ESA Earth Home Missions Data Products Resources Applications
EO Data Access
How to Apply
How to Access
Site Map
Frequently asked questions
Terms of use
Contact us



SOMAFID: a second level stratified image processing system for thermal anomalies identification in (A)ATSR imagery

Stefano Natali(1), Loreto Pellegrini(1) and Andrea Baraldi(2)

(1) MEEO Srl, Strada Luisa, 8, 44020 San Giovanni di Ostellato, Ferrara, Italy
(2) European Commission Joint Research Centre, Via Fermi 1, I-21020, Ispra (Va), Italy


The detection of surface thermal anomalies and the subsequent identification of fire pixels is a central issue for geostationary satellites and medium resolution polar orbit satellites.

Presently a limited number of sensors can be used to detect thermal anomalies from space; among them, the (A)ATSR sensor series has been used for years for this scope. (A)ATSR sensors have adequate spectral characteristics to detect ground thermal anomalies, but the low saturation level of the 3.7 micron channel drastically reduces their applicability over bright regions.

During last years MEEO has developed a MODIS fire detection system named SOMAFID (SOIL MAPPERĀ® FIre Detection system); SOMAFID is a Thermal Anomalies / Fire Detection system based on the original algorithm of the MOD14 thermal anomalies product; the use of the SOIL MAPPERĀ® preliminary classification system as a preliminary map permits to improve the MOD14 performance. With respect to the MOD14 product, the SOMAFID system reduces false alarms (bright object mask improved) and improves the quality of the final product introducing three background types over which fire pixels are detected; SOMAFID generates nine classes: three types of fire pixels (Flaming, Smoldering, Mixed, by means of the Kaufman model), over three different background types (high vegetation, low vegetation, no vegetation).

The low saturation level of the 3.7 micron of the (A)ATSR sensor series reduces the performance of the SOMAFID system, limiting the output classes from nine to six classes.

Currently, the (A)ATSR version of SOMAFID is adopted in the framework of the Classification Application-services and Reference Datasets (CARD) project: a web service on the Service Support Environment (SSE) ESA Portal is available to the community free of charge until December 31st 2008 for the elaboration of user-owned (A)ATSR images.

The (A)ATSR SOMAFID software functioning principles and elaboration examples are here presented; moreover its accessibility though SSE is described.


Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry