The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XL-7/W3
30 Apr 2015
 | 30 Apr 2015

Data Validation and Case Studies using the TET-1 Thermal Infrared Satellite System

C. Fischer, D. Klein, G. Kerr, E. Stein, E. Lorenz, O. Frauenberger, and E. Borg

Keywords: Thermal Infrared Remote Sensing, High temperature Event, Fire Radiative Power, TET-1, FireBird

Abstract. Based on the DLR satellite system BIRD, launched and operated in the early 2000, the TET-1 satellite has been launched in 2012 as part of the FireBird satellite constellation. The constellation will consist of two satellites, the second one to be launched in the first half of 2016. Acquired imagery is processed and archived by DLR and will be publicly available. For this purpose, a processing chain has been implemented converting raw data (level 0 product) to geo-annotated at-sensor radiance (level 1b). Further data products can be derived, e.g. information on brightness temperature, fire radiative power, and surface emissivity. Other processing levels, such as atmospherically corrected reflectance, could also be produced. The sensitivity of a Thermal Infrared (TIR) sensor system depends on its spectral characteristics and its spatial resolution. Various methods for high temperature event (HTE) detection and quantification have been developed, which can be categorized into single- and multi-band algorithms. While single band methods rely on the robust demarcation of background pixels and higher temperature pixels, considered as being anomalous, the TET-1 system facilitates the application of the widely used bi-spectral algorithm approach introduced by Dozier (1981), using the mid-infrared and longwave-infrared channel. This approach takes advantage of the non-linear nature of the Planck’s curves to calculate temperatures and the HTE area on a sub-pixel basis. TIR remote sensing can make a significant contribution to the detection and, partly, the monitoring of land surface temperature (LST), HTE and of parameters describing the surface energy balance for specific areas.