reported by the UC Berkeley News Center: As firefighters emerge from another record wildfire season in the Western United States, University of California, Berkeley, scientists say it’s time to give them a 21 century tool: a fire-spotting satellite.
|The proposed Berkeley FUEGO satellite would continuously|
scan the US for wildfires, so they could be potentially controlled
before they become overwhelming. This technology would
also potentially mitigate the currently $2.5B budget in the US set
aside annually to help control wildfires; as well as the liability for
the damage the fires invariably cause in property damage and loss
of life; affecting both civilians and firefighters.
|Infrared images of the area around Yosemite National Park on|
Aug. 17, 2013, before and 10 minutes after ignition of the Rim Fire.
The images, taken by the GOES weather satellite, show that fire
hotspots can be detected from space. GOES is a powerful, all-
purpose satellite, and was not exclusively designed for fire
detections, unlike the proposed FUEGO geosynchronous satellite
which could scan areas every few minutes.
|Images taken in two different infrared wavelengths reveal different|
details of a smokey fire, demonstrating that a fire-spotting satellite
could see ignition sites obscured by smoke. These images are of a
2003 fire in the San Bernadino National Forest near Los Angeles taken
by the ASTER satellite.