The radiometric sensor works in the microwave range between 8 and 40 GHz. At these low frequencies, radiation is scattered far less by dust particles than at the high IR frequencies. Credit: Fraunhofer FHR
Zaca Fire, near Santa Barbara, California, in 2007. Credit: U.S. Forest Service by John Newman
In the last decade the number and intensity of forest fires seems to have been on the increase around the globe, with massive and devastating wildfires in California, Greece, Russia and Australia. The best tool for fighting these intense wildfires is accurate and timely information. Traditional airborne infrared cameras have long been a vital device for mapping fire intensity though their limited ability to find the heart of a fire through thick smoke poses a major drawback. A new radiometric sensor that works in the microwave range can now pinpoint the heart of the wildfire, even when visibility is poor.
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