Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Burning forests speedily space-mapped for fire fighters

02.07.2003


Maps of burning Spanish forests taken from space have been relayed to local fire fighters in near real-time. A successful demonstration campaign using Earth Observation data has taken place in Galicia – delivery time from raw orbital data to final value-added product in the hands of the user came to 92 minutes.



Around 45 000 forest fires start across Europe every year, with half a million hectares of woodland lost in the Mediterranean region alone. The European Commission estimates the cost of every hectare burnt equals between a thousand and 5000 Euros. Satellite data are used for compiling forest fire risk indices as well as damage mapping, but rapid provision of fine-resolution data has so far not been used in operational fire fighting. To track blazes as they happen, fire fighters must rely on eyewitnesses or helicopter surveys – up until now.

The Galicia-based demonstration campaign is known as DEMOBIRD and commenced with an initial trial on May 30. This involved using infrared sensors aboard Germany’’s BIRD (Bi-spectral Infrared Detection) satellite to chart thermal hot spots within a 190 km strip of land during the satellite’’s four-minute pass over the Spanish province.
Once the satellite acquired the data it was downlinked to ESA’’s Villafranca tracking station near Madrid, then transferred to the German Aerospace Centre DLR for calibration and passed on to Spanish prime contractor INSA to be processed for products, delivered to users and validated with GPS readings taken on the ground.


Before BIRD had completed a single orbit, local fire fighters had been provided with geo-referenced hot-spot maps together with a risk index indicating where the blaze was most likely to spread as well as fireline representations. The data detected a hundred per cent of the fires over cloud-free areas. Later tests established data delivery times could be cut to an hour once the DEMOBIRD system is fully implemented.

DEMOBIRD is being run by INSA and the Laboratorio de Teledetección of the University of Valladolid as part of the ESA Earth Watch Programme FUGEOSAT. The aim is to develop and launch a constellation of small satellites to supply operational data to help fight forest fires.

Woodland areas will be surveyed with a high revisit time to enable risk monitoring for prevention and planning, as well as detecting fires as they start and then analyze and predict their evolution over time.

Simonetta Cheli | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/export/esaSA/SEMKYWWO4HD_earth_0.html

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

nachricht Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>