The GOES satellites provide a relatively coarse 4 km infrared resolution at satellite subpoint for thermal fire detection but provide the advantage of a rapid update cycle. GOES imagery is updated every 15 minutes utilizing both GOES-10 and GOES-12. POES imagery from NOAA-15, NOAA-16 and NOAA-17 and MODIS from Terra and Aqua are employed with each satellite providing twice per day coverage (more frequent over Alaska). While the frequency of imagery is much less than with GOES the higher spatial resolution of these satellites (1 km along the suborbital track) allows for detection of smaller and/or cooler burning fires.
Each of the algorithms utilizes a number of temporal, thermal and contextual filters in an attempt to screen out false detects. However, false detects do get processed by the algorithms to varying degrees. Therefore, the automated fire detections from each algorithm are then quality controlled by an analyst who scans the imagery and may either accept or delete individual fire points. The analyst also has the capability to manually add additional fire points based on the imagery.
Smoke is detected by the analysts using visible imagery, primarily from GOES which provides 1 km resolution. Occasionally a smoke plume seen in visible imagery is the only indicator of a fire and would be manually added to the file.
All of the analyzed fire and smoke information is posted to a web page (www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/FIRE/hms.html) for viewing in either graphical static jpg format or via a Geographic Information System (GIS) viewer. Both the analyst edited points as well as the unedited automated fire detects are available for users to view directly on the web page or to download. The GIS page allows for display of multiple layers with roam and zoom capabilities.
Supplementary URL: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/FIRE/hms.html