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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Fire detection from LEO: trade-offs for selection of spectral bands and a wide-swath optical design using MWIR and visible bands
Author(s): Dan Lobb; Rachel Bird; Martin Wooster; Amanda Regan

Paper Abstract

The paper relates to design of a sensor, operating on a platform Low-Earth Orbit, that will detect and measure actively burning fires on Earth surface. Trade-offs for selection of spectral bands are covered, concentrating on options using cooled detectors. A system using only two mid-wave infrared (MWIR) bands is shown to be viable; it will have significant cost advantages compared with a system that also uses long-wave infrared (LWIR), since it requires smaller optics for spatial resolution at the diffraction limit, and less-extreme detector cooling. Imaging in at least one visible band will allow identification of false detections due to sun glint, so that small fires can be positively identified in sunlight.

A proposed sensor will operate in pushbroom mode. The design uses a single area-array MWIR detector with a 1280 x 1024 element format. A swath approaching 10,000 pixels wide is provided by sub-dividing the swath between 8 telescopes that image onto separate sets of strip filters and detector rows. This allows a total swath width approaching 1000km wide to be scanned at 100m ground sample distance (GSD). The relatively small GSD, and use of multiple detector rows for each swath-section and band, will provide a capability for detection of small fires, with radiant powers in the range 0.5 to 1.0 MW. Wide swath will maximize statistical data collected by the sensor, and will also be of potential interest for development of constellation providing global fire monitoring.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2019
PDF: 19 pages
Proc. SPIE 11180, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2018, 111803Z (12 July 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2536062
Show Author Affiliations
Dan Lobb, DLOptics Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Rachel Bird, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Martin Wooster, King's College London (United Kingdom)
Amanda Regan, European Space Agency (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11180:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2018
Zoran Sodnik; Nikos Karafolas; Bruno Cugny, Editor(s)

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