Linking ground, airborne, and satellite measurements of fire power
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): Matthew B. Dickinson; Luke Ellison; Jason Faulring; William Holley; Benjamin S. Hornsby; Andrew T. Hudak; Charles Ichoku; Robert L. Kremens; E. Louise Loudermilk; Jessica Maben; Otto Martinez; Joseph J. O'Brien; Alexander Paxton; Wilfrid Schroeder; Thomas J. Zajkowski
Editor(s): Dale D. Wade; Rebekah L. Fox
Publication Year: 2013

Cataloging Information

  • dual-band radiometry
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • fire radiative flux density
  • FRED - Fire Radiative Energy Density
  • heat
  • radiation
  • remote sensing
  • telemetry
  • WASP
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: April 10, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 53572
Tall Timbers Record Number: 31005
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Available
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


An ongoing challenge in fire measurement is obtaining quantitative and validated measurements of fire power (kW m-2) and energy (kJ m-2) across a range of spatial and temporal scales. Our approach to measurement has been hierarchical, where characterization of the fire heat budget at high temporal resolution and small spatial extent from instruments deployed near the ground is used to calibrate and evaluate measurements of fire radiation obtained at moderate temporal resolution (~5 min sampling rate) and extent (~500 ha) from sensors flown on manned aircraft. In turn, we have obtained coincident satellite measurements of fire radiated power from NASA's MODIS (Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) and VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) sensors that compare well with coincident airborne and ground-based estimates. In the November 2012 RxCADRE field campaign, MODIS and VIIRS fire retrievals, along with coincident ground and airborne (WASP, Wildfire Airborne Sensor Program) measurements, were obtained through coordination of ignition operations with satellite overpass. As well, RxCADRE burns in 2008 and 2011 and burns from two other projects involving ground and airborne fire power measurements also coincided with MODIS retrievals. We have begun to evaluate the ground, airborne, and satellite retrievals and find that fire power estimates have overlapping error intervals. An addition to the RxCADRE 2012 campaign were Unmanned Aircraft Systems that obtained near continuous imagery from developing fires from which we can extract spatial information and, in combination with ground radiometer (dualband) data, obtain independent estimates of fire power. As described in other talks in this special session ('A data set for fire and smoke model development and evaluation -- the RxCADRE project'), the RxCADRE project focuses on prescribed fires to allow for a high level of control on fire characteristics and to develop improved methods and understanding that can ultimately be applied to wildfires.

Online Link(s):
Link to this document (29.5 MB; pdf)
Dickinson, M. B. et al. 2013. Linking ground, airborne, and satellite measurements of fire power, in Wade, D. D. and Fox, R., Proceedings of Fourth Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference: at the crossroads: looking toward the future in a changing environment. Raleigh, NC; St. Petersburg, Russia. International Association of Wildland Fire,Missoula, MN. p. 241-242,Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference; No. 4.