International Journal of Wildland Fire International Journal of Wildland Fire Society
Journal of the International Association of Wildland Fire

Eye-safe lidar measurements for detection and investigation of forest-fire smoke

Andrei B. Utkin A B , Armando Fernandes C , Alexander Lavrov A D and Rui Vilar C E
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A INOV–Inesc Inovação, Rua Alves Redol 9, Lisbon 1000-029, Portugal.

B Telephone: +351 213 100 426; fax: +351 213 100 401; email:

C Departamento de Engenharia de Materiais, Instituto Superior Técnico, Av. Rovisco Pais 1, Lisbon 1049-001, Portugal.

D On leave from: Russian Science Center ‘Applied Chemistry’, pr. Dobrolubova 14, St Petersburg 197 198, Russia.

E Corresponding author. Telephone: +351 218 418 120; fax: +351 218 418 121; email:

International Journal of Wildland Fire 13(4) 401-412
Submitted: 9 February 2004  Accepted: 21 September 2004   Published: 15 December 2004


The problem of eye safety in lidar-assisted wildland fire detection and investigation is considered as a problem of reduction of the hazard range within which the laser beam is dangerous for direct eye exposure. The dependence of this hazard range on the lidar characteristics is examined and possible eye-safety measures discussed. The potential of one of the cheapest ways of providing eye safety, which is based on placing the lidar in an elevated position and using a 1064-nm laser beam with increased divergence, is also investigated experimentally. It is demonstrated that a lidar system operating with wider beams maintains its ability to detect smoke plumes efficiently. Providing eye-safe conditions allows scanning of the internal 3D structure of smoke plumes in the vicinity of fire plots. Examples are given as layer-by-layer smoke concentration plots on the topographic map.

Additional keywords: Gestosa; remote sensing.


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