VIIRS Active Fire
The Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 0548 EDT on Oct. 28, 2011 and first-light shortwave data began to be transmitted on November 21st, 2011. After some delay, due to degradation of observed radiances in the visible and NIR bands, the thermal cooler doors were opened January 18th, 2012 and by the following day Suomi-NPP was acquiring its first fire detections.
VIIRS represents a continuation of high quality AF monitoring capabilities started with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the NASA EOS Terra and Aqua satellites, and also a significant improvement of the current capabilities of the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) on the current NOAA operational polar satellites. Initial evaluation, following the activation of the thermal bands on January 18, 2012, has provided empirical evidence of the good quality of the VIIRS fire observations.