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Proceedings Paper

Space-based forest fire detection concept
Author(s): Paul J. Thomas; Charles H. Hersom; Peter Kourtz; Gary J. Buttner
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Paper Abstract

Small, incipient wildfires in the boreal forest can be detected with a space-based infrared sensor that uses currently available technology. At night, wildfires with a temperature of 700 K or more and an area of 1 m2 should be visible if there is a clear line of sight to the sensor. Sensor refinements and signal processing could enhance this level of detection. Clouds, topographical variations and the forest canopy may obscure the line of sight, so that multiple looks would significantly improve the probability of detection of a small fire. The relatively long revisit time of a satellite-based sensor is a constraint of the fire management application. Although the cost and revisit time of a spaceborne sensor are currently too high for it to replace airborne sensors, there is an important role as an adjunct sensor operating at night. Many of the specifications of an infrared sensor for wildfire detection are similar to those for space-based surveillance applications, so that useful infrared imagery from space may become available to the forest management community at relatively low cost.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 September 1995
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2553, Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing III, (29 September 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.221349
Show Author Affiliations
Paul J. Thomas, Institute for Space and Terrestrial Science (Canada)
Charles H. Hersom, Institute for Space and Terrestrial Science (Canada)
Peter Kourtz, Petawawa National Forestry Institute (Canada)
Gary J. Buttner, CAL Corp. (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2553:
Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing III
Marija Strojnik; Bjorn F. Andresen, Editor(s)

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