Fuel bed and viewing section of the CSIRO Pyrotron with reflections of observers.
CSIRO Pyrotron: A National Bushfire Research Facility
A national research facility testing combustion and spread of bushfires to improve fire safety and fire-fighting for Australian communities.
24 November 2008 | Updated 7 January 2013
A bushfire wind tunnel
The CSIRO Pyrotron is a 25 metre long fire-proof wind tunnel with a working section for conducting experiments and a glass observation area.
The Pyrotron is used to study the combustion and spread of fires in bushfire fuel under controlled conditions.
The facility enables close observation of combustion mechanisms not possible in the field. It is used to study:
the mechanisms by which bushfires spread
thermokinetics - the chemistry of combustion - of bushfires
fuel consumption, emissions and residues under different burning conditions.
Expected research outcomes
This national research facility is building upon CSIRO’s 60 years of experience with large-scale field experiments. It is enhancing research on bushfire behaviour by enabling observations of flame propagation and behaviour not possible in field experiments due to fire intensity, heat, lack of access and safety concerns.
The Pyrotron is assisting with:
better understanding of the physical processes involved in the behaviour and spread of bushfires under a range of conditions
better models of fire behaviour to improve effectiveness and safety of fire-fighting
improved design and execution of large-scale field experiments
better understanding of likely emissions from bushfires in different fuel and burning conditions
improved knowledge about the likely behaviour of bushfires under future climate change.
The Pyrotron was officially opened in October 2008. It was constructed at the CSIRO’s workshop at Black Mountain, Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory, and cost A$190 000 which was funded by the CSIRO.
Features of the tunnel:
Accessing the facility for research
The CSIRO Pyrotron is a national research facility open to bushfire researchers from around Australia and overseas.
Please contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about Bushfires research.