In June, the DLR (German Aerospace Center) launched their satellite BIROS into space, the second from their FireBIRD mission. Both FireBIRD small satellites were developed under the direction of the DLR Institute for Optical Sensor Systems in Berlin. They are equipped with highly sensitive hotspot sensor systems for early fire detection from space. Key CCD and electronic components for this mission were developed, produced and delivered already more than 10 years ago as part of the MARS 96 and later Mars Express mission by First Sensor Lewicki GmbH, a 100 % subsidiary of the German sensor specialist First Sensor AG. BIROS can specifically target its highly sensitive sensors to smaller regions on the globe, delivering infrared images of unprecedented resolution. This may be the first time even hot chimneys and a few square meters large fires can be detected from space. Thus, fires can be discovered and fought against even in remote areas and already long before their large-scale propagation.
"The devastating fires in the Canadian province of Alberta provided a sad proof of the usefulness of early fire detection from space. We are proud to be able to contribute to the FireBIRD Mission of the DLR with our expertise and our highly sensitive optical sensors", said Walter Nadig, Sales Manager of First Sensor Lewicki GmbH.
FireBIRD is a non-commercial tandem mission of the DLR with two highly specialized small satellites with a size of only 60 x 60 x 80 cm and a weight of 120 to 140 kg. In mid-June 2013, TET-1, the first of the FireBIRD satellites was successfully launched into space from the Russian spaceport Baikonur. In June 2016, BIROS, the second satellite for earth observation was now put into its orbit at a height of approximately 500 km by the Indish launch provider ISRO-ANTRIX. Aboard TET-1 and BIROS are highly sensitive sensors with which hot areas (hot spots) can be detected and localized with unprecedented resolution.
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