Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (1.0 MB)

Title: Estimating radiated flux density from wildland fires using the raw output of limited bandpass detectors

Author: Kremens, Robert L.; Dickinson, Matthew B.;

Date: 2015

Source: International Journal of Wildland Fire. 24(4): 461-469.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: We have simulated the radiant emission spectra from wildland fires such as would be observed at a scale encompassing the pre-frontal fuel bed, the flaming front and the zone of post-frontal combustion and cooling. For these simulations, we developed a 'mixed-pixel' model where the fire infrared spectrum is estimated as the linear superposition of spectra of many (n ~ 30) greybody emitters of randomly selected areal fraction, emissivity and temperature. Our model neglects contributions from atomic and molecular line emission from combustion gasses. The purpose of these simulations was to allow unambiguous use of limited bandwidth detectors to estimate the total power emitted from a wildland fire. From the simulations we observed a well-defined relationship between ground-leaving radiance (W m-2 sr-1) and limited bandpass sensor-reaching radiance for many different detector spectral responses. Error in the relationship is least when the detector sampled in the mid-wave portion of the infrared spectrum (~3-5 mm) where flaming combustion emits most strongly. We validate our approach to estimating total power using data from experimental burns. The ability to estimate total power from limited bandpass measurements has great utility in the observation of wildland fires from ground-based instruments and aircraft and satellite platforms.

Keywords: infrared detection, radiated energy

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
  • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.



Kremens, Robert L.; Dickinson, Matthew B. 2015. Estimating radiated flux density from wildland fires using the raw output of limited bandpass detectors. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 24(4): 461-469.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.