Global Disasters III

Damage Proxy Map of Hurricane Sandy centered on the New York and New Jersey border, layered with LandScan population data and Homeland Security road networks.

Prototype Algorithm and Interface Development for Rapid Damage Validation

Natural disasters such as fires, floods, and hurricanes claim many lives and result in economic losses. In the aftermath of such devastating events, an accurate and comprehensive assessment of damage is needed for rapid rescue response to minimize loss of life and to begin the recovery process. The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology have developed a prototype damage-detection algorithm that uses NASA's Gulfstream G3 L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) products and Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency's Advanced Land Observing Satellite Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (ALOS PALSAR) data to produce damage proxy maps (DPMs) of urban area building damage in affected regions.

Data from the Italian Space Agency's (ASI) Constellation of Small Satellites for Mediterranean basin Observation (COSMO)-SkyMed X-band SAR products also provided building damage information. These DPMs indicate areas that have undergone changes in surface conditions due to different natural disasters. They can be used to identify damaged structures and assess the extent of damage in a region, particularly in remote regions where ground access can be difficult. Developing a web-based validation interface will eliminate time-consuming data conversions in the DPM validation process, supporting disaster response agencies in rapid rescue and emergency supply logistics.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summer 2014
USGS National Earthquake Information Center
ESRI Disaster Response Program
GISCorps of Urban and Regional Information Systems Association
NASA Earth Observations
Sara Lafia (lead)
Judy Cheng
Lan Nguyen
Dr. Sang-Ho Yun

Project Video

Follow us