Friday, June 23, 2017

Part 2 of 8: Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: A little about the GOES-16 Advanced Baseline Imager

I want to begin with a little background on our geostationary weather satellites. Most of you know that we have a new geostationary weather satellite was launched last fall. GOES-16 -then known as GOES-R), was launched on November 19, 2016. GOES-16 is the first in the GOES-R series of satellites, GOES R-T. GOES-S is undergoing pre-launch testing and will launch in 2018. As I write this, GOES-16 is still under going in-orbit operational testing. GOES-16 represents the sixth generation of NOAA’s Geostationary satellites. The fifth generation is GOES 13-15 (GOES N - P). GOES-13 is also known as GOES East, GOES-15 is also known as GOES West, and GOES-14 is an in-orbit spare. I wrote about GOES 13-15 on November 30, 2016. I wrote a little more about GOES-16 here .

One of the instruments on GOES-16 is the Advanced Baseline Imager (aka ABI), go here to read a brief description about improvements in the GOES-R series ABI. NOAA and NASA have a nice short fact sheet that introduces GOES-R (GOES-16) ABI, it may be found here. This is one of many fact sheets on the GOES-R series. Some of you may be interested in a listing of GOES-R ABI products on the GOES-R products page, a sub-page accessible from the GOES-R mission page. 

Finally, please take three minutes to watch this video, made in 2013, describing the ABI on the GOES-R series:




List of articles in this eight part series on the Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection


June 23: Part 2 of 8: Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: A little about the GOES-16 Advanced Baseline Imager (this article)

June 26: Part 3 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: examples of improved imagery with GOES-16

June 28: Part 4 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: wildfire detection improved with GOES-16

June 30: Part 5 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: February 18, 2016 wildfire danger in Norman in western OK and development of the Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification App

July 3: PART 6 OF 8: Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification App in use Spring 2017

July 5: Part 7 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification App making a difference

July 7: Part 8 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: Reflections on using GOES-16 for wildfire detection and the Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification App

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Part 1 of 8: Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: Introduction

Regular readers of my blog will know that I have been following GOES-16 since it was launched, then known as GOES-R, on November 19, 2016. As I learned more about GOES-16 I wondered what improvements GOES-16 and her sister satellites (GOES R-T) would bring to the detection of wildfires.   One exciting use of GOES-16 for wildfire detection is the development of an Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification Application that was first developed and used by the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office in Norman Oklahoma. Learning about the Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification Application lead to this eight-part series on an application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection. This introduction is part 1 of 8, the rest of the articles in the series are listed below. 

I start off in part 2 with a short article on the GOES-16 Advanced Baseline Imager, followed by two articles on improvements in wildfire detection by GOES-16. I then turn to the development and use of the Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification Applications in parts 5 through 7, followed by my own brief reflections in part 8.

As I post each article in the series, I will update this article with links to each article in the series.


June 26: Part 3 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: examples of improved imagery with GOES-16

June 28: Part 4 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: wildfire detection improved with GOES-16

June 30: Part 5 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: February 18, 2016 wildfire danger in Norman in western OK and development of the Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification App

July 3: PART 6 OF 8: Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification App in use Spring 2017

July 5: Part 7 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification App making a difference

July 7: Part 8 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: Reflections on using GOES-16 for wildfire detection and the Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification App

Monday, June 19, 2017

Field Campaign to calibrate and test GOES-16 ABI and GLM

GOES-16 began an eleven week period of field testing to calibrate the GOES-16 instruments on March 22nd, see this March 22nd press release from NASA/NOAA for more information The March 22nd press release says in part:
During this three-month campaign, a team of instrument scientists, meteorologists, GOES-16 engineers, and specialized pilots will use a variety of high-altitude planes, ground-based sensors, unmanned aircraft systems (or drones), the International Space Station, and the NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP polar-orbiting satellite to collect measurements across the United States . . . 
Although these data are collected on Earth, GOES-16’s operators will obtain similar measurements of the same locations using two of the satellite’s most revolutionary instruments—the Advanced Baseline Imager and the Geostationary Lightning Mapper. The data sets will be analyzed and compared to the data collected by the planes, drones, and sensors to validate and calibrate the instruments on the satellite.  (http://www.goes-r.gov/mission/fieldCampaignBegins.html)
 NOAA Satellites shared a very cool video on Youtube of a NASA ER-2 over the Sonoran Desert on a March 23rd flight to validate and calibrate the GOES-16 Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI):


