BlueSky Modeling Framework

What is BlueSky?

BlueSky is a modeling framework.  BlueSky modularly links a variety of independent models of fire information, fuel loading, fire consumption, fire emissions, and smoke dispersion.

At each modeling step, BlueSky has several different specific models from which to choose. BlueSky is not a model per se because many different modeling pathways are possible within BlueSky.

What can BlueSky do?

BlueSky connects models together and makes them easy to run in combination.  Therefore BlueSky can enable:

  • the lookup of fuels information from fuel maps
  • the calculation of total and hourly fire consumption based on fuel loadings and weather information
  • the calculation of speciated emissions (such as CO2 or PM2.5) from a fire
  • the calculation of vertical plume profiles produced by a fire
  • the calculation of likely trajectories of smoke parcels given off by a fire
  • the calculation of downstream smoke concentrations.

What models are enabled within BlueSky?

Numerous fuel loading maps, fire consumption models, fire emissions models, plume rise models, trajectory models, and dispersion models are enabled within BlueSky.

Additionally, it is easy to add your module by creating a simple wrapper that will run your code in native format.

Where can I find BlueSky-enabled predictions?

BlueSky is used in a number of real-time prediction systems.

In the U.S. the official smoke forecast is produced by the National Weather Service.  This operational forecast product uses an earlier version of BlueSky to do its fire emissions calculations, but work is underway to test BlueSky v3.1.  Additionally, BlueSky is used in a number of regional and national smoke and air quality prediction systems.  Most of these systems should be considered “experimental” in nature, and many were developed with various specific purposes such as prescribed fire burning go/no-go decisions.

How does BlueSky work?

BlueSky wraps models into modular software objects and provides a structure that connects these objects together and enables information to be passed between objects.  The wrapper code is written in Python, but many of the models themselves are in other languages with the Python code simply creating the necessary input files and then running the model code.

Can I run BlueSky on my computer?

Yes and no.  You can run BlueSky from your computer, but unless you are a researcher or have access to significant computing resources including an UNIX based computing system, it is likely that you won’t want to run it yourself.

You can operate BlueSky from your computer. BlueSky now supports the web-services standard.  This means that individual models can be run by you on our servers.  You can do this through a web-based application (BlueSky Playground) we have developed, or by writting your own application that can make standard XML/Web-Services function calls.

If you are a computer geek (hey, we are too), you might want to run BlueSky on your Ubuntu or Fedora 32 or 64-bit system.  You’ll also need access to some meteorological model output such as MM5, WRF, or ARL model runs.  Currently (as of 2/2014), you can contact us for a distribution of BlueSky v3.5.1.