BIRD (satellite)

Mission type Earth observation
Operator DLR
Website DLR BIRD page
Mission duration 1 year, 3 months
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass 92 kilograms (203 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 22 October 2001 (2001-10-22)
Rocket PSLV C3
Launch site Satish Dhawan FLP
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Perigee 566 kilometres (352 mi)
Apogee 566 kilometres (352 mi)
Inclination 97.9 degrees
Period 97 minutes

BIRD (Bispectral and Infrared Remote Detection) is a satellite launched by ISRO in 2001 for DLR. This small (92 kg) boxlike system, with solar panel two collectors on stub wings, has remarkable fire-detection qualities. It hosts a two-channel infrared sensor system in combination with a Wide-Angle Optoelectronic Stereo Scanner (WAOSS). It also features a neuronal network classificator in orbit to reduce downlink bandwidth and cost.[1]

The unique combination of a stereo camera and two infrared cameras gives the opportunity to acquire:

  • More precise information about leaf mass and photosynthesis for the early diagnosis of vegetation condition and changes
  • Real time discrimination between smoke and water clouds

The attitude&control system of the BIRD satellite was reused in the TET-1 satellite.


A BIRD satellite architecture (in German) (pdf)

O. Maibaum, T. Terzibaschian, "Lessons learned from the Object-Oriented Design of the BIRD Attitude Control System Software", 16th IFAC Symposium on Automatic Control in Aerospace (ACA'2004), ACA'2004 Preprints (Vol.I), S. 156-161, St.Petersburg, 14–18 June 2004

See also


  1. ^ BIRD - A DLR Small Satellite Mission for the Investigation of Vegetation Fires and Vegetation Condition

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