Spaceborne and ground thermal infrared observations provide a firm basis for the Space Station FireMapper

Hoffman, James W.; Riggan, Philip J.; Brass, James A.
January 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 504 Issue 1, p1585
Academic Journal
A series of successful spaceborne and ground based experiments have provided a firm basis for the design of the Space Station based FireMapper instrument. The prototype of the FireMapper Instrument was called ISIR (Infrared Spectral Imaging Radiometer) and was fabricated by Space Instruments, Inc. for NASA under an SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) contract. ISIR was flown successfully on shuttle mission STS-85 in August, 1997 and collected over 60 hours of thermal infrared data in 4 spectral bands over a variety of land, ocean, and cloud scenes. This was the first spaceborne test of a thermal imager using an uncooled microbolometer detector array. This proof of concept space experiment demonstrated that the FireMapper will have sufficient sensitivity to observe both fires and tropical deforestation from the Space Station. Samples of the multispectral imagery obtained on mission STS-85 will be shown. Although a significant amount of data was obtained on STS-85, several problems with the calibration system were brought to light. These problems have now been resolved with the design of a completely new onboard calibration system. The new calibration system for FireMapper eliminates the need for a complex motor driven iris and provides a direct view blackbody system that allows absolute calibration of the entire instrument in all spectral bands. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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