The BIROS (Bispectral InfraRed Optical System) micro-satellite is the size of a refrigerator and weighs about 130 kilograms. From 500 kilometres high it will be able to keep an eye on high temperature events on Earth.
DLR (CC-BY 3.0).
The small satellite BIROS (Bispectral InfraRed Optical System) and TET-1 (Technology Experiment Carrier) form a highly efficient pair for the early detection of forest fires in the FireBIRD (Fire Bispectral InfraRed Detector) mission. Their innovative infrared sensor system allows the satellites to precisely measure the spatial expansion and heat development of fires.
BIROS is the second satellite of the FireBIRD mission. The main payload is a highly sensitive infrared camera system equipped with 'fire magnifiers' that, like its 'brother' satellite TET-1, can be used as an early fire warning system and for climate research from space.
In addition to the HSRS infrared camera system, the BIROS small satellite also has other devices for experiments on further developing on-board technology.
If one places an image acquired by the DLR microsatellite TET over one acquired by NASA’s MODIS instrument, it quickly becomes apparent that TET’s infrared camera can also spot fires through thick clouds and smoke.
Montage: TET-Satellitenbild DLR/RSS und MODIS-Satellitenbild NASA/Worldview.
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.
TET-Satellitenbild DLR/RSS; MODIS-Satellitenbild NASA/Worldview.
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.
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.