NASA’s Fire information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) has recently introduced access to VIIRS active fire detection data from NOAA-21. Although NOAA-21 is intended to be the eventual replacement for S-NPP, this addition provides active fire detection data that complements the data already provided by the VIIRS instruments onboard S-NPP and NOAA-20. S-NPP currently has an anticipated end of life date of late 2026. The NOAA-21 active fire detection data are available in each of the new map modes in the FIRMS map viewer: BASIC MODE, ADVANCED MODE, BURNED AREA MODE, US/CANADA MODE and SMOKE/AEROSOL MODE.

The three currently available VIIRS instruments provide observations within approximately one hour of each another.  The orbit tracks and overpass times layers in the FIRMS map viewer can be used to ascertain the time of anticipated observation for each instrument at a given location. Additionally, the time of detection for the observed fire activity are available by clicking on the fire detection locations in the FIRMS map viewer. For example, in the map below, VIIRS active fire detection data are simultaneously displayed with customized colors and partial transparency to allow the overlapping detections from different the different VIIRS observation times to be easily discerned (please see the How to Customize the Fires Displayed in FIRMS blog post for directions on how to set user-defined colors for fire detection data).  VIIRS active fire detections by S-NPP (yellow) are detected at 17:53 UTC, NOAA-20 (orange) at 18:45 UTC and NOAA-21 (white) at 19:06 UTC. The new NOAA-21 VIIRS active fire detection data are also available from FIRMS as downloadable active fire data in CSV, Esri Shapefile and KMZ formats, OGC compliant web map services and web feature services, and archived data downloads. Users will soon be able to visualize true color and false color composite NOAA-21 VIIRS imagery in the FIRMS map viewer and generate custom subsets using WorldView Snapshots.

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