NASA releases video about Suomi NPP fire-detecting satellite

NASA released a video this week that explains some of the features of the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite that was launched October 28, 2011. The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the satellite is a 22-band radiometer designed to collect infrared and visible light data to observe wildfires, movement of ice, and changes in landforms. It has a resolution of 375 meters, much better than the MODIS satellite data with 1,000-meter resolution. The MODIS was launched in 1999.

The combination of the VIIRS data (that is updated twice a day), weather forecasts, and fire behavior modeling software developed by Janice Coen and Wilfrid Schroeder, can result in more useful fire spread forecasts for fire managers.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “NASA releases video about Suomi NPP fire-detecting satellite”

  1. The potential for this system is great. But, I never did get an answer as to why last summer the data was basically unusable in August – at least for one of the large fires I was on in Oregon. Never could find out if it was a detection problem or an issue with getting the data processed.


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