The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLII-3/W2
16 Nov 2017
 | 16 Nov 2017


E. Lorenz, W. Halle, C. Fischer, N. Mettig, and D. Klein

Keywords: Small Satellite Constellation, Infrared Instruments, High Temperature Events, Advanced On Board Processing

Abstract. Two years ago the German Aerospace Center (DLR) reported on the ISRSE36 in Berlin about the FireBird Mission (Lorenz, 2015). FireBird is a constellation of two small satellites equipped with a unique Bi- Spectral Infrared Instrument. Whereas this instrumentation is mainly dedicated to the investigation of high temperature events a much wider application field was meanwhile examined. The first of these satellites – TET-1 – was launched on July 22nd 2012. On the ISRSE36 could be presented the results of two years of operation. The second satellite – BIROS – was launched on June 22nd 2016. The outstanding feature of the Infrared Instruments is their higher ground sampling resolution and dynamic range compared to systems such as MODIS. This allows the detection of smaller fire events and improves the quality of the quantitative analysis. The detailed analysis of the large number of data sets acquired by TET in the last two years caused significant methodically improvements in the data processing. Whereas BIROS has the same instrumentation as TET a number of additional technological features implemented in the satellite bus expand the application field of the instruments remarkably. New High-Torque-Wheels will allow new scanning modes and generating with this new data products to be discussed. A Giga Bit Laser downlink terminal will enable near real time downlinks of large data volumes reducing the response time to disaster events. With an advanced on board processing unit, it is possible to reduce the data stream to a dedicated list of desired parameters to be sent to users by an OrbCom modem. This technology can serve such Online Information Portals like the Advanced Fire Information System (AFIS) in South Africa. The paper will focus on these new items of the FireBird mission.