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For more information contact:

Wade E. Sisler
Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771
Phone: 301-286-6256

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Caption for Image 1: Artist's concept of sensor "seeing" forest fire. Credit: JPL

Caption for Image 2: The United States Forest Service currently uses RIPCom to relay remotely sensed data about the location and status of wildfires from this airplane to a nearby ground station in near real-time. The airplane is parked in a hangar at the National Interagency Fire Center hangar in Boise, Idaho. Credit: NASA

Caption for Image 3: This graphic shows a proposed one day UAV mission to observe multiple wildfires in the west. Credit: NASA


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All stories found on a Top Story page or the front page of this site have been archived from most to least current on this page.

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August 21, 2003 - (date of web publication)

NASA HELPS TO MAKE FIREFIGHTING A LITTLE SAFER AND EASIER

NASA is expanding the United States Forest Service's firefighting toolkit. New technologies provide better images faster and more often. This information allows firefighters to access wildfires more quickly and allocate precious resources. NASA hopes this new technology will help make the business of firefighting a little easier and safer.

This year, fires consumed over 2.3 million acres in the United States through August 21, 2003, the midpoint of the country's annual fire season.

Satellites Dial 9-1-1

 

fire sensor
 
  Image 1

Satellites sound the fire alarm on wildfires. New software, developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena Calif., links several of NASA's Earth Science satellites together to form a virtual web of sensors with the ability to monitor the globe far better than just one satellite. An imaging instrument flying on one satellite can detect a fire or other hazard and automatically instruct a different satellite to take a closer look. If the images show that a potential hazard does exist, then the responding satellite provides data to ground controllers. They pass the data to the U.S. Forest Service, or to an interested science team.

This information allows firefighters to rapidly respond to ongoing events, such as fires, floods, and mudslides. Using sensor web technology means investigators now use nearer to real-time information on what's happening. More information-JPL


Better and Faster Communications

 

 

The airplane is parked in a hangar at the National Interagency Fire Center hangar in Boise, Idaho.
 
  Image 2

Though yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater may be prohibited, getting the message to firefighters about forest fires is essential. NASA teamed up with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service to develop a digital wireless communication system that allows the real-time transmission of remotely sensed data from an airplane to a ground station. This quick relay of information about wildfires improves the likelihood that firefighters can handle the fire before it grows even more dangerous.
More information - GSFC

Getting To The Heat Of The Fire

 

This graphic shows a proposed one day UAV mission to observe multiple wildfires in the west.
 
  Image 3

One of the latest high-tech wild firefighting tool, unmanned remote control airplanes fly over fires and broadcast thermal images to fire managers. Fire managers use these images to assess direction and speed. This new tool increases the efficiency of fire monitoring by speeding the access to information and imagery. More information-AMES

 

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