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24 February 2004 Detection, monitoring, and quantitative analysis of wildfires with the BIRD satellite
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Increasing concern about environment and interest to avoid losses led to growing demands on space borne fire detection, monitoring and quantitative parameter estimation of wildfires. The global change research community intends to quantify the amount of gaseous and particulate matter emitted from vegetation fires, peat fires and coal seam fires. The DLR Institute of Space Sensor Technology and Planetary Exploration (Berlin-Adlershof) developed a small satellite called BIRD (Bi-spectral Infrared Detection) which carries a sensor package specially designed for fire detection. BIRD was launched as a piggy-back satellite on October 22, 2001 with ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). It is circling the Earth on a polar and sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 572 km and it is providing unique data for detailed analysis of high temperature events on Earth surface. The BIRD sensor package is dedicated for high resolution and reliable fire recognition. Active fire analysis is possible in the sub-pixel domain. The leading channel for fire detection and monitoring is the MIR channel at 3.8 μm. The rejection of false alarms is based on procedures using MIR/NIR (Middle Infra Red/Near Infra Red) and MIR/TIR (Middle Infra Red/Thermal Infra Red) radiance ratio thresholds. Unique results of BIRD wildfire detection and analysis over fire prone regions in Australia and Asia will be presented. BIRD successfully demonstrates innovative fire recognition technology for small satellites which permit to retrieve quantitative characteristics of active burning wildfires, such as the equivalent fire temperature, fire area, radiative energy release, fire front length and fire front strength.
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Dieter A. Oertel, Klaus Briess, Eckehard Lorenz, Wolfgang Skrbek, and Boris Zhukov "Detection, monitoring, and quantitative analysis of wildfires with the BIRD satellite", Proc. SPIE 5232, Remote Sensing for Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Hydrology V, (24 February 2004);

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