672 Observations of major 2012 fire events in the United States from Suomi NPP: product evaluation and user readiness

Wednesday, 9 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
Ivan A. Csiszar, NOAA/NESDIS, College Park, MD; and E. Ellicott, W. Schroeder, P. Roohr, B. Quayle, L. Giglio, and C. O. Justice

Handout (2.8 MB)

The 2012 fire season was particularly active over the Conterminous United States. Major fire events occurred in the Western US. These fire events caused major losses and gained widespread media attention. Monitoring multiple fires over such a large area is a challenge to fire management agencies. The 2012 fire season was also the first one in North America when observations from the Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) satellite, were available. The standard VIIRS Active Fire Product, generated by the SNPP Interface Data Processing Segment (IDPS), processes radiometric measurements from the VIIRS 750m moderate resolution bands using a heritage algorithm from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) Terra and Aqua satellites. To assist product evaluation and user readiness, the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) Active Fire Algorithm Development and Validation team have developed a web-based data visualization, analysis, and distribution system that provides near-real-time data and a rolling archive of all VIIRS fire observations over North America. For select cases, near-simultaneous observations from Aqua MODIS were also presented for comparison. The data were also converted into GIS formats to assist on-site fire managers in evaluating the usefulness of the product in daily operations. The JPSS Active Fire Team was also engaged in generating imagery for select fire events derived using an experimental detection algorithm from the 375m VIIRS Imager bands. This imagery was also provided for end user evaluation and to the public through various online outlets. This presentation will provide a summary of lessons learned during the 2012 fire season through examples of major fire events and plans for improved data products, data distribution, and applications.
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