Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

ESA satellite assesses damage of Norway’s largest fire

30.06.2008
Following the extremely hot weather conditions hitting Europe, Norway experienced its biggest forest fire in the last half century earlier this month. Envisat satellite images were used in the fire’s aftermath to get an overview of the damaged area for authorities and insurance companies.

Extreme heat, dry conditions and strong winds quickly spread the fire in the cities of Mykland and Froland in the southern county of Aust-Agder, dampening fire-fighters attempts to squelch the blaze. Before being brought under control by more than 150 fire-fighters, aided by 16 helicopters (and much hoped for rain), the fire is estimated to have destroyed around 3000 hectares.

To assess the full extent of the damage, Norway’s KSAT (the Kongsberg Satellite Services) compared Envisat acquisitions taken before and after the event.

"At KSAT, we were quite surprised by how easy it was to detect the affected area in the image and to learn how extensive the damages are," Nina Soleng said. "We sent the images to the County Director of Forestry (Fylkesskogmester) of Aust-Agder County."

The Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) image to the right was produced by combining and comparing an acquisition taken before the fire (15 May) with one taken after the fire (19 June).

Major fires are visible from space – satellites detect not only the smoke billowing from major conflagrations but also the burn scars left in their wake. Even the fires themselves appear as 'hotspots' when the satellites’ sensors scan the Earth's surface in infrared wavelengths.

More than 50 million hectares of forest are burnt annually, and these fires have a significant impact on global atmospheric pollution, with biomass burning contributing to the global budgets of greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide.

Satellites have proven to be vital tools for keeping track of fires and are able to keep forests under constant surveillance. ESA satellites have been surveying fires burning across the Earth’s surface for the last decade. Worldwide fire maps based on this data are now available to users online in near-real time through ESA's ATSR World Fire Atlas (WFA).

The WFA data are based on results from the Along Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) instrument onboard ESA’s ERS-2 satellite and the Advanced Along Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) onboard Envisat. These twin radiometer sensors work like thermometers in the sky, measuring thermal infrared radiation to take the temperature of Earth's land surfaces.

By combining satellite-derived information, such as surface temperatures, land and vegetation cover and vegetation water content, with meteorological forecasting data, such as air temperature, wind speed and rainfall, forests can be systematically monitored to assess fire risks and allow fire fighters to plan fast and efficient actions to extinguish flames.

Within the context of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative, ESA and the European Commission (EC) have jointly demonstrated the ability of satellite-based observations to respond to the operational needs of fire fighting teams through projects such as RISK-EOS and PREVIEW.

Mariangela D'Acunto | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SEM7T5SHKHF_environment_0.html

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Satellite data for agriculture
28.07.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Magnetic Quantum Objects in a "Nano Egg-Box"
25.07.2017 | Universität Wien

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Abrupt motion sharpens x-ray pulses

Spectrally narrow x-ray pulses may be “sharpened” by purely mechanical means. This sounds surprisingly, but a team of theoretical and experimental physicists developed and realized such a method. It is based on fast motions, precisely synchronized with the pulses, of a target interacting with the x-ray light. Thereby, photons are redistributed within the x-ray pulse to the desired spectral region.

A team of theoretical physicists from the MPI for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) in Heidelberg has developed a novel method to intensify the spectrally broad x-ray...

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New 3-D imaging reveals how human cell nucleus organizes DNA and chromatin of its genome

28.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heavy metals in water meet their match

28.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Oestrogen regulates pathological changes of bones via bone lining cells

28.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>