Application of a New Detector Processing Technique for Space-borne Fire Measurement and Monitoring

SSTL and Kings College London

Pathfinder Project

Fires are important indicators for understanding the carbon cycle and for monitoring and forecasting atmospheric composition. Global biomass burning is the second largest source of trace gases and the largest source of fine carbon particles in the troposphere, and a key parameter for models is the emission rates of smoke from fires. The detection and measurement of fires from space has been demonstrated using a variety of instruments including the NOAA AVHRR, MODIS and Bird HSRS infrared (IR) payloads. These measurements are achieved using spectral bands in the visible, middle-IR (3-5 μm) and long-wave IR (8-14 μm) to distinguish the signature of fires from those of clouds and sun glint. To date the technology solution has dictated the use of expensive cooled detectors. This seedcorn project will explore new processing techniques and the performance of new broadband uncooled detectors to assess the feasibility of achieving adequate performance at much lower cost.

The lead organisations for this project are SSTL and Kings College London