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Dramatic Satellite Imagery: Canyon Fire, Vandenberg Air Force Base

By [email protected] - 20th October 2016 - 15:53

DigitalGlobe has been imaging the Vandenberg area each day since the fires broke out and providing this imagery to response teams on the ground. These super-spectral images were taken with the satellite’s shortwave infrared (SWIR) sensor, which is uniquely able to pierce through smoke to provide high-fidelity identification of hot spots without the risk of having to fly a plane over an active fire. The fire line, shown in bright orange, was as close as 2.5 km to Space Launch Complex (SLC)-3E. The active fires near the launch pad and few hotspots remaining in the Canyon Fire gradually diminished. SWIR imagery is a valuable tool for combating wildfires, classifying materials in urban environments, and detecting minerals on earth’s surface. However, U.S. regulatory reform is needed to fully leverage this capability, as the permitted SWIR imagery distributed contains only 25% of the information that is captured by the satellite.