Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cool "eyes" above help track hot fires below

23.07.2003


NASA satellites’ "eyes" above Earth are providing scientists and fire managers with powerful monitoring tools. NASA is providing the "big picture" needed to understand how fires behave before, during, and after damage has been done. A suite of NASA satellites, flying in coordinated fashion, offers the unparalleled insight only possible from space.



Fire season is underway in the American West, with wildfires raging in at least 11 states, challenging fire agencies and their limited resources. Last year, flames engulfed more than seven million acres of forestland in the United States.

"Fire is a global phenomenon, and using satellites, we have the ability to monitor fires and better understand the processes and changes in fire regimes associated with changes in climate and population," said Chris Justice, a professor of geography at the University of Maryland, College Park, Md.


According to Justice, severe fires are occurring due to changing weather patterns, drought, changing land use and land management, and in some areas due to fuel accumulation resulting from suppression of fires. The expansion of housing into fire prone areas is also increasing risk. Remote sensing allows scientists to track fires, and related effects, such as the impact of gases and smoke on the composition and chemistry of the atmosphere.

In order to understand the complete mechanics of wildfires, several NASA spacecraft are flying in formation, one behind the other, separated by only a few minutes, during mid-morning hours, obtaining data for use by fire managers on the ground.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, via its Remote Sensing Applications Center (RSAC) in Salt Lake City, is obtaining data directly from NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites.

"We are interested in NASA assets being used for scientific research, but also for real-world applications," said Vince Salomonson, a NASA senior scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, Md.

Through these satellites, each fitted with unique instruments, users like Tom Bobbe, RSAC Manager, may access specialized data for different phases of a fire. "Satellites assist fire managers in allocating limited fire fighting resources effectively," Bobbe said.

Before a fire starts, satellite data can help identify areas at risk by providing information about vegetation densities and types, and whether conditions are dry enough to fuel fires. During a fire data from the latest overpass of NASA satellites are used to update active fire maps from models run four times a day, allowing fire agencies to prioritize aircraft flights for more detailed information about a site.

Instruments, such as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra spacecraft, provide daily, nearly global observations of the extent and relative intensity of fires and altitude estimates of smoke plumes. Another instrument keeps daily track of the carbon monoxide plumes from fires and the scope of pollution produced regionally and globally. After a fire is contained, imagery from space can help classify the burn area into levels of severity and prioritize rehabilitation work. The imagery can also be used over the longer term to keep tabs on the "green-up" of previously burned areas and to monitor the effectiveness of various treatments.

NASA is testing a semi-autonomous system, dubbed "sensor web." Various satellites will have the ability to communicate with each other, and provide interactive layers of images. One satellite might detect a fire starting and then signal another satellite to take detailed or specialized images for better monitoring. NASA helped develop unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology and sensors for detailed fire observation. Collaborating with NASA, USDA is working to develop techniques for UAVs to assist with fire response and mapping.

Elvia Thompson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/topstory/2003/0703esufire.html
http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/index.html
http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Deep Learning predicts hematopoietic stem cell development
21.02.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Sensors embedded in sports equipment could provide real-time analytics to your smartphone
16.02.2017 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>