, Volume 76, Issue 1, pp 87-95

Application of lidar in ultraviolet, visible and infrared ranges for early forest fire detection

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The efficiencies of direct lidars operating at 355, 532, 1064 and 1540-nm radiation wavelengths for early forest fire detection were compared. For each wavelength, the range for reliable smoke-plume detection was estimated on the basis of a computer simulation plume using a one-dimensional “top-hat” gas dynamic model for the calculation of the backscattering and extinction-coefficient profiles within the plume. The agreement between the predicted signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and experimental results for 532 and 1064-nm wavelength radiation is good. The decrease of the signal-to-noise ratio with distance is maximum for 355 nm and minimum for 1064 nm. At 1540 nm, the decay of SNR with distance is slightly faster, but the SNR is higher than for other wavelengths, leading to the highest detection efficiency for the same energy of the probing laser pulse. For a burning rate of 2 kg/s and a laser beam divergence of 2.5 mr, the maximum distance for reliable detection varies between 6 and 12 km, depending on the wavelength.

Received: 15 May 2002 / Revised version: 13 September 2002 / Published online: 22 January 2003
ID="*"Corresponding author. Fax: +351-21/841-8120, E-mail: rui.vilar@ist.utl.pt