January 29, 2019
The NASA Disasters Program was highlighted at Esri’s Federal Geographic Information System (GIS) conference plenary session on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 in Washington, D.C. The presentation was viewed by several thousand conference attendees and introduced the audience to the breadth of work in NASA’s earth science program. Jack Dangermond, the founder and owner of Esri, described how different agencies were utilizing their GIS products to respond to disasters through story maps. Dangermond featured a slide which included NASA’s response efforts to the Kilauea Eruption, Hurricane Florence, and California Wildfire story maps. Later in the presentation, the Disasters Portal was also shown as part of a “success story” of content feeding into FEMA’s GeoPlatform, created as a result of the Geospatial Data Act. The NASA Disasters Program will also be hosting a Special Interest Group meeting at the conference on Wednesday, January 30. This will serve as an opportunity to highlight the program’s important work during 2018, as well as provide an overview of the program, the NASA Disasters Portal and an opportunity to engage and learn from stakeholders.
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 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.
October 26, 2018
NASA Global Flood Risk Workshop in Boulder, CO The NASA Earth Science Disasters Team attended the Global Flood Risk Workshop held on October 1-3, 2018 in Boulder, CO. The workshop brought together government agencies, humanitarian aid organizations, insurance and re-insurance providers, private sector industries, as well as academic and research institutions from around the world to increase collaboration and improve access to and flow of information around flood risk. Flood risk assessments of both exposure and vulnerability should leverage the best available data- but often those producing or using such assessments are unaware of what is available. The goal of the workshop was to reach a consensus of priority actions as a new Flood Risk Community of Practice (FRCP) to solve the main challenges in flood risk estimation at global scales, and aligning those actions with the goals of GEO Global Flood Risk Monitoring (GEO 2017-2019 Work Programme) and of The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. During the meeting, the following discussions occurred: Status quo - what flood data is out there, what is missing; Flood financing – how best to move towards forecast based financing to assure release of aid in time and to have a proper insurance system in place for flooding; and new technologies – how can online and social media and commercialization of space help in identifying flood risk areas.
October 26, 2018
Rio De Janeiro Center of Operations Research Physical Scientist and Landslide Disaster Event Lead at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Dalia Kirschbaum met with the Rio de Janeiro City Government, the City Operations Center (COR) and the Instituto Pereira Passos (IPP) September 12-14th, 2018. NASA has formed a partnership with the City of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to utilize NASA’s earth observation data to improve landslide prediction, studies on urban heat islands, air and water quality monitoring, and education activities in Rio de Janeiro. Information on the partnership is available at: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/nasa-to-aid-disaster-preparedn...
September 25, 2018
The same storm captured by RainCube is seen here in infrared from a single, large weather satellite, NOAA's GOES (Geoweather Operational Environmental Satellite). Image Credit: NOAA The RainCube (Radar in a CubeSat) uses experimental technology to see storms by detecting rain and snow with very small instruments. The people behind the miniature mission celebrated after RainCube sent back its first images of a storm over Mexico in a technology demonstration in August. Its second wave of images in September caught the first rainfall of Hurricane Florence. The small satellite is a prototype for a possible fleet of RainCubes that could one day help monitor severe storms, lead to improving the accuracy of weather forecasts and track climate change over time.
September 13, 2018
NASA Applied Sciences Disasters Program meets with University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez On September 13, 2018 Miguel Román and Edil Sepúlveda Carlo of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center hosted a group of professors from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez (UPRM). In attendance, were Professors Dr. Pérez Lugo and Dr. Ortiz García. Lugo and García are co-founders of the National Institute for Energy and Island Sustainability (INESI in Spanish), which is the only interdisciplinary and inter-campus institute of the University of Puerto Rico system. INESI includes the university community in Puerto Rico’s energy policy and seeks to resolve energy and sustainability problems using empirical research and academic knowledge. Dr. David Green, Program Manager of the Earth Science Disasters Program at NASA Headquarters, as well as Shanna McClain, Risk and Resilience Coordinator at NASA Headquarters, were present at the meeting.
October 4, 2018
NASA’s G-III aircraft staged operations from Gainesville, Florida. The UAVSAR pod is located at the bottom of the aircraft’s fuselage. Credits: NASA/Samuel Choi In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, which struck the Carolinas on Sept. 14 causing widespread damage, NASA quickly deployed a sophisticated airborne radar to give disaster response agencies a much-needed view of floodwaters that continued to threaten the region. In response to the event, the feature, "NASA Airborne Team Surveys Flooding from Hurricane Florence," was published on NASA.gov on October 4, 2018.
October 11, 2018
This image from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) shows the temperature of clouds or the surface in and around Hurricane Michael as it approaches northwestern Florida around 3 AM local time on Tuesday, October 10, 2018. The storm shows all the hallmarks of a powerful, mature hurricane. The large purple area indicates very cold clouds at about -90 F (-68 C) carried high into the atmosphere by deep thunderstorms. These storm clouds are associated with very heavy rainfall. At the center of the cold clouds is the distinct, much warmer eye of the hurricane seen in green. The extensive areas of red away from the storm indicate temperatures of around 60 F (15 C), typical of the surface of the Earth at night. These red areas are mostly cloud-free, with the clear air caused by air motion outward from the cold clouds near the storm center then downward in the surrounding areas. Michael has developed quickly into a dangerous Category 4 storm, with sustained wind of 150 miles per hour. It is currently coming ashore on the Florida Panhandle as the strongest hurricane in that region in recorded history.
October 11, 2018
NASA's Terra spacecraft shows a three dimensional view of Hurricane Michael and combines two of MISR's nine camera angles. MISR's stereo anaglyph shows a three-dimensional view of Michael and combines two of MISR's nine camera angles. Using 3D red-blue glasses, you can see the 3D effect. Apparent in the 3D stereo anaglyph as well as the height field are a number of bright "clumps." These are groups of strong thunderstorms embedded within the larger circulation of the hurricane. Known as "vortical hot towers," the presence of these features indicates rapid transport of heat energy from the ocean surface into the storm, typically indicative of rapid intensification of the hurricane. In fact, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. EDT, while MISR imaged the hurricane, the estimated central pressure dropped 8 hPa and the maximum sustained winds increased about 12 mph (19 kph) and over the next 24 hours Hurricane Michael intensified from a Category 2 to a Category 4 storm.