Latest News and Updates

January 9, 2018
Landslide susceptability map from 1/9/18.
Winter rains falling on recently burned ground triggered deadly mudslides near Santa Barbara, California on the 9th of January. The potential for landslides is shown above. This map was generated by the global Landslide Hazard Assessment for Situational Awareness (LHASA) model, a model that combines GPM precipitation data with a global landslide susceptibility map. LHASA gives a broad overview of landslide hazard in nearly real time, but site-specific information should be obtained prior to emergency operations or building projects.


January 2, 2018
Capacity building icon
Since 2011, DEVELOP's VPS has featured the program's feasibility projects through short videos that showcase the application of NASA Earth observations to address environmental issues around the globe. Visitors have the opportunity to peruse project pages, view short videos, and interact with the teams through social media. Once again DEVELOP has returned to host the 2017 Fall Term VPS competition, but with a twist! The VPS competition will have three rounds of judging in a bracket style format. The final two videos will compete head-to-head in a public competition based on likes and shares on DEVELOP's Twitter, YouTube, & Facebook pages. This new format is an exciting one for us at DEVELOP, and we hope you will enjoy it! DEVELOP's 2017 Fall Term has been an exhilarating one with 18 projects featuring the capabilities of NASA Earth observations to address environmental issues in 28 U.S. states and 4 countries. 103 DEVELOPers collaborated with over 50 partner organizations to address


January 2, 2018
Capacity building icon
The third SERVIR Annual Global Exchange (SAGE) brought together over 110 team members from across the SERVIR network to Bilbao, Spain from October 9-13, 2017. The largest since its inception, the exchange drew participants from SERVIR hubs in Niger, Kenya, Nepal and Thailand; the SERVIR Science Coordination Office in Huntsville, Alabama; NASA and USAID Headquarters in Washington, D.C.; USAID Missions; SERVIR Support Team; and SERVIR Applied Sciences Team members from institutions across the United States.


December 14, 2017
Damage Proxy Map for Southern California Fire.
Graphic produced December 13, 2017 with imagery acquired 11/28/17 & 12/10/17 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 Southern California, including Ventura, 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 (Nov. 28, 2017 6AM) and after (Dec. 10, 2017 6AM, both Pacific Standard Time) the onset of the fires. The map covers an area of 107 by 107 miles (172 by 172 kilometers), shown by the large red polygon. Each pixel measures about 33 yards (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. For example, the colored pixels over mountainous areas may seem a little scattered even though the reality could be that the contiguous areas were burned. Patches of farm land can appear as signals due to plowing or irrigation.  


December 11, 2017
Acquired December 5-7th, 2017
Acquired December 5-7th, 2017 This data was acquired by the ”Classic” Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS-C) instrument on December 5-7th. This is an instrument that flies on NASA Armstrong Flight Center’s high altitude ER-2 aircraft. It observes light in visible and infrared wavelengths, measuring the full spectrum of radiated energy. Unlike regular cameras with three colors, AVIRIS-C has 224 channels from the visible through the shortwave infrared, which provides a chemical signature or fingerprint. Applications: Imaging Spectroscopy data permits mapping of fire temperature and fractional coverage, and surface properties including fuel type and condition (alive vs. dead, moist vs. dry). Spectroscopy is also valuable for characterizing forest drought conditions and health to assess fire risk. AVIRIS-C has been observing fire-prone areas in Southern California over the span of many years, forming a growing time series of before/after imagery. This is helping to improve scientific understanding of fire risk and ecosystem response to the California drought.


November 30, 2017
MODIS True Color Terra Image
Imagery Acquired November 27, 2017 This RGB image from MODIS/Terra on November, 27th shows the presence of ash vented out from the Agung volcano as gray and brownish areas above clouds and/or water. This contrasts with the whiter clouds on the left side of the image.


November 30, 2017
SO2 emission map
Acquried November 29, 2017 Figure 1 shows volcanic sulfur dioxide (VSO2) plume emitted from the eruption of Mt. Agung (Bali, Indonesia) and first captured by Aura/OMI and SNPP/OMPS UV spectrometers afternoon overpasses on November 26 2017, just hours after the beginning of the explosive magmatic phase of the eruption. The data show total SO2 column amounts in Dobson Units (1 DU = 2.69 1016 molecules SO2 per cm2). Background SO2 concentrations in this location are undetectable from space, providing high confidence in detecting and tracking VSO2 plumes (blue to red colors), which are used as proxy for fine airborne volcanic ash particles presenting hazards to aviation.  


November 29, 2017
Water resources icon
NASA Water Resources Associate Program Manager John Bolten co-organized a session, entitled "Using Earth Observations and Models for Improved Water Sustainability" at World Water Week in Stockholm on August 29, 2017. Other co-organizers included Andras Szollosi-Nagy (UNESCO and SWFP), Simon Langan (IIASA), Richard Lawford (NASA/Morgan State University), Matilda Gennvi Gustafsson (Ericsson). The session, which was sponsored by NASA, brought together experts in remote sensing, big data processing, information and communications technologies, Internet of Things platforms, water policy, scenario development, innovative water management strategies, and monitoring technologies. An estimated 60 participants attended the session and engaged in the discussions following four presentations. The presentations and discussion were supportive of the often-repeated observation, “if you can’t measure water, you can’t manage water.”