Flame filtering and perimeter localization of wildfires using aerial thermal imagery
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Document typeConference report
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Airborne thermal infrared (TIR) imaging systems are being increasingly used for wild fire tactical monitoring since they show important advantages over spaceborne platforms and visible sensors while becoming much more affordable and much lighter than multispectral cameras. However, the analysis of aerial TIR images entails a number of difficulties which have thus far prevented monitoring tasks from being totally automated. One of these issues that needs to be addressed is the appearance of flame projections during the geo-correction of off-nadir images. Filtering these flames is essential in order to accurately estimate the geographical location of the fuel burning interface. Therefore, we present a methodology which allows the automatic localisation of the active fire contour free of flame projections. The actively burning area is detected in TIR georeferenced images through a combination of intensity thresholding techniques, morphological processing and active contours. Subsequently, flame projections are filtered out by the temporal frequency analysis of the appropriate contour descriptors. The proposed algorithm was tested on footages acquired during three large-scale field experimental burns. Results suggest this methodology may be suitable to automatise the acquisition of quantitative data about the fire evolution. As future work, a revision of the low-pass filter implemented for the temporal analysis (currently a median filter) was recommended. The availability of up-to-date information about the fire state would improve situational awareness during an emergency response and may be used to calibrate data-driven simulators capable of emitting short-term accurate forecasts of the subsequent fire evolution.
CitationValero, M., Verstockt, S., Rios, O., Pastor, E., Vandecasteele, F., Planas, E. Flame filtering and perimeter localization of wildfires using aerial thermal imagery. A: Thermosense: Thermal Infrared Applications. "Thermosense 2017: 39th Thermal Infrared Applications: Anaheim, Estats Units: April 10-13, 2017: proceedings book". Anaheim, CA: 2017.