Forest Service Update National Remote Sensing Program

Forest Service Update
National Remote Sensing Program
USDA Forest Service
National Remote Sensing Program
Everett Hinkley – National Remote Sensing
Program Leader
Spring 2013 TFRSAC
Note of Appreciation
• Thanks to all of you for coming, and for those calling
in remotely.
• A special thanks to Vince Ambrosia and his support
team for handling the preparatory logistics.
• This is our 19th TFRSAC Meeting!
Current WO Activities
• Technology Development and Implementation
– UAS, GeoPDF, Mobile Geospatial, the “Cloud”, & Sensor development
• Unauthorized Activity on FS Lands
– Detection and mapping of illegal activities
• Earth Observing Systems
– Landsat 8, VIIRS, Terra, Aqua
• WO Direction & Policy
– Evolution of the Geospatial Management Office
– The Inventory, Monitoring & Assessment Initiative
Current WO Concerns
• Personnel Changes
– Retirements and lost positions
• Support to Fire
– Need an Infrared summit to discuss requirements, gaps & opportunities
• Funding for imagery programs
– NAIP, North American Data Buy, USDA Satellite Imagery Archive, Enhanced
View Program (NGA), Bing Imagery.
– Funding is declining and critical sources are drying up.
• Earth Observing Systems
– Landsat 8, VIIRS, Terra, Aqua, Hyspiri, SMAP, and Landsat 9
Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership
Wide field of view
April 13, 2012, (NOAA/University of Maryland)
Daily observations of nearly any
point on the Earth’s surface
Surface reflectance imagery
Once daily
Thermal/Emissive imagery
3,000 km swath width
2 times daily
observations are nearly coincident
Spatial resolution
 375m/750m
Active Fire Mapping (AFM) Program
Satellite detection and monitoring of
wildfire activity in CONUS, Alaska,
Hawaii & Canada
• Leverages NASA and NOAA assets
• Facilitates decision support for
strategic planning & response for
U.S. and Canadian fire agencies
− Prioritize allocation of fire suppression
− Integrated into fire-related applications
and decision support systems
• Developing new capabilities
Early detection
Spatially refined data
Tactical Fire Mapping Support
Tactical Scale Fire Mapping Support
• “NIROPS” - National Infrared Operations
• Provide high resolution fire detection/mapping to
support incident command operations
RSAC Support Functions:
• Maintenance
− NIROPS website
− IR ordering system
− Operations Users Guide
− IR Vendor listing
• PHOENIX sensor tech
• Technology evaluation
• IRIN incident support
• IRIN training
Tactical Scale Fire Mapping Support
Research &
Tom Mellin
National IR
Program Manager
(R3, Albuquerque)
IR Techs:
Woody Smith
Charles ‘Kaz’
(NIFC, Boise)
Tech Support
Dan Johnson
(R4, Ogden)
Forest Service
Assistant Director
Fire Operations:
Kim Christensen
Tactical Scale Fire Mapping Support
144Z: Cessna Citation Bravo
149Z Beechcraft 200 Super King Air
• Airborne PHOENIX imagery acquired
by two agency aircraft
• Imagery is pre-processed in flight
and downloaded directly to ground
for interpretation by IRINs
• High resolution, daily fire map
products provided by 6:00 AM
• Products delineate fire perimeter and
active fire areas
2012 Tactical Fire IR Support Demand
144Z – 565 requests
149Z – 598 requests
• IR requests range from 250-900
• More IMTs are requesting
• UTF = “Unable To Fill” due to
Wx, aircraft issues, etc.
New Airborne Sensors Available To USFS
Autonomous Modular Sensor (AMS)
• 16 band sensor (VIS/NIR/SWIR/IR)
– Multi-mission potential for USFS
• Transition from NASA to USFS ongoing
– Interagency agreement signed
• Fit checks on 144Z conducted Sept
• NASA Ames/NIROPS technical meetings
– Installation details
– Flight test planning
Infrared imagery/fire detection &
• Availability of AMS to USFS in early
– Testing & implementation spring/summer 2013
Post-fire assessment imagery
New Airborne Sensors Available To USFS
Wide Area Imager (WAI)
• 5 band sensor (VIS/NIR/TIR)
– Multi-mission potential for USFS
• Developed by Xiomas under NASA SBIR
– Currently in SBIR Phase 3
• FS contract let for WAI demo/eval
– Spring/Summer 2013 over western U.S. fires
– 3 day mission
– One 4 hour operational period per day
WAI MWIR imagery
– Costs split 50/50 between NIICD and RSAC
• Availability of WAI to USFS anticipated
in 2014
WAI MWIR imagery w/heat sources
Tactical Fire Mapping Challenges
• Need for surge aircraft (!)
– To meet tactical fire support requests
• Transition/integration of new sensors
– Identify aircraft; Modifications
– Facilitate daytime as well as nighttime missions
– Potential to support non-fire missions
Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Forest Service UAS Advisory Group (UASAG)
• “…The Advisory Group will be
responsible for interfacing with
interagency partners (including
the Federal Aviation
Administration) and determining
revisions needed to current FS
aviation policy on the use of UAS.
FS UAS policy can be found under
FSM 5713.7 and 5718.1.
• Additional representation from
other deputy and staff areas with
potential interest in leveraging
UAS is being pursued. “
Where’s the Mojo?
• Collaboration to facilitate and demonstrate evolving technologies to
increase the information and timeliness of data collected for
• Funded by NASA (2003-2011)
• Demonstrate/evaluate technologies
− UAVs, sensors, data transfer and visualization, etc.
• Missions utilized large and small UAV platforms
• Additional support provided by IRDB since FY2007
Forest Service UAS Strategy
• Augment, NOT replace, our manned aircraft
• Work with partners to identify niche applications that are
underserved by current technology
• Keep the approach simple; work on doing one thing well
before adding additional capabilities
• Provide unified systems that are affordable
Small UAS Demonstration/Evaluation Missions
• Conducted primarily to assess UAS for
fire management objectives
Tier I – Small (Raven)
− Short/long endurance missions
− Incident intell and communications
• USFS role:
– Evaluate entire system
Tier II – LALE (RS-16)
– Report, develop guidance documentation
• UAS payloads and capabilities:
– EO/IR video and mapping cameras
– Wx sensors
– Communications relay
– Software technologies to generate NRT
geospatial products
– Aircraft modifications for nighttime ops
NRT image mosaic product
Interagency UAS Coordination for Hazard Support
2011 Southwest Fire Season
• Coordination between DHS/CBP
and IC Teams facilitated by
DOI/Forest Service
• Daily tactical fire monitoring
support provided by Ft.
Huachuca-based Predator UAVs
• Real-time EO/IR video provided
to IMTs via BigPipe and Remote
Viewing Terminal (RVT)
• Feedback from fire teams was
very positive
• Several recommendations
provided to increase
UAS Challenges
• Progress of the UAS Advisory Group
– F&AM support
– Keep up with partner agencies; Leverage synergies
• Lifting of UAS demo/eval mission stand down
– Will help advance UAS Advisory Group tasks
• FOIA’s, FOIA’s and more FOIA’s
• Public interest – not all good

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