To help identify which spots to attack first, the Forest Service will have NASA's unmanned Ikhana aircraft and its infrared sensor on emergency standby for the first time this summer. Unlike imaging satellites, which can take hours to position and transmit photos, Ikhana can see through smoke and send live data to ground crews. Likewise, the Forest Service's planes, also loaded with infrared sensors, will beam fire managers real-time data and photos over Aircell, the wireless service used by airlines. Historically, pilots printed out bird's-eye images of fires, stuffed them in a tube, and dropped them to firefighters on the ground. Digging through these documents to find the hottest areas in the blaze, which should be put out first, could take up to eight hours. Now command centers can analyze the digital files immediately and send out response crews before things get out of hand.