PIA11243: NASA's AVIRIS Instrument Sheds New Light on Southern California Wildfires
 Target Name:  Earth
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Earth Observing System (EOS)
 Spacecraft:  ER-2
 Instrument:  AVIRIS
 Product Size:  2933 x 1520 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA11243.tif (5.285 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA11243.jpg (586.6 kB)

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NASA's Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer instrument (AVIRIS), flying aboard a NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center high-altitude ER-2 aircraft, flew over the wildfires burning in Southern California on Dec. 5, 2017 and acquired this false-color image. Active fires are visible in red, ground surfaces are in green and smoke is in blue.

AVIRIS is an imaging spectrometer that observes light in visible and infrared wavelengths, measuring the full spectrum of radiated energy. Unlike regular cameras with three colors, AVIRIS has 224 spectral channels from the visible through the shortwave infrared. This permits mapping of fire temperatures, fractional coverage, and surface properties, including how much fuel is available for a fire. Spectroscopy is also valuable for characterizing forest drought conditions and health to assess fire risk.

AVIRIS has been observing fire-prone areas in Southern California for many years, forming a growing time series of before/after data cubes. These data are helping improve scientific understanding of fire risk and how ecosystems respond to drought and fire.

AVIRIS is sponsored by NASA's Earth Science Division and is operated by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. It was deployed on the ER-2 aircraft in cooperation with NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center.

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