The burning of our forests and other forms of biomass are increasingly harming the local, regional and global environment. As evidenced by studies of the earth's atmosphere, biomass burning is a significant global source of greenhouse gases and particulate matter that impact the chemistry of the troposphere and stratosphere. Current remote sensing methods used for monitoring forest fires and other forms of biomass burning rely on sensors primarily designed for measurement of temperatures near 300 degrees Kelvin or the average surface temperatures of the earth’s surface. Fires radiate intensely against a low-temperature background, therefore it is possible to detect fires occupying only a fraction of a pixel. However, sensors used in present remote sensing satellites saturate at temperatures well below the peak temperatures of fires, or have revisit times unsuitable for monitoring the diurnal activity of fires. The purpose of this study is to review past and present space-based sensors used to monitor fire on a global scale and propose a design intended specifically for fire detection and geo-location. Early detection of forest fires can save lives, prevent losses of property and help reduce the impact on our environment.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Forest fires--Remote sensing; Wildfires--Remote sensing; Satellites--Design and construction; Fire detectors--Design and construction
Department, Program, or Center
Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)
Luisi, Domenico, "Conceptual design and specification of a microsatellite forest fire detection system" (2007). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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