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NASA - Media Invited to View Wildfire Sensor On US Forest Service Jet
April 16, 2013

AMS instrument wildfire image Autonomous Modular Scanner, onboard the Ikhana remotely-operated aircraft, captured fires over the Basin Fire Complex in Monterey County, Calif. on July 8, 2008, at 2:40 p.m. PDT. The image has been overlaid onto terrain data within Google Earth to provide additional information to the fire managers on the effects of terrain on fire behavior. The yellow areas depict active fire areas with reds and purples showing burned over areas. Image Credit: NASA/Google

USFS Cessna Citation jet NASA-developed wildfire imaging technology transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service (USFS) has begun test flights onboard a Forest Service aircraft in preparation for this year's wildfire season in the western United States. Image credit: USFS

AMS sensor image Fires over the American River Fire Complex in Placer County, Calif., are seen as taken by the Automous Modular Scanner wildfire scanner onboard the Ikhana unmanned aircraft, July 8, 2008, at 10:40 a.m. PDT. The yellow areas depict active fire areas. The image provides officials with not only fire information but also vegetation type and burned-area information. Credit: NASA/Google
NASA has transferred wildfire imaging technology to the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Boise, Idaho and will exhibit the integrated sensor inside the USFS Cessna Citation jet between 12 and 2 p.m. PDT Thursday April 18, 2013 at Moffett Airfield, Calif. The jet is one of two National Infrared Operation aircraft used to provide fire data to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho and all other incident centers in the U.S.

Media are invited to view the aircraft on the tarmac adjacent to Moffett Tower and talk to NASA, USFS and the California Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE ), Sacramento sensor engineers and operators. To view the aircraft, go to the personnel gate at the end of the gravel parking lot directly north of Moffett Tower. To reach Moffett Airfield, take U.S. Highway 101 to the Moffett Field, NASA Parkway exit and drive east on Moffett Boulevard towards the main gate. To enter the NASA Research Park, a driver's license is required.

In conjunction with the sensor viewing opportunity, NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., and USFS will host an Airborne Science Applications Use Workshop on Thursday, April 18, 2013. The purpose of the workshop is to bring together the natural resource, disaster management and remote sensing communities to discuss the Autonomous Modular Sensor (AMS) capabilities in support of USFS science application uses.

Experts from the workshop will be available to talk to the media. Speakers will include Vincent Ambrosia, principal investigator of the Wildfire Research and Applications Partnership (WRAP) project and a senior research scientist at Ames and California State University, Monterey Bay; Everett Hinkley, national remote sensing program manager with the USFS in Monterey, Calif.; Chris Waters, fire management investigator for CALFIRE; and other experts trained in the AMS operations protocols.

The Autonomous Modular Sensor is an airborne scanning spectrometer that acquires high resolution imagery of the Earth's features from its vantage point on-board low and medium altitude research aircraft. The near-real-time data then is transmitted to ground disaster management investigators for analysis.

"The sensor's expanded capabilities and utility will allow multiple missions for the USFS aircraft, including support of various vegetation assessments. In addition, we suspect there will be a cost-savings benefit for the USFS," said Ambrosia.

For more information about Autonomous Modular Sensor, visit: http://airbornescience.nasa.gov/instrument/AMS

For more information about NASA, visit: http://www.nasa.gov

Text issued as NASA Ames release 13-29AR

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Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator