5th Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology and the 2nd International Wildland Fire Ecology and Fire Management Congress

Wednesday, 19 November 2003: 2:30 PM
Use of NASA Earth Observing System Data to Monitor Active Fires and to Develop SensorWeb Decision Support Systems
Robert A. Sohlberg, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Satellite data provide a unique view of wildfire, which can be updated several times per day over large areas. The MODIS Land Rapid Response System detects active fires on a global basis in formats readily usable within geographic information systems. New research utilizes these active fire detections to task and acquire more detailed views of fire and the affected landscape using fine resolution instruments operating in a decision support system known as a SensorWeb. NASA, the University of Maryland, and the USDA Forest Service jointly developed the MLRR capabilities beginning in 2001. End users include the National Interagency Fire Center. The presentation will begin with a description of this moderate resolution active fire detection system which utilizes the MODIS instruments on NASA’s Terra and Aqua spacecraft to provide near real-time active fire locations both via a global data feed and direct broadcast receiving stations. The nominal spatial resolution is 1 km, but fires much smaller can be detected. The second segment of the presentation will describe how moderate resolution fire locations detected by MODIS are in turn used to task fine resolution instruments. Results will be presented from SensorWeb experiments conducted using the Advanced Land Imager instrument (30 m spatial resolution) onboard NASA’s EO-1 spacecraft. These fine resolution observations are intended for land management specialists planning post-fire emergency rehabilitation activities. A broad program is being developed to utilize a variety of moderate resolution instruments (MODIS, GOES and AVHRR) to produce an assimilated fire location database. This database will in turn be used to task a range of fine resolution instruments. Candidate fine resolution instruments include both visible and infrared systems (ALI, ASTER, TM) and thermal systems (BIRD). The program is designed to be extensible so that additional instruments, such as commercial systems, can easily be integrated. By utilizing a range of detection systems at multiple resolutions and in multiple orbital configurations, SensorWeb will make best use of existing assets by prioritizing acquisitions and tasking the instrument with the best opportunity to acquire a near-nadir, cloud free, observation in the least amount of time. Special attention will be given to the timeliness of availability including the acquisition, data transfer, processing, and end-user delivery steps.

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