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 Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF

nachricht Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Metal too 'gummy' to cut? Draw on it with a Sharpie or glue stick, science says

19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

NSF-supported researchers to present new results on hurricanes and other extreme events

19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells

19.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>