BIRD (Bi-spectral Infrared Detection satellite)


BIRD (Bi-spectral Infrared Detection satellite) is a German microsatellite (mass 80 kilograms) designed to test new-generation, cooled infrared sensors. Built into two cameras, these sensors are used to detect fires and volcanic activity. BIRD also carries two visible-spectrum cameras for stereo-imaging to gather information about vegetation condition and variations, and performs onboard processing with neural networks. It was placed in a 568-kilometer (353-mile) sun-synchronous orbit by an Indian PSLV launch vehicle (the sixth flight of this rocket, mission C3), together with the Indian satellite TES and the Belgian/ESA microsatellite PROBA, on October 22, 2001.