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Operational Forest Fire Monitoring in Brazil

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  1. Operational Forest Fire Monitoring in Brazil Wilfrid Schroeder, M.Sc. PROARCO - Fire Monitoring System Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Natural Renewable Resources – IBAMA swilfrid@sede.ibama.gov.br

  2. About us... • IBAMA is the Major Environmental Agency in Brazil • Responsible for Forestry, Animal life, fishery, etc.. • One of the Primary Goal is to Manage and Protect the Brazilian Legal Amazon

  3. The Challenge: • Large land area requiring wide scale monitoring system • Little or no access from surface: observations need to be made from above • Illegal logging activities going on over remote areas • New land areas being created using fire as a tool for clearing fields • Large number of vegetation fires

  4. The Brazilian Amazon Total Area: 5.2 Million km2 Number of States Covered: 9

  5. The Arc of Deforestation Total Area: 1.6 Million km2 Number of States Covered: 7

  6. The Beginning • Late 80’s – Start using AVHRR’s afternoon pass • Technical cooperation with INPE • Problems with detection algorithm • High number of spurious fires detected • Limited field inspection • Few satellite hot spot coordinates visited

  7. The Need • January-March 1998 – The Great Roraima Forest Fire • Little operational capacity at that moment prevented early detection and combat • Operational Fire Monitoring Facility made necessary • Pressure from the international community • July 1998 – The PROARCO system was established

  8. The Concept • Intensive use of Remote Sensing and GIS technologies for fire monitoring • Use of meteorological data for fire risk assessment • Quick access to reports/bulletins - providing near real time data through internet, fax, and vehicles with satellite communication capability • Increase law enforcement activities • Have the local communities involved

  9. Remote Sensing Fires • System based on previous AVHRR use experience • Detection algorithm experiencing constant improvement • Use of evening overpass (NOAA-12) • to avoid saturation from bright surfaces • Satellite hot spot data being used for field inspections based on different alert levels (green and yellow) • Hot spot location and persistence criteria

  10. Algorithm Basics • Fixed threshold method • Adjusting limits through histogram analyses • Trial and error • AVHRR Channel 3 • Separating all potential fires through saturation • AVHRR Channel 1, 2 and 4: • Eliminating bright targets (clouds, water bodies, bare soils,…)

  11. Overall Performance • Number of spurious fires greatly reduced

  12. Overall Performance • Poor image navigation are still noticed occasionally

  13. Overall Performance • Day to day variation as a limiting factor

  14. Overall Performance • Image Acquisition Problems Courtesy of INPE

  15. Overall Performance • Resulting Spurious Fires

  16. Overall Performance • Similar Effects Affecting the NDVI Zoomed area showing a large number of false green pixels CPTEC/INPE

  17. Overall Performance Worth Mentioning – NOAA/AVHRR • Detection algorithm performing well • Image navigation still requires operator’s hands-on • Pixel distortion towards the edge of the image reduces detection capacity and affects hot spot statistics • Image acquisition characteristics affect the quality of derived products

  18. Need for improvement GOES Fire Detection Algorithm July 2000 – Implementation of CIRA’s RAMSDIS system based on GOES-8 data Cloud Masking Tb4 > 2ºC Day: Tb2 > 17ºC Potential Fires Night: Tb2 > 41ºC Statistics Sunglint Model Persistence

  19. Need for Improvement • Improved monitoring capability (every 30min) • Reduced Response Time

  20. Need for Improvement • Satellite data quality assessment facilitated

  21. Need for Improvement • Great results from visual image interpretation Northern Sectors Southern Sector

  22. Need for Improvement Poor results from automated fire detection algorithm

  23. Need for Improvement • Persistence Check

  24. Need for Improvement Worth Mentioning – GOES • Hot spot location errors are found to be in the 2km range • Visual image interpretation has been able to detect 100% of the major fires in National Parks all over Brazil • Response time is averaging 2 hours at most cases • Coincident meteorological analyses helps planning fire combat management in near real time • Constant image acquisition geometry • Coarse spatial resolution introduces high number of spurious fires • Automated detection is still of limited use

  25. A New Era • July 2001 – MODIS hot spot data via ftp access

  26. A New Era • September 2001 – visual in-flight inspection of MODIS hot spot coordinates showing great results

  27. A New Era • Rapid Response System images used as a confirmation Where you see smoke there will be a fire!! Courtesy of NASA

  28. A New Era • Day to day variation also observed

  29. A New Era Worth Mentioning – MODIS • Hot spot location errors are found to be in the 250m range • Coincident high resolution visible images favors fire confirmation during day time • Pixel distortion creates similar problems observed with NOAA/AVHRR – what is made worst by non-overlapping images near the equator

  30. Keep on Moving • January 2002 – DMSP OLS data made available through NGDC / C. Elvidge et al.

  31. Cities State Boundaries Keep on Moving • Good image navigation

  32. Keep on Moving • Noise from the South Atlantic Magnetic Anomaly Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) Instrument aboard NASA's Terra Spacecraft Courtesy of NASA

  33. Keep on Moving Spurious Fires Detected

  34. Keep on Moving • Fire detection requiring operator’s hands on • Stable lights file outdate as a limiting factor

  35. Keep on Moving Worth Mentioning – DMSP • Good correlation with NOAA/AVHRR • Sources of contamination limits detection capacity to larger fires (increasing omission error by the use of more restrictive thresholds) • Image acquisition time does not match fire peak activity hours • Stable lights file must be updated on a regular basis

  36. Data QA • Helicopters and small aircrafts are used to field inspect the hot spot coordinates, feeding back the monitoring system with valuable information for fine tuning the satellite fire detection algorithms and methods • Airborne sensors are used during specific satellite data validation campaigns • Satellite data inter-comparison helps identifying commission/omission errors and assessing image navigation problems

  37. Data QA • Airborne satellite data validation campaigns

  38. Data QA Prescribed Burn at IBGE Reserve in Brasília – September 2000 Visible Band Forest Mapper Instrument IR (8.55 mm) Fire Mapper Instrument

  39. Data QA Agricultural Burning in a Cerrado Area (savana) in the State of Tocantins - September 2000 Visible Band Forest Mapper Instrument IR 8.55mm Fire Mapper Instrument

  40. Data QA • IR sensors to be used onboard orbital platforms • Airborne System: • Pair of Kodak MegaPlus digital cameras (Forest Mapper) • IR Sensor (Fire Mapper) Courtesy of NASA Infrared Spectral Imaging Radiometer (ISIR) Image over Namib Desert Acquired from Space Shuttle Discovery on 7 August 1997

  41. Data QA SIVAM Aircrafts

  42. Data QA • GIS system for satellite data ingestion

  43. Final Considerations Latest Improvements • Increasing spatial resolution (visible channels) allowed for visual confirmation of fires in the images (smoke plumes) • Improved navigation parameters reducing processing time (no GCP collection needed) and making field inspection easier • Increasing spectral resolution / mid-IR channel saturation facilitating fire/non fire discrimination

  44. Final Considerations Remaining Points • Varying pixel size through image cross section imposes some significant limitations to hot spot data applicability (specially with polar orbiting spacecrafts) • Full global cover every 12 hours is imperative. Tropical areas are affected by little image overlapping between consecutive orbits • Geostationary automated hot spot detection suffers from low confidence problems caused by spatial resolution limitations

  45. Acknowledgements • INPE – CPTEC • United States Forest Service – USFS • CIRA – Colorado State University • NASA Goddard Space Flight Center • University of Maryland • National Geophysical Data Center • World Bank

  46. http://www.ibama.gov.br