FireHub Service Application: http://ocean.space.noa.gr/FireHub
Fire Monitoring Application: http://ocean.space.noa.gr/fires
BSM application: http://ocean.space.noa.gr/bsm
Fires have been one of the main driving forces in the evolution of plants and ecosystems, determining the current structure and composition of the landscapes. However, significant alterations in the fire regime have occurred in the recent decades, primarily as a result of socioeconomic changes, increasing dramatically the catastrophic impact of wildfires as it is reflected in the increase during the 20th century of both the number of fires and the annual area burnt.
Fire monitoring and management in Europe and in the wider Mediterranean region in particular, is of paramount importance. Almost every summer, massive forest wildfires break out across the Mediterranean, leaving behind severe destruction in forested and agricultural lands, infrastructure and private property, and losses of human lives. European initiatives in the area of Earth Observation (EO) like the GMES program have therefore undertaken an active role in the area of fire monitoring and management for Europe, and supported the development of relevant European operational infrastructures in the domain. Several pre-operational projects like RISKEOS and SAFER (Services and Applications For Emergency Response) have laid the ground for the main operational mapping component service GIO EMS, which started operations on April 1, 2012. It has a worldwide coverage and provides stakeholders with maps based on satellite imagery, rush (burnt area maps) and non-rush mode (post-wildfire assessment).
At the National Observatory of Athens, volumes of EO images of different spectral and spatial resolutions are being processed on a systematic basis to derive thematic products that cover a wide spectrum of Emergency Response and Emergency Support applications during and after wildfire crises, from fire detection, fire monitoring and rapid mapping, to damage assessment in the inflicted areas. The processed satellite imagery is combined with auxiliary geo-spatial information, including land use/land cover (LU/LC) and fuel data, administrative boundaries, road and rail network, toponyms, locations of interest, and meteorological data to generate and validate added-value fire-related products.
The operational EO activity of NOA in the domain of wildfires management is highly enhanced by the integration of innovative information technologies that have become available within the TELEIOS (EC/ICT) project. Through this collaboration, fully automatic processing chains have been developed, relying on: the effective storing and management of the large amount of EO and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data, the post-processing refinement of the fire products using semantics, and the timely creation of fire extent and damage assessment thematic maps. These technologies are built on top of a robust and modular computational environment, to facilitate several wildfire applications to run efficiently, both for continuous disaster monitoring and on-request emergency mapping, such as real-time fire detection and monitoring, rapid burnt area mapping, detailed burnt scar mapping after crisis, and time series analysis of burnt areas for diachronic damage mapping and statistical analyses of fire history.
Since 2007, NOA has operated an MSG-1,2,3/SEVIRI acquisition station and has been systematically archiving raw satellite images on a five- minute basis. Using these data, NOA has developed and has been sustaining a real-time, 24/7 fire hotspot detection service for effectively monitoring forest fires all over Greece in near-real time (Fire Monitoring application). Additionally, NOA has developed a fully automatic single and/or multi date processing chain that takes as input satellite images of any spatial and spectral resolution and produces precise diachronic burnt area polygons and LU/LC damage assessments over the Greek territory (BSM application).
The capacities established and qualified in the framework of the above EC/GMES projects and enhanced through the TELEIOS ICT project with the use of semantic and database technologies and will be further expanded in BEYOND, aimed at becoming a regional focal point for delivering fire-related products and services.
BEYOND fire services have been integrated as links to the web system of the Global Fire Monitoring Center which belongs to the International Strategy of UN for Disaster Reduction (UNSDR)