Calgary, August 2, 2011 – The TABI-1800 and its aircrew are now in Northern Ontario, following up their successful wildfire mapping work with Alberta SRD. Through Geodesy Remote Sensing Inc., the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has contracted ITRES and its TABI-1800 (Thermal Airborne Broadband Imager) wide-array mapping system to assist in combating active wildfires in Northern Ontario. Foto Flight of Calgary is providing the aircraft and pilot for these operations.
MNR has identified a number of key fires against which the TABI-1800 will be put into operation, a number of which are threatening important infrastructure and assets. Working closely with MNR officials, ITRES is flight planning for these areas using multiple resolutions as well as tracking the progress of these fires over time and identifying hotspots for fire mop up operations.
Similar to its operations in Alberta, ITRES is conducting night flights using the thermal TABI mapper. In Ontario, operations are currently commencing at 2:30 to 3 am local time owing to localized weather conditions that limit aircraft operations. As demonstrated in Alberta, the TABI itself is able to operate under a wide range of atmospheric conditions, including the necessity of being able to “see” the fire through thick layers of smoke. The Midwave Infrared (MWIR) spectral region that the TABI operates in is less affected by aerosols as compared to longwave IR wavelengths. This, in addition to this sensor’s high themal sensitivity (it detects temperature differences as fine as 0.05 degrees Celsius), very wide imaging swath (1800 across-track pixels; most similar systems provide 640 pixels or less), ease of use, and simplicity of it’s all-in-one installation (as the recording electronics and precision GPS/IMU are built-into the sensor head) mean that the TABI-1800 is quickly proving to be the ideal instrument for this type of rapid response operation.
Like its Alberta operations, ITRES is providing rapid data processing and analyzed product turnaround to MNR, hours after conclusion of their nighttime operations. With what is very likely the industry’s lowest processing time to acquisition time ratio via proven and stable processing software, precisely calibrated and georeferenced map products that clearly show the active fire front and hotspots are quickly being provided to MNR. These map products help in efficiently tasking airborne and ground fire suppression resources to minimize risk to property and assets.
About the TABI-1800
The TABI-1800 is a high resolution, low drift, wide imaging swath thermal sensor that offers a range of pixel resolutions from 10 cm to 1.25 m using fixed wing platforms while flying fast (e.g. 15 cm pixels at 170 knots at 1250 m AGL). Resolutions down to ~2 cm are achievable, while retaining thermal sensitivity to temperature differences as small as 0.05 degrees Celsius.
About ITRES www.itres.com
ITRES is a leading-edge technology company specializing in the development, manufacturing, and use of hyperspectral airborne sensors. ITRES offers sensor systems that cover visible-near-infrared, shortwave infrared, midwave infrared, and thermal infrared wavelengths. Services include providing airborne hyperspectral imaging for defense & humanitarian applications, and environmental and commercial mapping applications in forestry, agriculture, wetlands, water quality, coastal zone, mineralogy, geology, heat loss, wildfire mapping, and search and rescue.
About Geodesy Remote Sensing Inc. www.geodesygroup.com
Geodesy has operated as an aerial photo survey contractor since 1986. Their operations cover the Calgary region and extend throughout Western Canada into Ontario, the Canadian Arctic, Yukon, Alaska, the northwestern US, and specialty projects globally. They provide comprehensive air photo services using both traditional film cameras and the new generation of digital systems. Geodesy also provides full photogrammetric mapping services to support orthophoto and custom mapping requirements. They are experienced in conducting survey operations with different technologies such as the thermal TABI-1800 with ITRES. Geodesy’s geomatics professionals have extensive experience in all types of photo surveys, mapping, and remote sensing operations and are professionally affiliated with GIAC and ASPRS.