It’s easy to ‘talk the talk,’ but far more effort to ‘walk the walk.’ This is particularly true when it comes to environmental obligations - our commitment to our future on planet Earth. The goals are enormous, obstacles seemingly endless, and taking the (very) long view is a difficult necessity. It might seem easier to leave it to the next company, and the next generation. That - however - is not part of the CANA ethos, and we are mindful to look for ways to integrate important environmental and climate-related considerations into our portfolio.
Part of the CANA mission statement is, “to provide efficient and adaptable solutions to our clients, as well as create a life cycle of giving back to the communities and civic organizations we work with throughout the world.” Working on projects and initiatives that support a clean, healthy, and sustainable global environment is one of the ways we walk that walk.
CANA deeply believes in the future of electric mobility, sustainability, and resilience, to include the tremendous value and utility of electric and autonomous vehicles. These innovations lay the groundwork of many of our projects in Southern California, ranging from the promotion of autonomous transit, distribution, and observation capabilities aboard bases, to identifying means to reduce local metro traffic gridlock and pollution. CANA has worked with entities like the SoCal Tech Bridge, state and local organizations, as well as like-minded commercial entities for several years now, providing logistics expertise, data analysis, prototype modeling and simulation, and project management. Every small step forward is a movement towards a larger goal.
One of CANA’s most exciting involvements this year is with Project Vesta - an ongoing SoCal Tech Bridge-guided experiment that addresses a critical issue - wildfire response. The project brings together eight commercially developed technologies to solve a wicked, and growing, problem. Not only are wildfires immediately dangerous to humans and wildlife, but they are part of a deadly cycle of environmental damage, with effects that far outlast any single blaze. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) recognizes that while, “[a] warmer and drier climate is expected to lead to more frequent and more intense fires near or within populated areas…[the wildfires themselves]...release large amounts of carbon dioxide, black carbon, brown carbon, and ozone precursors into the atmosphere. These emissions affect radiation, clouds, and climate on regional and even global scales.” It is a truly vicious cycle.
Methods to combat wildfires are, at best, moderately successful. Past and current efforts at fire suppression and timber harvesting practices have actually contributed to the problem by greatly increasing the amount of forest fuel load, particularly in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The dangers of combating wildfires for first responders and the local population are numerous and potentially long-lasting, especially when wildfires take several weeks to months to contain.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Impact of Wildfires on Climate and Air Quality.https://csl.noaa.gov/factsheets/csdWildfiresFIREX.pdf.
Keeley, J.E., Syphard, A.D. Twenty-first century California, USA, wildfires: fuel-dominated vs. wind-dominated fires. fire ecol 15, 24 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s42408-019-0041-0
Project Vesta is developing a fire mitigation system with a focus on autonomy - an interoperable network that combines autonomous air and ground vehicles, stand-alone, renewable energy, artificial intelligence, and machine learning systems, and advanced fire prevention and containment materials. It does not remove or negate the human response factor, but adds a potentially safer, more efficient, and more wide-reaching tool to the firefighters’ arsenal. When fully functional, it is anticipated each Project Vesta system will be able to identify, engage, and prevent fire within a wide range of areas.
The Project Vesta team is coordinating a number of opportunities to test the project prototype in a controlled live fire environment. The first experiment - to be held on February 14th - 18th, 2022, at Camp Roberts, California - will test a viable prototype and is expected to provide rich data for future analysis and adaptation. Follow-on experimentation is planned for May and July of this year.
CANA is excited not only to be a part of these continuing efforts in wildfire mitigation, but also to continue work with industry innovators like SoCal Tech Bridge and others. They, like us, realize the importance of doing the hard work now to enable the environment - and planet - to support future generations.
We will share more updates about Project Vesta in the upcoming weeks. Follow us on all social media platforms to learn more.
If you’d like to contact Cherish Joostberns, CANA Media, you can reach Cherish at firstname.lastname@example.org.