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Digital aerial sketchmapping and downlink communications: a new tool for fire managersAuthor(s): Everett Hinkley; Tom Zajkowski; Charlie Schrader-Patton
Source: In: Pye, John M.; Rauscher, H. Michael; Sands, Yasmeen; Lee, Danny C.; Beatty, Jerome S., tech. eds. Advances in threat assessment and their application to forest and rangeland management. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-802. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest and Southern Research Stations: 353-359
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
PDF: View PDF (518.0 KB)
DescriptionAerial sketchmapping is the geolocating of features that are seen on the ground below an aircraft and the subsequent recording of those features. Traditional aerial sketchmapping methods required hand-sketching on hardcopy maps or photos and the translation of that information to a digital file. In 1996, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service embarked on a project to develop a digital aerial sketchmapping system (D-ASM) to replace or augment the traditional (manual) methodology. Advances in microprocessor speed and Personal Computer (PC) system performance made possible the use of PCs to aid in aerial sketchmapping. The USDA Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center (RSAC) and the Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team worked with a software vendor to develop a product that would meet the needs of aerial surveyors. Several hardware and software options were investigated. The Remote Internet Protocol Communications System (RIPCom) culminated from a successful 2-year collaboration between National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)-Goddard and RSAC to develop a cost-effective, multitask communications solution for the Forest Service based on NASA expertise. The RIPCom consists of commercial off-the-shelf components that were each chosen because of their desirable performance characteristics. The 2003-2004 field tests demonstrated that the RIPCom would deliver the required data throughput (1 Mbps) up to a range of 20 mi. A contractor constructed the second generation RIPCom system incorporating the lessons learned from flight testing and operational deployments. The planned integration of the D-ASM and RIPCom systems will enable firefighting experts to collect information about an incident (fire perimeter and hotspot locations) on the D-ASM and rapidly disseminate this information, via wireless devices, to the incident’s geographic information system (GIS) technician or directly to firefighters on the ground. Potential system users within the wildfire community include Air Attack, Helitack, Situation Unit Leaders, Operations Chiefs, and Incident Commanders.
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CitationHinkley, Everett; Zajkowski, Tom; Schrader-Patton, Charlie. 2010. Digital aerial sketchmapping and downlink communications: a new tool for fire managers. In: Pye, John M.; Rauscher, H. Michael; Sands, Yasmeen; Lee, Danny C.; Beatty, Jerome S., tech. eds. Advances in threat assessment and their application to forest and rangeland management. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-802. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest and Southern Research Stations: 353-359.
KeywordsGIS, global positioning system, pen-tablet, Remote Internet Protocol Communications System (RIPCom), wildland fire monitoring and suppression
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