Early in the early morning on August 27, Hurricane Laura made landfall along the Louisiana and Texas shoreline, bringing 150 m.p.h. winds, flash floods, and heavy rains with it. On the ground, emergency situation workers set in motion to react to the Category 4 storm. But for NASA’s fleet of Earth-observing satellites, it was company as typical.
Those satellites – along with numerous from NASA’s global partner area firms – continuously orbit Earth, utilizing advanced sensing units to gather information about what’s going on down below. When Hurricane Laura hit, NASA currently had eyes on the storm.
“We use that cutting-edge NASA science to address disasters,” stated Lori Schultz, a remote-sensing researcher with the University of Alabama who is leading NASA’s efforts on this storm for the NASA Earth Applied Sciences Disasters Program. The program looks for to supply catastrophe action and management workers with pertinent, updated info to assist neighborhoods get ready for catastrophes and handle healing efforts.
“Basically, we ask: can we answer a question that needs to be answered?” stated Schultz. Because of NASA’s abundance of remote-sensing information and collaborations with other area firms around the world, NASA remains in a unique position to get a wider view of the storm’s effects than what initially responders can see from the ground. “Sometimes we can answer questions that nobody else can,” Schultz stated.
Schultz and the rest of the NASA Disasters group are hectic processing and evaluating the information gathered by satellites passing over Hurricane Laura in the past, throughout, and after it makes landfall. They’re utilizing information gathered by the NASA-U.S. Geological Survey Landsat satellites, the NASA-JAXA Global Precipitation Measurement satellite that peers through the clouds to observe rain rates, the European Space Agency’s Sentinel 1 and 2, and others to produce flood maps, evaluate seaside disintegration and identify harmed locations.
If the clouds clear over the next couple of days, NASA’s group will likewise utilize information gathered by the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites to more evaluate flooding damage. They might likewise utilize information from the VIIRS instrument aboard the Suomi NPP satellite, a joint task with NASA and NOAA.
That information will be processed, packaged, and made commonly readily available to those who require it most. To do so, NASA partners with action firms like the Federal Emergency Management Agency and local firms straight impacted by the storm.
Data are published on the NASA Disasters Mapping Portal, that makes it simple for partners to see and evaluate the information, along with download in a standardized Geographic Information Systems (GIS) format to utilize in their own analysis tools.
NASA’s Disasters Program produces quickly available info and disperses it to those working to handle catastrophes – cyclones, tsunamis, floods, serious storms and weather condition, fires, earthquakes, volcanoes and oil spills. That info assists catastrophe management workers get ready for these occasions and strategy healing efforts. NASA likewise utilizes these occasions to study severe storms and natural catastrophes and their effect on our world – and get ready for occasions in the future.