Raytheon offers a technology designed to provide data to help firefighters and governments detect smoke and resulting fires. The company said Wednesday that its Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite works with satellites of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to detect fires.
VIIR’s open-source data supports the fire security efforts of multiple organizations worldwide such as Geoscience Australia and the U.S. National Forest Service. The VIIR-linked satellites are part of the Suomi-National Polar-orbiting Partnership and the Joint Polar Satellite System.
“Since we have two VIIRS instruments on orbit, you get one observation where you would see the fire, and then 50 minutes later, you get another observation,” said Shawn Cochran, senior manager for civil and environmental space at Raytheon. “Now you can get a sense of how the fire is moving and where to put resources to stop it,” Cochran added.
VIIRS also generates information on incoming storms and environmental phenomena such as snow and algal blooms.