Canadian Forest Service Publications

The innovative microsatellite-based Canadian wildland fire monitoring system. 2015. Hamel, J.-F.; St-Amour, A.; de Lafontaine, J.; Van Mierlo, M.; Lawrence, B.; Ngo Phong, L.; Lynham, T.J.; Johnston, J.M.; Cain, J.; Lihou, M.;Dufor, D.; Royer, A.; Flannigan, M.; Bonin, G.; Gravel, S.; Davignon, D. Pages 1-7 in 66th International Astronautical Congress. (IAC-15-B1.2.4

Year: 2016

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 37793

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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Plain Language Summary

Over the past 30 years, a gradual increase in both the frequency and intensity of forest fires has been observed. In Canada alone, the last ten years show an average of 6,113 fires burning 1.875 million hectares annually. Due to direct dangers and socio-economic costs associated with large fires, most countries have adopted policies of aggressive fire suppression and fire exclusion. Fire managers implementing these policies require accurate and frequent information about active forest fires. Most of this information is currently provided by ground-based or airborne systems. However, space-based remote sensing is becoming a more and more cost-effective tool for fire management and research, by providing continuous monitoring (even in remote areas), a short response time and accurate data on fire intensity, growth, location, fuel type and air quality. In an effort to answer the needs of the fire management and research community, the Canadian Space Agency has initiated the development of the Canadian Wildland Fire Monitoring System (CWFMS) microsatellite mission concept. This concept is intended to provide frequent information about forest fire locations, power, rate of spread and burned areas in order to support the detection and monitoring needs of the forest fire community. The proposed mission concept is a Low-Earth Orbit microsatellite constellation, designed to provide several daily observations of the complete Canadian territory. The constellation provides measurements in the Mid-Wave Infrared, Long-Wave Infrared, Near Infrared and Visible wavelengths. The main advantage of the mission concept with respect to the other existing or planned missions resides in the combination of a small measurement ground resolution (500 m) and a short revisit time (3-4 visits per day), while providing accurate measurements of high temperature events without saturation of the detectors.