Service gets help from RIT researchers
The U.S. Forest Service
soon will have a new tool to identify and locate wildfires as
small as 8 inches in diameter from 10,000 feet altitude. Scientists
at RITs Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science are
creating a prototype of this remote sensing system with $1.4 million
imaging scientists Donald McKeown, left, and Michael Richardson
examine a sensor system that RIT is designing for the U.S.
The project, known
as the Wildfire Airborne Sensor Program (WASP), is an extension
of the Forest Fires Imaging Experimental research initiative begun
two years ago. It was made possible through the efforts of Congressman
Jim Walsh, chair of the House VA/HUD Independent Agencies Appropriations
Subcommittee, who has provided nearly $8 million over four years
to support this research.
WASP will combine infrared
and visible light cameras with a geographic positioning system,
along with software to operate the cameras and collect and interpret
be able to correlate every pixel and every image to a place on
the ground, longitude and latitude, so we can go from an image
to a map, says project co-director Donald McKeown, who
is also director of RITs Laboratory for Imaging Algorithms
and Systems, where WASP research takes place.
WASP was the subject
of a May 8 report in The New York Times. To read that
story, go to www.RIT.edu/news
and click on RIT in the News.