Remote Sensing of High Temperature Events by the FireBird Mission
- 1German Aerospace Center, DLR Institute of Optical Sensor Systems, 12489 Berlin, Rutherfordstraße 2, Germany
- 2German Aerospace Center, DLR Institute of Communications and Navigation, 17235 Neustrelitz, Kalkhorstweg 53, Germany
Keywords: Small Satellite Constellation, Infrared Instruments, High Temperature Events, impact on the climatic processes, Bi-Spectral Method, Advanced On Board Processing
Abstract. More than 10 years after the launch of DLR’s first small satellite BIRD, a follow on project called FireBird was started. Based on the success of the BIRD mission, the main scientific goal- the investigation of high temperature events and their impact on the climatic processes- will be continued but in consideration to the advantages given by the operation of a constellation of two small satellites. The first of these satellites- TET-1- was launched on June 22nd 2012. The launch of the second satellite- BIROS- is scheduled for spring 2016.
Both satellites are mainly dedicated to the observation and analysis of high temperature events such as wildfires and volcanoes. The outstanding feature of the FireBird Infrared Instruments is their higher ground sample resolution and dynamic range compared to systems such as MODIS. This enables the detection of smaller fire events and improves the quality of the quantitative analysis. The analysis of the high temperature events is based on the Bi- Spectral Method, which requires also an excellent characterization of the background temperatures. With this the FireBird Infrared Instruments are also suitable to study phenomena with lower temperatures.
Following the experience of BIRD, the design of the camera system in the visible bands was changed and with this altering the characteristics of the Bi- Spectral Method. These changes were validated in several experiments and the results will be discussed in this paper.
To overcome some restrictions of the small satellite technology, advanced on board processing will be implemented on the FireBird satellites. By implementing the Bi- Spectral Method on board, it is possible to reduce the data stream to a dedicated list of detected high temperature events containing the parameter analyzed. This allows more efficient management of the on board memory and of the downlink capabilities considering also the demand to download selected image data.