As I mentioned on the "main page," we wanted to see if our bonfire! Fire!! FIRE!!!! (Um, heh-heh.  Sorry about that.) was indeed visible from orbit.  I found out that I had to request data acquistion.  I was told by Dr. ****** ******* (I have "starred out" all the names of people mentioned in these email---to protect both the innocent and the guilty.  :) ), that I probably wanted to send the request through ****** *********--as he would add more legitimacy (and "umph") to the attempt to get the satellite re-directed.  The following is his response to my request.

Subject: Re: A (very) odd request from the seventh floor of the G.I.

Hi John,

We receive several satellites here. They broadcast data to us

as they fly over, so we don't 'schedule' acquisitions, per se.

The data we receive is driven by the orbit. The sensors

include thermal channels which we receive both night and day.

We can use them to detect forest fires, among other things. We

can also see the oil field flares under the right conditions,

so there is a small hope that a large bonfire could be seen.

If you start a forest fire, we'll certainly be able to detect

that. :)

I'll ask ***** to have a quick look at the acquisition

schedule for the 27th and let you know if anything will be

flying over. If so, we can have a look at the data next week

and see if we saw your fire. A fairly accurate lat/lon would

be helpful in the search.

And by the way, your fire would certainly be visible from

space using commercial high-resolution data, but I have a

feeling you're not up to spending a few grand on this

request..... With our 'free' data, you may be able to see a

hot 1-km pixel.



*** ********* ***-***-**** ***.*********

Technical Services Manager, GINA Project

University of Alaska Fairbanks, Geophysical Institute

PO Box 757320 Fairbanks, Alaska 99775 fax: 907-474-7290

On Wed, 24 Sep 2003, John M Styers wrote:

> ******:


>    This email is intended for ****** *********; if it has reached

> someone else in error, I apologize.

>    I was given your name and email by Dr. ****** *******.  I have a

> strange request.  I was wondering if you could ask for nighttime data

> acquisition for (U.T.) Sat 27, Sept03, specifically, 06:40:13.

>    The reason why the request is so strange, is that we are wondering

> if our bonfire is truly "visible from orbit." I thought the request would

> "carry more weight" if you made it---and I can only imagine the

> response(s) I would receive if I made it, stating the above motivation.

> ;)

>    Thank you for all you (sic) help in advance.  I wouldn't ask if this

> weren't at least reasonably important to a fair number of us "up here."





>                      Sincerely,


>                      John Styers


>                 _\|/_

>                (o o)

> ------------oOO-{_}-OOo------------

> John Styers AA BS MS -One more to go!!

> Geophysical Institute (GI)

> University of Alaska, Fairbanks

> Office #708F

> Office Phone GI: 907-474-5747

> Email:,


> "Men our age don't need high adventure---we need high fiber."


>                     -Red Green


> "A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with

> smoking guns."


>                  -Mario Puzo (The Godfather)



   Sometimes, the G.I. is cool.  :)