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.