Remote optical detection of biomass burning using a potassium emission signature
A remotely detectable signature for biomass burning that is specific to flaming combustion is found in the strong emission lines of potassium (K) at 766.5 nm and 769.9 nm. Ground level spectra of a test fire illustrate the high contrast signal provided by K emission. Image data collected at high altitude using the Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) sensor and analysed for K emission vividly displays the fire fronts of a 1995 fire in Brazil. Sensors for K emission can use silicon detector technology for advantages in high sensitivity, low cost, wide area coverage and fine spatial resolution.