VISIR-SAT – A PROSPECTIVE MICRO-SATELLITE BASED MULTI-SPECTRAL THERMAL MISSION FOR LAND APPLICATIONS
- 1ZEBRIS GbR, Lipowskystr. 26, 81476Munich, Germany
- 2Center for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces (ZFL), University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
- 3Astro- und Feinwerktechnik Adlershof GmbH, Berlin, Germany
Keywords: Thermal infrared remote sensing, fire detection and characterization, land surface temperature, small satellites, convoy missions
Abstract. Current space-borne thermal infrared satellite systems aimed at land surface remote sensing retain some significant deficiencies, in particular in terms of spatial resolution, spectral coverage, number of imaging bands and temperature-emissivity separation. The proposed VISible-to-thermal IR micro-SATellite (VISIR-SAT) mission addresses many of these limitations, providing multi-spectral imaging data with medium-to-high spatial resolution (80m GSD from 800 km altitude) in the thermal infrared (up to 6 TIR bands, between 8 and 11μm) and in the mid infrared (1 or 2 MIR bands, at 4μm). These MIR/TIR bands will be co-registered with simultaneously acquired high spatial resolution (less than 30 m GSP) visible and near infrared multi-spectral imaging data. To enhance the spatial resolution of the MIR/TIR multi-spectral imagery during daytime, data fusion methods will be applied, such as the Multi-sensor Multi-resolution Technique (MMT), already successfully tested over agricultural terrain. This image processing technique will make generation of Land Surface Temperature (LST) EO products with a spatial resolution of 30 x 30 m2 possible. For high temperature phenomena such as vegetation- and peat-fires, the Fire Disturbance Essential Climate Variables (ECV) “Active fire location” and “Fire Radiative Power” will be retrieved with less than 100 m spatial resolution. Together with the effective fire temperature and the spatial extent even for small fire events the innovative system characteristics of VISIR-SAT go beyond existing and planned IR missions.
The comprehensive and physically high-accuracy products from VISIR-SAT (e.g. for fire monitoring) may synergistically complement the high temperature observations of Sentinel-3 SLSTR in a unique way. Additionally, VISIR-SAT offers a very agile sensor system, which will be able to conduct intelligent and flexible pointing of the sensor’s line-of-sight with the aim to provide global coverage of cloud free imagery every 5–10 days with only one satellite (using near real time cloud cover information). VISIRSAT may be flown in convoy with Sentinel-3 and/or Sentinel-2.