Since its early days, working on remote sensing related projects was an
identified objective, and the opportunity came on 2001 when ESA awarded
Critical a contract for the development of PREMFIRE project.
significant projects in which Critical is involved such as: COTEC’s
project (national project), NOD – Near Operational Demonstration (ESA)
and Euro Risk PREVIEW (EU) projects.
One of the most significant and recent one is COTEC’s project Following
2003 summer forest fires in Portugal, COTEC Portugal, Enterprise
Association for Development and Innovation, launched in 2004 a large
initiative, aiming to provide helping solutions to solve this dramatic
problem. From this initiative a two year project emerged with three
workgroups: (1) Benchmarking of forest fire prevention and combat
systems, (2) Support to forest fire prevention and combat information
systems, and (3) Forest surveillance, detection and alert on forest
coordinate the second workgroup, which is participated by some of the
most relevant Portuguese experts and research institutes with knowledge
in this field. National authorities also participate, namely, civil
protection (SNBPC) and the Directorate-General for Forest Resources
(DGRF), which play important roles on all phases of forest fire
emergency, from prevention through detection, extinction and damage
evaluation. In the scope of this project lead by Critical, three
different pilot zones representing Portuguese forest were defined.
Starting in 2004, three different products got operational: two
fire-risk map products, one of them structural (updated in 5 to 10 year
time frame), and another one, a dynamic fire-risk map, daily calculated
by PREMFIRE system; a fire behaviour tool was also installed on these
three pilots, the FIRESTATION system.
fire-risk tool. The operational result is a daily production of a
fire-risk map at national scale with 232 meters spatial resolution,
using LANDSAT imagery for land cover cartography, ETM produced in a
NASA Shuttle mission, weather forecast based on MSG, and daily MODIS
imagery for NDVI calculation and automatic rapid burnt scar mapping.