Infrared Fire Detection Camera



Development and application of imaging infrared systems for earth observation

Since the beginning of 1990 the DLR Institute in Berlin Adlershof has been involved in intensive studies on the development of infrared systems for earth observation (see illustration). Main purpose of these studies from a constructive point of view was the accommodation of these instruments on low cost small satellites for earth observation & space exploration purposes. In conjunction with this activity was to proof the scientific & operational relevance of such systems. The fire ecology was identified in 1994 through the FIRES study as a major candidate for mainly not already covered remote sensing applications. Although high temperature events formed the main focus of the development work during the preceding years, it must be also pointed out as a fact that the high sensitivity of the instrumentation in the classical areas of normal temperature is the basic conditions, achieving outstanding results particularly in forest fire monitoring and detection.

Main characteristics of this instrumentation were the capability to perform quantitative measurement of the fire parameters in the Sub pixel range, and in addition to adapt them automatically in the dynamitic range of the observed scene. Only through this technology was it possible to achieve a high optiminisation of the equipment design.

Based on this concept the development was realised by the following.

zum BildIR-Payload

Major milestones in the development of IR remote sensing

  • 1994 -1995: FIRES Phase A Study (DLR/OHB)
  • since 1996: BIRD development, build and testing, In use till 2004, sensor test until today Launched 2001 with the Indian launcher PSLV-C3, in parallel the operation of the air borne instrument version ABAS till 2004
  • 1997- 2000: FOCUS for ISS / ESA (until Phase A Ext., DLR with OHB as Prime)
  • 1998 - 2001: FUEGO-2 – DLR participation with Phase A/B Studies to FUEGO – Payload
  • 2002 - 2003: FIREBIRD and BIRD Tech - BIRD use for ESA FUEGOSAT Consolidation Phase Step 1
  • 2003 – 2006: ECOFIRE - Study for ESA to “Scientific Assessment of Space-Borne High Temperature Event Observing Mission Concepts“
  • 2004 – 2005: GMES IR- Element – DLR participation in Definition Study (ESA-RFQ)
  • 2005 - 2006: FIRES – Feasibility and Market Study (performed by the firm ZEBRIS onbehalf of DLR)
  • since 2007: TET-1 IR Sensor with option for on-board processing with the goal to achieve a thermal data reduction

In particular the ECOFIRE study established a major milestone identifying diverse possibilities for worldwide ecological research into forest fires by a optimal adapted instrumentation.

Based on these efforts and results currently are going on the first steps for the DLR FIREBIRD constellation.

Dr. Eckehard Lorenz
German Aerospace Center

Institute of Optical Sensor Systems
, Optic, Calibration and Validation
Tel: +49 30 67055-515

Fax: +49 30 67055-532

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