2017 News and Updates

October 27, 2017
PolSAR Mosaic Image
UAVSAR aboard the NASA502 aircraft imaged Napa County, California on October 16 to observe areas affected by several wildfires that started on October 8 and burned thousands of buildings as well as vineyards and forests. PolSAR mosaick of HH, HV, VV polarization overlay images. The fire perimeters (red) are from the USGS Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination website as of October 17.   The fires from north to south are: Pocket, Tubbs, Nunn, and Atlas respectively.. Flight line ID: SanAnd_05512 Close-up view of Atlas fire before (2017.3.3) and after the fire (2017.10.16) – after image shows fire scars (purple) throughout the area south of Atlas.

 

October 25, 2017
NASA's Terra Satellite Image
As firefighters continue to work toward full containment of the rash of wildfires burning in Northern California. This image from NASA's Terra Satellite acquired on Oct. 21, 2017, shows the growing fire scar on the landscape. As firefighters continue to work toward full containment of the rash of wildfires burning in Northern California, a new image from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite shows the growing fire scar on the landscape. In this ASTER image, acquired Oct. 21, 2017, vegetation is red, while burned areas appear dark gray. The image covers an area of 38 by 39 miles (60.5 by 63 kilometers) and is located near 38.5 degrees north, 122.4 degrees west. With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region and its high spatial resolution of 15 to 90 meters (about 50 to 300 feet), ASTER images Earth to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet. ASTER is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched Dec. 18, 1999, on Terra. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and data products.

 

October 19, 2017
MODIS and CATS Imagery acquired Oct 11, 2017
Over a dozen wildfires have been burning since Oct. 08, 2017 in Northern California, killing 31 people, burning 2220,000+ acres and destroying over 3,500 homes. Smoke has blanketed the San Francisco Bay area, as shown in MODIS and CATS imagery from Oct. 11, 2017 (red circle). The smoke plume extends as high as 3-4 km according to the CATS backscatter and has resulted in the worst air quality ever recorded in many parts of the Bay Area.     

 

October 18, 2017
EOSDIS Worldview Image showing smoke plums
CALIPSO Ground Track on 10/13/2017           Vertical profiles of the near-field smoke plumes from the fires burning in California on October 13th, 2017.  These CALIOP data (space-based lidar) can be used for Air Quality, Hazardous plume location, and for the potential initialization of transport models.   CALIOP Vertical Feature Mask and Subtype  At this time, the smoke is not hovering near the ground.

 

October 17, 2017
This is a Damage Proxy Map depicting areas in Northern California
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Caltech, also in Pasadena, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas in Northern California that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of wildfires. The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The images were taken before (Sep. 27, 2017 7PM) and after (Oct. 9, 2017 7PM, both Pacific Time) the onset of the fires.   The map covers an area of 250 by 170 kilometers, shown by the large red polygon. Each pixel measures about 30 meters across. The color variation from yellow to red indicates increasingly more significant ground surface change. Preliminary validation was done by comparing to optical satellite imagery by the DigitalGlobe. This damage proxy map should be used as guidance to identify damaged areas, and may be less reliable over vegetated areas. Sentinel-1 data were accessed through the Copernicus Open Access Hub. The image contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA and analyzed by the NASA-JPL/Caltech ARIA team. This research was carried out at JPL under a contract with NASA.   For more information about ARIA, visit:http://aria.jpl.nasa.gov

 

October 13, 2017
Landsat image of wildfires acquired October 11, 2017
Acquired October 11, 2017 Acquired October 11, 2017 Devastating wildfires have burned through California’s wine country since October 8, 2017, taking dozens of lives and leaving thousands of people homeless. Even communities distant from the fires have been plagued by poor air quality, as the smoke plumes have darkened skies and canceled school and other activities across the region.

 

October 2, 2017
ARIA Damage Proxy Map of Dominica from Hurricane Maria
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Caltech, also in Pasadena, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas including Dominica that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of Hurricane Maria (Category 5 at landfall in Dominica on Sept. 18, 2017). The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The images were taken before (Mar. 27, 2017) and after (Sept. 23, 2017) the landfall of the storm. The map covers an area of 85 by 170 kilometers, shown by the large red polygon. Each pixel measures about 30 meters across. The color variation from yellow to red indicates increasingly more significant ground surface change. Preliminary validation was done by comparing to crowdsourced map by Clemson Center for Geospatial Technologies and optical satellite imagery by the DigitalGlobe. This damage proxy map should be used as guidance to identify damaged areas, and may be less reliable over vegetated areas. Sentinel-1 data were accessed through the Copernicus Open Access Hub. The image contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA and analyzed by the NASA-JPL/Caltech ARIA team. This research was carried out at JPL under a contract with NASA.

 

September 29, 2017
Map showing power outages in Puerto Rico
After Hurricane Maria tore across Puerto Rico, it quickly became clear that the destruction would pose daunting challenges for first responders. Most of the electric power grid and telecommunications network was knocked offline. Flooding, downed trees, and toppled power lines made many roads impassable. In circumstances like this, quickly knowing where the power is out—and how long it has been out—allows first responders to better deploy rescue and repair crews and to distribute life-saving supplies. And that is exactly why teams of scientists at NASA are working long days to make sure that groups like the National Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) get high-quality satellite maps of power outages in Puerto Rico. These before-and-after images of Puerto Rico’s nighttime lights are based on data captured by the Suomi NPPsatellite. The data was acquired by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) “day-night band,” which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared, including reflected moonlight, light from fires and oil wells, lightning, and emissions from cities or other human activity.

 

September 26, 2017
NASA Damage Map Aids FEMA's Hurricane Maria Rescue Operation in Puerto Rico
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Caltech, also in Pasadena, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas of Eastern Puerto Rico that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of Hurricane Maria (a Category 4 hurricane at landfall in Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017). The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The images were taken before (March 25, 2017) and after (Sept. 21, 2017) the storm's landfall. The map was delivered to responding agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), on Sept. 22, 2017. FEMA combined the map with building infrastructure data to estimate a damage density map, which was sent to its Urban Search and Rescue teams in the field in Puerto Rico. The map covers an area of 105 by 60 miles (169 by 96 kilometers), shown by the large red polygon in the figure. The inset, denoted by the orange rectangle, shows the extent of damage in and around the capital city of San Juan. Each pixel measures about 98 feet (30 meters) across. The color variation from yellow to red indicates increasingly more significant ground surface change. Preliminary validation was done by comparing the map with anecdotal reports of damage. This damage proxy map should be used as guidance to identify damaged areas, and may be less reliable over vegetated and flooded areas. Sentinel-1 data were accessed through the Copernicus Open Access Hub. The image contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA and analyzed by the NASA-JPL/Caltech ARIA team. This research was carried out at JPL under a contract with NASA.  

 

September 25, 2017
Capacity building icon
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center’s SERVIR and Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center programs have been selected to host Komlan “Richard” Folly, a native of Togo, West Africa, participating in the prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders in August and September 2017. The Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking opportunities. The Fellows, who are between the ages of 25 and 35, have established records of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, communities, and countries. These young leaders represent the diversity of Africa, including equal numbers of women and men, individuals with disabilities, and people from both urban and rural areas.

 

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