground.

Expected Number of Awards: 5-8 likely

Application Deadline: March 29, 2023 (proposals will be reviewed quarterly beginning in August 2022)