85th AMS Annual Meeting

Monday, 10 January 2005: 9:45 AM
Use of an eye-safe, portable lidar for remote wildland fire and smoke detection
Matthew J. Parker, Westinghouse Savannah River Company, Aiken, SC; and C. E. Holton
Poster PDF (211.1 kB)
During periods of drought when surface water supplies are severely limited, wildland forest fires tend to become more frequent and often can grow into major fires that threaten valuable timber, real estate, and even human lives. Fire-fighting crews are critically dependent upon accurate and timely weather data to help ensure that individuals are not inadvertently exposed to dangerous conditions and to enhance normal fire-fighting activities. To that end, the use of an eye-safe, portable lidar for remote wildland fire and smoke detection is described. By using an infrared, eye-safe wavelength near 1.5 m, remote detection of smoke, flame fronts, and even air flow can be accomplished. Field tests of this technology have shown that actual reflections (signal returns) can be used to diagnose the condition of a fire and its tendency over time. Velocity detection distances can be reliably made in the range of 100s of meters with even beyond 1 km possible. In addition, movements of smoke particles can be used to infer air motions within and adjacent to smoke plumes at smaller scales, like flame fronts, to even whole fire plumes that exit the actual fire zone.

Supplementary URL: