Real-time wildfire detection and tracking in Australia using geostationary satellite: Himawari-8
Real-time information about the spatial extents of wildfires can assist both emergency responders and the general public to mitigate the impact of the wildfires. However, in a large spatial and temporal scale, timely and accurate information about the areas affected by ongoing wildfires is often in scarce supply. This paper investigates the feasibility of generating such real-time information in Australia using the recently launched geostationary Himawari-8 satellite. The Himawari-8 satellite offers extremely high-temporal-resolution (10 minutes) multispectral imagery, which is suitable for real-time wildfire monitoring in a large spatial and temporal scale. The potential of real-time wildfire monitoring using Himawari-8 is evaluated by a case-study of the recent 2015 Esperance, Western Australia wildfire. The results demonstrate that the detection is robust to smoke and moderate cloud obscuration and sensitive enough for early detection of wildfires. Further, fine-grained temporal changes in the rate and direction of fire spread can be monitored in real-time, which enables the potential for automated detection of abnormal fire behaviour.