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An Advanced Wildfire Simulator: vFirelib.v2
AdvisorHarris, Frederick C.
Computer Science and Engineering
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Wildfires can cause severe amounts of damage to wildlife habitat as well as commercial and residential properties. They put at risk the well-being of the environment and the firefighters who combat them to minimize damage and ensure the safety of the public. A fire simulator that is accurate, real-time, and convenient to use can be of great assistance in developing the most efficient and safest plan to stop wildfire spread. This thesis presents an advanced wildfire simulator. The application has two components: a web-based application and a 3D virtual reality application. The web-based application offers portability, speed, and ease of use. This has the added advantage in supporting many different platforms and devices. The 3D virtual reality application provides a real-time on the ground scene perspective. Using a GPGPU framework we can calculate faster than real-time results of an entire wildfire simulation employing the fire model developed by Richard C. Rothermel. This is one of the most widely used fire spread models among wildfire simulators. Taking advantage of GPU's massively parallel computational power the simulator can compute a large wildfire simulation in a matter of seconds. The wildfire simulator has been advanced with features such as dynamic wind, moisture, and vegetation fuel which allow users to input changes to the environment that can include rain, water drops by helicopter and or plane, curing or saturation of vegetation, firebreaks created by bulldozers or firefighters, and even controlled burns. On top of those features the ability to enable spotting fire effects due to crown fires has been implemented as well as moving a majority of the sequential preprocessing necessary for the fire simulator onto the GPU thus decreasing overall run time.