Russian Experiment NOMOS – First Results and Plans for1995
(IFFN No. 12 – January 1995)
In the previous issue of “International Forest Fires News” (July 1994), we described the Russian experiment NOMOS which is designed to determine the potential of spaceborne and airborne sensors for detection of small forest fires spots (£ 100m2) and evaluation of pre-fire conditions in forests. The research includes use of the scientific module PRIRODA to be launched in September 1995 and docked to the orbiting station MIR. In September 1994 the first stage of NOMOS experiments took place involving a fixed-wing airplane platform (forest-fire-patrol airplane AN-2). The experimental area was a forested region East of Moscow. The aim was to observe fires of small size (2-2.5m Æ ) by optical infrared and microwave instruments. The results were very informative. Small experimental fires were detected from flight altitudes of 200-1,500 m above ground (Fig.1), while in the visible range human eyes or TV-cameras were often unable to distinguish small fires against the background. Computer-processed infrared fire imageries gave the precise temperature resolution (£ 1° C), both of surface fires and of ground (turf) fires. The detection capabilities of the infrared sensor (thermovision sensor AGEMA with 3-5 m m and 8-14 m m channels) were very high and did not depend on the absence of smoke and mist obscuring the terrain. Attenuation of fire radiation by tree branches and foliage was also very low.
The results of airborne experimental measurements of signals from fires and from the background helped to calculate exactly the minimally detectable sizes of forest fire front length or diameters (lf) in the infrared (3-5 m m) range (Fig.2). This fire front length lf is about 10-15 metres both from PRIRODA instruments (height of orbit Ho=400 km, curve 1) and from the future fire-monitoring satellites NOMOS (Ho=900 km, curve 2).
Fig.1. Set of experimental fires as depicted by the NOMOS infrared sensor during the test flights in September 1994, Moscow Region
Fig.2. Minimal detectable sizes of forest fire front length or diameters (lf) in the infrared (3-5 m m) range. Ho = height of orbit (see text).
In May 1995 and autumn 1995 a second stage of flying experiments (near to Nizhny Novgorod) and a space experiment with PRIRODA are planned. Scientists and laboratories interested in joint research are invited to take part in these experiments and to share results. For more information contact Saliut or the editor of IFFN (supporting unit of NOMOS and PRIRODA tests).
From:Yu.G. Burlakov and V.M. Vishniakov Address: Saliut Design Bureau Khruchinev State Research and Production Space Center Novozavodskaja st., 18 RU – 121309 Moscow