Direct link to video

The first phase of the GOES-16 field campaign was over on April 11th. In phase two, from April 12 to May 18, 2017, the ER-2 was based out of  Robins Air Force Base in Georgia for calibration and validation of the GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM). See this press release for more information on the first and second phases.

In the following Facebook posts from the NOAA Satellites and Information Services you will hear from some scientists about the field campaign. The videos are short. The text explanations from the folk at NOAA Satellites and Information Service that accompany each video are, I feel important. I am not sure if I was able to successfully embed the video and the text, so I have included a direct link to each post.

Frank Padula, GOES-16 Project Manager explains why they are using NASA’s ER2

Link to Facebook post with text

Meterologist talking about how they will use ER2 to calibrate GOES-16

Link to Facebook post with text

Field Campaign testing of the GOES-16 geostationary lightning mapper (GLM)

Link to Facebook post with text

Friday, June 16, 2017

Introduction to NASA's ER-2 "high altitude" aircraft

GOES-16 began an eleven week period of field testing to calibrate the GOES-16 instruments on March 22nd. I will be posting an article about the GOES-16 field testing campaign on June 19th. Portions of the field campaign will involve one of two NASA ER2 high altitude aircraft. So, today I will introduce NASA’s ER2 aircraft.

These aircraft are flying laboratories, each having four pressurized laboratory modules. Examples of experiments include research on ozone depletion, development of tropical cyclones, and assisting in the development and testing of satellite instruments. For more information on the ER-2, see this factsheet from NASA on the ER-2.
The ER-2 is a versatile aircraft well suited to perform multiple mission tasks. The ER-2 operates at altitudes from 20,000 feet to 70,000 feet, which is above 99 percent of the Earth's atmosphere. Depending on aircraft weight, the ER-2 reaches an initial cruise altitude of 65,000 feet within 20 minutes. Typical cruise speed is 410 knots. The range for a normal eight-hour mission is 3,000 nautical miles yielding seven hours of data collection at altitude. The aircraft is capable of longer missions in excess of 10 hours and ranges in excess of 6,000 nautical miles. The ER-2 can carry a maximum payload of 2,600 lb (1,179 kilograms) distributed in the equipment bay, nose area, and wing pods. (https://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/news/FactSheets/FS-046-DFRC.html)

Here are some videos about the ER-2.

Airshow video

Direct link to video

Cockpit

Direct link to video


Take-off (no sound)

Direct link to video

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pre-operational images from GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper

On June 12th, 2017 I posted an article where I shared some videos and other information from NOAA about the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) on GOES-16. If you are arriving here first, I hope that you go back and read the article.

Before I share some pre-operational images from the GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper, I want to share a little more information about the Geostationary Lightning Mapper.  After I posted the article on June 12th, I had a chance to have an e-mail exchange with Al Cope, theScience and Operations Officer of the National Weather Service at Mt. Holly, NJ. I asked Al to share one thing that he would like you to know about the Geostationary Lightning Mapper on GOES-16. This is his response:
I would say that the Geostationary Lightning Mapper, together with ground-based lightning detection systems, will enable us to more closely monitor rapid changes in lightning activity within a thunderstorm. Rapid increases in lightning are often precursors of damaging thunderstorm winds and large hail.
NOAA Satellites released the first imagery from the GOES-16 GLM on March 6th. There is a nice press release with some information and a video that you may find here.

