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Remote Sensing

A video interview with Jason Hyon: Understanding global climate change

Fire management requires near real-time information. Using archived MODIS data and a Direct Broadcast satellite, the U.S.D.A. Forest Service has been able to monitor fires and develop a fire forecast system.

1 October 2008, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3200810.0002

Managing a fire requires continuous real-time or near real-time information on the spatial and temporal distribution of the fire's location, burned areas, and downwind pollutant levels. Wei Min Hao and his team at the U.S. Forest Service's Rocky Mountain Research Station have developed an automated system to produce four updates a day to provide data on the fire locations for most of North America with a 1km X 1km resolution, and for a burned area with 500m X 500m resolution. They have also developed a forcast system to predict the atmospheric pollutant concentrations downwind from large fires in the United States. They have used a Direct Broadcast satellite and archived MODIS data, and have continuously added to MODIS archives using NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites, to create immediately useful data for fire management and reduction.

Wei Min Hao leads an interdisciplinary team to study the impacts of fires on air quality, atmospheric chemistry, and climate at regional and global scales. The team has conducted experiments to quantify the emissions of atmospheric pollutant and greenhouse gases from fires in various ecosystems in the United States, Mexico, Canada, central Siberia, Brazil, Chile, Zambia, and South Africa.

Hao is a senior scientist and team lader for fire chemistry research in the Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program for the U.S. Forest Service in Montana. He has also been a research scientist at Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie in Mainz, Germany.

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