Traditional detection algorithms use infrared heat as the main signal of a wildfire. The Firelight Detection Algorithm uses visible light instead, detecting a fire possibly a day earlier.
FILDA uses the visible light of fire, detecting high resolution images of fires. Using VIIRS technology, images of fires at night can be captured using infrared and visible light information. FILDA can also detect 90% more pixels than previous methods, and can detect smoldering and flaming fires. This allows researchers to see when fires start, when they may be dormant, or what weather events contribute to the spread of the fire.