November 13, 2018
"Innovation Now" is a daily 90-second radio series and podcast that gives listeners a front row seat to hear compelling stories of revolutionary ideas, emerging technologies and the people behind the concepts that are shaping our future. In the November 9th 2018 episode "Fire and Air", NASA Wildfire researcher Amber Soja was interviewed on how NASA uses the vantage of space to safeguard our future.
November 11, 2018
The Operational Land Imager on USGS/NASA Landsat 8 acquired this image on November 8, 2018, around 10:45 a.m. local time (18:45 Universal Time). On November 8, 2018, the Camp Fire erupted 90 miles (140 kilometers) north of Sacramento, California. As of 10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on November 9, the fire had consumed 70,000 acres of land and was five percent contained, or surrounded by a barrier. The Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8 acquired this image on November 8, 2018, around 10:45 a.m. local time (18:45 Universal Time). The image was created using Landsat bands 4-3-2 (visible light), along with shortwave-infrared light to highlight the active fire. The fire started around 6:30 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, and by 8:00 p.m., it had burned 20,000 acres of land.
November 11, 2018
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas of Southern Cailfornia that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of the Woolsey Fire in California. The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The pre-event images were taken before (November 5, 2018) and the post-event image was acquired during the fire (November 11, 2018). The map covers an area of 50 miles x 25 miles (80 km x 40 km), indicated with the big red polygon. Each pixel measures about 33 yards x 33 yards (30 m x 30 m). The color variation from yellow to red indicates increasingly more significant ground surface change. Preliminary validation was done by comparing to the Approximate fire location by the Google Crisismap. This damage proxy map should be used as guidance to identify damaged areas, and may be less reliable over vegetated areas. For example, the scattered single colored pixels over vegetated areas may be false positives, and the lack of colored pixels over vegetated areas does not necessarily mean no damage. Sentinel-1 data were accessed through the Copernicus Open Access Hub. The image contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2018), processed by ESA and analyzed by the NASA-JPL/Caltech ARIA team. This research was carried out at JPL funded by NASA. For more information about ARIA, visit: http://aria.jpl.nasa.gov
November 10, 2018
The recent catastrophic fires in California have yielded scenes of chaos in the region and the NASA Disasters program is working on providing the most recent satellite information that could help people on the ground. Dispersed smoke through the region has serious impacts on air quality and satellite information can bring several perspectives of smoke layers that are released into the atmosphere. Two satellites, the NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership, or Suomi NPP and Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder (CALIPSO), flying within 30 minutes from each other have been used to investigate smoke plumes on November 10, 2018. The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) radiometer on the NPP satellite captured an image of the smoke coming from the Camp Fire in California and spreading across the Pacific Ocean. The CALIPSO space-borne lidar is used to profile the smoke. Elevated smoke layers up to 3-4 km are observed by the CALIPSO lidar across the Pacific Ocean (area 1 on the figure), while smoke near the source region over the San Francisco Bay area seems to remain near the ground between 0-2 km. Smoke caped near the ground worsens air quality and poses serious risk to public health. The NASA Disasters Program is working on providing satellite information to end-users to improve air quality forecasts.
November 6, 2018
CWU GPS Network in Roseburg, Oregon The NASA Earth Science Disasters program works to improve disaster resilience by working with other organizations that have valuable insight on natural hazards. Tim Melbourne, Professor at Central Washington University (CWU) and Director of the Pacific Northwest Geodetic Array (PANGA) Geodesy Laboratory works with the Disasters team to provide valuable information on earthquake and tsunami activity in the Pacific Northwest. PANGA analyzes and measures crustal deformation which is the changing earth’s surface caused by tectonic forces that are accumulated in earth’s crust that causes and accompanies large earthquakes and many tsunamis. Measuring and analyzing the changing earth’s surface helps agencies, governments and other entities mitigate natural hazards throughout the circum-Pacific Ring of Fire, where natural hazards include earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and coastal sea-level encroachment.Melbourne’s group at CWU provides real-time analysis of information streamed in from their real-time GPS systems that have been installed by CWU throughout the Pacific Northwest as well as by many other network operators throughout the world. Analyses from these systems are then passed on to NASA, The National Weather Service, NOAA, and other agencies to research, reduce and mitigate natural disasters. At NASA in particular, Melbourne works directly with the Disasters program to analyze seismic activity from an earthquake that has occurred and provide valued input to the team on information that can be relayed back to NASA partners and stakeholders such as FEMA.
November 1, 2018
CALIPSO and CloudSat, two satellites in the newly formed C-Train, captured a stunning overpass through the eye of Typhoon Yutu on October 28th, 2018 at 04:58 UTC as the storm was approaching the Philippines in the West Pacific. Typhoon Yutu contained estimated sustained winds of 120 knots (138 mph) with a minimum pressure of 933 mb, the equivalent of a Category 4 strength storm. At the time of the overpass, Typhoon Yutu was beginning a period of weakening as the storm was moving into less favorable atmospheric conditions, including lower sea surface temperatures. The storm left a trail of destruction through Saipan, Tinian and the Mariana Islands on October 24-25th, 2018 when it was at Category 5 strength.
October 30, 2018
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas of Northern Mariana Islands that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of Super Typhoon Yutu. The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The pre-event images were taken before (October 4, 2017 and October 16, 2017) and the post-event image was acquired 4 days after the typhoon's landfall (October 28, 2018).
October 30, 2018
The images above show flood inundation and rainfall accumulations over a 3-day period in the Po River valley in Italy today and forecast flood conditions today in the Philippines. The hazardous weather conditions in the Philippines are associated with Typhoon Yutu. Despite weakening into a tropical storm as it crossed the Philippines, Yutu is expected to restrengthen into a typhoon over the South China Sea. Many areas previously impacted by Typhoon Mangkhut in mid-September were dealt another round of heavy rain and damaging winds from Yutu which made landfall in Isabela province around 4 a.m. local time. In advance of the storm's arrival, more than 10,000 people were evacuated from high risk areas.
October 26, 2018
The MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) instrument aboard the Terra and Aqua satellites observed Typhoon Yutu from October 23 to 26, 2018. The MODIS images revealed a cloud-filled eye. MODIS is a key instrument aboard the Terra (originally known as EOS AM-1) and Aqua (originally known as EOS PM-1) satellites. MODIS is playing a vital role in the development of validated, global, interactive Earth system models able to predict global change accurately enough to assist policy makers in making sound decisions concerning the protection of our environment.
October 26, 2018
The VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) instrument aboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) observed Typhoon Yutu around 1:30 pm local time from October 23 to 26, 2018. The VIIRS images revealed a cloud-filled eye. The Suomi NPP satellite is part of the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), a joint NOAA/NASA program, created in order to design and launch the next generation of polar orbiting satellites. VIIRS data is used to measure cloud and aerosol properties, ocean color, ocean and land surface temperature, ice movement and temperature, fires, and Earth's albedo. Climatologists also use VIIRS data to improve our understanding of global climate change.