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Satellite Systems

Polar Satellite Systems

With ~20 years of data record, the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer offers a unique opportunity for retrospective processing of 1-km data into time series of active fires and burned areas. AVHRR continues to provide useful information on board the current POES series. However, its instrument characteristics are inferior to the recent experimental and semi-operational systems. On the future NPOESS series AVHRR will be replaced by VIIRS.

The Copernicus Services Data Hub is an access to Sentinels data dedicated to Copernicus Services and European Institutions.

Night-time visible data from the Operational Linescan System on board the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program can be used for global fire mapping at medium resolution.

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Visible and Infrared Scanner provides medium resolution VIS, NIR, SWIR and IR measurements from a low inclination orbit. It can be used for the sampling of the burning activity in the tropical and sub-tropical regions at various local times.

The Along Track Scanning Radiometer on board the ERS-1 and -2 satellites, and the Advanced ATSR on board ENVISAT are dual-view medium resolution sensors, which provide VIS, NIR and SWIR measurements for burnt area mapping and active fire detection.


The Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer has 15 programmable channels to measure the reflected solar radiation in the VIS and NIR spectral region at 300 m resolution. Potential applications include burned area mapping.

The VEGETATION instrument provides medium-resolution, global VIS and NIR, high-quality measurements that are useful for burned area mapping.

The Thematic Mapper, which was replaced by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus, provide high resolution imagery for burned area mapping and for the validation of medium-resolution burned area products.

The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer provides high resolution VIS, NIR and SWIR data coincident with MODIS observations near the center of the swath. ASTER is a valuable tool for the validation of MODIS active fire products and burned area maps from various satellite systems.

The Bi-spectral Infrared Detection is a small satellite that provides VIS, NIR and SWIR data for burned area mapping and active fire detection at 185 m and 370 m respectively.

The Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite will be first flown aboard the NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) and then on board the National Polar-orbiting Operational Satellite System (NPOESS). It will provide similar measurements to MODIS at higher resolution.

The Global Imager on board the Advanced Earth Observation Satellite has 36 bands in the VIS, NIR, SWIR, MIR and TIR spectral regions which are useful for burned area mapping and active fire detection.

Geostationary Satellite Systems

Both the lower resolution sounder and and higher resolution imager instruments on board the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite have bands in the SWIR window that allow active fire detection.

The Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager on board the Meteosat Second Generation satellites will carry a SWIR band suitable for active fire detection.


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