The information that I am sharing below are from NOAA Satellites and Information Service's Facebook Page. I believe that both of these videos of pre-operational imagery from the GOES-16 GLM may be found on NOAA Satellite's You Tube Pre-Operational GOES-16 Channel. However, I found their Facebook posts to be very illuminating, so I am embedding two of their posts below.







Monday, June 12, 2017

Intro to GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper

Those of you who are following news relating to GOES-16 may know that she is carrying a Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM). I'd like to introduce you to the GLM. I am embedding below two very short videos that will introduce you to the GLM, both are from NASA Goddard Media.



Some of you may be familiar with COMET/MetEd which offers various online courses in meteorology and related issues. Registration is free, but you need to registered to take their courses. I have taken some of the MetEd Courses over the last couple of years and have learned a lot. COMET/MetEd did a nice video on the GOES-R/16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper that I am sharing below. It takes a little under five minutest to watch the video.


More information on the GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) from NOAA's GOES-R Mission Page:
Stay tuned, on June 14th, I'll share some images from the GOES-16 GLM.  Note that NOAA's GOES-16 satellite has not been declared operational and its data are preliminary and undergoing testing.


Friday, June 09, 2017

About Rhabdomyolysis and Wildland Firefighters

I hope that I never stop learning about wildfires and the risks that wildland firefighters take to protect us from wildfires. Several days ago, thanks to my friends at the B10 NJ Wildfire Page who shared a video from the Wildland Fire LLC, I learned about a medical condition known as Rhabdomyolysis and how Rhabdo (as it commonly called) affects wildland firefighters. Rhabdo can affect kidney function and sometimes leads to death. Before I share the video, Wildland Fire Lesson Learned has some materials on Rhabdomyolysis on their website that those of you who want to learn more may want to read. Wildland crew supervisors are encouraged to carry this one-pager that describes symptoms of Rhabdo that they and their crew should watch for, see the image below. Bill Gabbert of Wildfire Today has written about Rhabdomyolysis (tagged posts), I point you to the article that he posted on May 17, 2016 about an analysis by the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center of May 2, 2016 Rhabdo injury.
obtained on June 2, 2017 from the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center

Direct link to video by Wildland Fire LLC (about 21 minutes)

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

DC-10 and USFS C-130 arriving at Santa Maria Tanker Base

Thanks to Mike Archer at WNOTD for steering me to a nice story from KSBY with a video about the arrival of T-116, a USFS C-130 at Santa Maria Tanker Base. The C-130s were based out of Sacramento, but with the closure of that tanker base, the USFS C-130 will be based out of Santa Maria. She arrived last Saturday, joining one the 10 Tanker Carriers DC-10s which has been based out of Santa Maria for the last couple of years. Because of the wet winter, the fire season in California is expected to start later and last longer. T-116 and the DC-10 tanker (T-911?) will provide important aerial support to wildland firefighters on the ground fighting wildfires this season. Go here for the story and accompanying video. I am sorry that I could not get the embed code to work, which may be for the best as I am never sure how long videos from local media will be live.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Florida 2017 wildfire season - tribute to wildland firefighters

Many of you who are regular readers of my blog know that I have a special place in my heart for Florida. As I can, I have been following the 2017 wildfire season in Florida. According to the Wildland Fire Division of the Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services (updated regularly to reflect current wildfire conditions), there have been 2,377 wildfires that have burned 233,923 acres in Florida from January 1 to May 29, 2017. The Florida Forest Service has a Facebook page where they have reported on wildfires. I hope that you join me in pausing to thank the man and women who have worked hard fighting wildfires in Florida in 2017.

Thanks to my friends at the B10 NJ Wildland Fire Page (video of the week, changes weekly) I learned about the following video about the Florida 2017 wildfire season, dedicated to the wildland firefighters that have worked wildfires this season. You will see some footage of tankers and helos working wildfires in support of the firefighters on the ground.


Direct link to video