Low Cost Fire Intensity Mapper

Period of Performance: 01/01/1998 - 12/31/1998

$235K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Space Instruments
19 Hammond, Suite 508
Irvine, CA 92618
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The ability to quickly detect and accurately map fire areas is an invaluable asset for fighting fires. Anairborne imaging system which can accurately map both the flame and ash areas with respect to groundfeatures can greatly aid fire-fighting teams and airborne water-tanker pilots. The thermal infraredsystems now used for fire detection mapping have three significant problems: 1) limited dynamic rangewhich saturates when viewing fires due to the high frame temperatures, 2) lack of an inflight calibrationsystem to provide accurate calibration of the flame intensities, 3) burdensome complexity, weight andexpense to operate and maintain.The Fire Intensity Mapper will employ newly developed thermal infrared detector arrays which operateat ambient temperature without cryogenic cooling. By operating these detector arrays in a "pushbroommode", mechanical scanning will no longer be necessary. This eliminates mechanical complexity whileproviding longer dwell time, resulting in increased radiometric accuracy. The proposed project willcombine our novel, high-temperature, through-the-lens, calibration system with this recently developeduncooled infrared detector technology. This system will not saturate at flame intensities and willprovide an accurate real-time, image of the nature and extent of fires.