FireBIRD mission

The Soyuz launch vehicle carrying TET-1 after launch on 22 July 2012

The Soyuz launch vehicle carrying TET-1 after launch on 22 July 2012

On 22 July 2012 at 08:41:39 CEST, the first small German satellite in the ‘On-Orbit-Verification’ (OOV) programme was carried into orbit from the Cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan by a Russian Soyuz launch vehicle. TET-1 is a technology testbed with 11 experiments on board that will be operated in space for a year.


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Image 1/3, Credit: DLR
TET-1: Fire watch from Earth orbit

TET-1: Fire watch from Earth orbit

Artist impression of the first of the two satellites in the FireBIRD mission,. Together with BIROS, as part of their joint FireBIRD mission, it has been in orbit since June 2016.


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Image 2/3, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)
Time series images from TET and MODIS

Time series images from TET and MODIS

Time series images can help to identify the source of a fire and to estimate its potential spread. These images show the distribution of peat fires across the Sebangau National Park on Borneo over a period of three weeks. Images acquired by the DLR satellite TET are shown at the top and the images acquired using NASA’s MODIS instrument are shown below.


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Image 3/3, Credit: TET satellite-image DLR/RSS; MODIS satellite-image NASA/Worldview

The FireBIRD mission uses the two TET-1 (Technologie-Erprobungsträger 1;Technology Experiment Carrier 1) and BIROS (Bi-spectral InfraRed Optical System) satellites to detect high temperature events on Earth’s surface. They can also precisely capture small, low energy events thanks to the sensitivity of the sensors and the high precision and resolution.

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