FireBIRD - two small satellites, TET-1 and BIROS. Together, the two satellites are on an Earth observation mission that aims to detect forest fires, or high-temperature events, from space. The new infrared system provides high-quality data that is capable of measuring the spread of the fire and the amount of heat generated with great accuracy very early on - almost in real time - meaning that FireBIRD can serve as an early warning system. The data acquired from this Earth observation mission can also be used as a basis for scientific climate research. In addition to the main payload of the cameras, further experiments have been planned for developing the technology on board the small satellites.
According to calculations made by the DLR Institute of Space Operations and Astronaut Training, DLR’s TET satellite crossed the path of the storm on September 7th, 2017 at 19:20 UTC, making it possible to record the eye of hurricane Irma.
This video presents the final preparations of BIROS in 100 seconds before its start in July 2016.
The FireBIRD mission in pictures - see the early images from TET-1 in space, the setup of BIROS and the IR-captions in high resolution from hot spots on the surface.
Find more background information about the FireBIRD earth observation mission, its structure and technical details on the website of the involved institutes.
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).
Expansive forest fires have raged through Chile for some weeks now due to a long dry spell. On 25 January 2017, the Chilean National Office for Emergency (Oficina Nacional de Emergencia del Ministerio del Interior; ONEMI) activated the International Charter Space and Major Disasters to obtain up-to-date situation images of the disaster area to assist emergency services.
For the first time in the history of space exploration, scientists at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have demonstrated in a real space experiment how a satellite can approach a counterpart by fully autonomously, making use of only optical or vision-based navigation.