The Potential Application of Firesat Data to Assessment of Human Exposures to Wildfire Emissions
FireSat is a proposed NASA mission that will obtain global coverage of the occurrence of wildfires. The specifications for FireSat are described in detail by Levine et al., (1991). Because of limitations of instruments (designed for other purposes) in existing satellites, new instrumentation is under development specifically for use is FireSat. FireSat will monitor surface temperatures (up to approximately 1100 oK) in active fire zones and the area burned. This critical information will be returned in near real-time to aid firefighters in locating regions of active fires. Applications requiring post processing of the data returned by FireSat also are envisioned. These applications include the calculation of emissions for use in studies of global change and regional air quality; and the analysis of changes in soil properties and vegetation as the result of wildfires. The next challenge will be to use data returned by FireSat for the assessment of human exposures to wildfire emissions. Some possible approaches to this problem will be discussed.