Eagleye High Level Infrared (HLIR) scanning can provide strategic intelligence to Wildfire Incident Commanders, Fire Mangers and Fire Duty Officers when dealing with a large fire that is covered in smoke.
Discovery Air Fire Services (DAFS) is introducing high level aerial infrared imaging services operated from a low cost aerial platform. Our goal is to provide accurate thermal and visual imagery which can be used to effectively action wildfires in the most efficient way for the customer. Our infrared sensor is nadir oriented and produces snapshot thermal images with a resolution of 0.01° C covering a range from 0° C to 1,200° C. The camera uses bolometer technology which does not require cooling like other IR cameras.
Discovery Air Fire Services is now poised to provide this convenient service to any fire management organization
From underneath the smoke, we are able to find the perimeter and the active hotspots
Our plane-borne sensors can see through smoke and haze to deliver a detail image that shows the size and strength of large-scale fires. DAFS Eagleye platform features distinct advantages over traditional fire mapping systems. It provides a full colour image that depicts heat intensity up to 1200° C without saturation. Most current sensors saturate even on smoldering ash or sunlit rocks so everything warm looks the same. The heat intensity is accurately calibrated to show the fire lines and hot spots so the location and direction of the fire can be determined. In fact, the actual temperatures of any pixel in the image can be read merely by touching the pen to the image on the tablet PC. With its high sensitivity, small spot fires can be easily detected from the air long before they grow into devastating forest fires. Since the image is digital, it can be downloaded and shared easily between agencies. GPS data accompanies every image so they can be projected onto flat topographic or 3D terrain maps. Individual images can also be integrated into mosaics to depict the full scope of a large wildfire.
Eagleye has a special "Tactical" mode for low altitude operation. This "Tactical" mode allows rapid imaging at, up to 6 images per second to provide contiguous or overlapping images in tactical situations. In fact, at 120-knot speeds and an altitude of only 50 feet, a 30% image overlap is still attainable.
Imaging Aerial Platform Options
Presently the C-337 Skymaster can operate from low-level up to 10,000 feet ASL. For normal fire mapping, aircraft will typically fly between 1,000 and 3,000 feet above ground. For every increase of 1,000 feet in altitude, the aircraft increases its coverage by roughly 800 feet.
For the best results, flights are conducted in the early morning. This provides the best IR signature as this creates a large contrast between ground temperature and active fires. Imagery data is processed en route from the fire for minimal turnaround time on the ground. On a typical mission, a hard copy of the scanned fire can be provided within an hour of landing to the customer. In addition to a hard copy, the customer is also provided with the option of obtaining the raw raster data and map project file for further analysis and manipulation.
DAFS is currently developing an IFR capable platform that would eliminate the potential of weather delays. This upgraded system would also boast better accuracy, finer resolution and increased coverage per pass. The system could also be augmented for post fire clean up as it would be able to detect hot spots or hold over fires.
Advantages of Fixed-wing vs. Rotary-wing imagery platforms:
• Larger area coverage over time
• Greater mission radius
• Lower operating cost
Advantages of IR imagery for fire application:
• Quick hotspot and flank recognition
• Ability to see through smoke
• Accurate within 1 meter
Advantages of Discovery Air Fire Services’ Imaging:
• Extensive experience in aerial fire operations
• 98% dispatch reliability
• In-house data processing
• Quick turnaround time on ground