Earth Observation Mission News
FireBIRD monitors forest fires in California
20 December 2017
Emergency services in the US state of California are still fighting fierce forest fires. Severe drought and strong winds have allowed the fires to spread. The FireBIRD (Fire Bispectral InfraRed Detector) mission run by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) consists of a pair of satellites – TET-1 (Technology Experiment Carrier) and BIROS (Bispectral Infrared Optical System). These detect high-temperature events from space.
On Sunday 10 December TET-1 registered a major seat of fire near the town of Ventura, north of Los Angeles, on the US Pacific coast. Further data was recorded over the days that followed. "FireBIRD's precise systems allow us to detect incipient changes to fires with accuracy," says Winfried Halle, FireBIRD project manager at the DLR Institute of Optical Sensor Systems, adding, "This can help us predict the behaviour and development of major fires more effectively in future."
Image credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0) - Overview map of forest fires in California