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NASA Maps California fires to help agencies on the ground

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NASA logo – National Aeronautics and Space Administration

“data-medium-file =” “data-large-file =” -content / uploads / 2011/08 / NASA.jpg “class =” alignleft size-full wp-image-85503 “title =” NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration “src =” wp content / uploads / 2011/08 / NASA.jpg “alt =” NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration “width =” 200 “height =” 165 “/> Pasadena, CA two weeks NASA- researchers and satellite data analysts have worked every day to produce maps and injuries that can be used by disaster managers fighting for Woolsey Fire near Los Angeles and Camp Fire in northern California.

The agency-wide effort was also used by a research aircraft over Woolsey Fire on November 15 for to identify burned areas with a risk of mudslides prior to winter rainfall as expected in the area.

Spearhea Based on NASA’s Earth S cience Division disaster program, the team produces a range of computer products that are largely derived from satellite observations, including maps showing active fires, damage caused by fires and burned areas susceptible to landslides and sludge.

A picture of Camp Fire on November 8th from the Landsat 8 satellite. (USGS / NASA / Joshua Stevens)

“data-medium-file =”×320. jpg “data-large-file =”×800 .jpg “class =” size-medium wp-image-439019 “title =” A picture of Camp Fire on November 8th from the Landsat 8 satellite. (USGS / NASA / Joshua Stevens) “src =” ground-480×320.jpg “alt =” A picture of Camp Fire on November 8th from the Landsat 8 satellite. (USGS / NASA / Joshua Stevens) “width =” 480 “height =” 320 “srcset =” to-help agencies-at-ground-480×320.jpg 480w, -the-ground-200×133.jpg 200w, 768×512.jpg 768w, 1200w “A picture by Camp Fire on November 8th from the Landsat 8 satellite. (USGS / NASA / Joshua Stevens)

These products are distributed to agencies working in the California area, including state national security, the Forestry and Fire Protection Department (Cal Fire), Governor’s Office Services, California Earthquake Clearinghouse and Federal Emergency Management Agency (F EMA).

NASA’s disaster program mobilizes for intense risk events globally, including earthquakes, fires, floods and severe weather. The program capitalizes on the wealth of environmental data collected by Earth observation satellites and other remote analysis technologies to help akut managers to prepare, respond to and recover from disasters. In 2017 the program responded to 89 events.

“When disasters occur, our researchers become suppliers and distributors of images, data and damage assessments,” said David Green, director of the disaster program at NASA’s Washington headquarters. “We build on NASA’s technical expertise and strong relationships with our partner organizations to provide useful products to disaster leaders.”

Much of the information has been published on a Geographic Information System (GIS) -based disaster card, enabling data sets to be adapted by response agencies to meet their specific needs.

The NASA team also responds to requests from authorities for specific information. The Earthquake Clearinghouse, for example, asked for identifying areas exposed to risks, especially areas where the wilderness is close to critical infrastructure, to prioritize their response goals.

The Advanced Advanced Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, quickly turned around a new “proxy card damage” resulting from radar images from synthetic satellites from European satellites. The GIS team, in turn, made the data more user friendly so that California officials could identify how close the most injured areas were to critical infrastructure such as bridges and mobile phones.

Phil Beilin, information technology leader for the Earthquake Clearinghouse, found NASA’s computer products very helpful in his efforts. With a standard online analysis tool, he was able to filter data from the malware’s proxy map to see the distance to critical infrastructure, such as a water treatment plant near Woolsey Fire.

“Being able to prioritize what is to be checked in the field is very important, and this GIS format goes a long way to helping the process,” said Beilin. The data was also shared with California’s Emergency Care Agency, Cal Fire, California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA ) and the California National Guard.

NASA’s mobilization in response to California fires also involved a November 15 flight research aircraft on Woolsey Fire. The NASA C-20 aircraft carry sensors to map the fire scars, with the goal of identifying areas exposed to catastrophic mudslides during the coming winter rains.

The flight was at night to stay away from firefighting aircraft in the area. The plane took off its base at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California, which carries the uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR), developed and powered by JPL. The instrument can “see” through smoke, clouds and darkness of the night.

UAVSAR data is often used by researchers to map the ground height below the aircraft to study tectonic motion, but they can also be processed to map fire. The radar signals interrupt burnt, rough terrain in a different way than they do from unburnt, brush-covered mountain slopes.

Andrea Donnellan from JPL used the instrument last year to depict the fire from Thomas Fire and the subsequent Montecito junk streams. She has experimented with combining this image with optical and thermal cameras. She mailed to NASA’s headquarters on November 12, pointing out that UAVSAR has flown the fire zone and proposed a priority order for new fire observations.

“We quickly switched the flight missions we had planned to do, transformed where we would fly and put this plan together to fly over these fires,” said NASA Armstrong researcher Pilot Dean Neely, who was responsible for preparing C -20A aircraft carrying UAVSAR.

The resulting UAVSAR image of the 150 square kilometer Fireplace shows the firewall, including where the vegetation has burned by steep slopes, destabilizes them and increases the potential for clay and rubbish flows. With rain in the forecast, this information is current.

Sewage flows triggered by rain showers after fires sometimes claim more lives than the fires themselves, which occurred after last year’s Thomas Fire in Montecito, about 40 miles west of Woolsey Fire.

UAVSAR data is shared by the disaster program team with authorities, including Cal Fire, US Geological Survey, US Forest Service and National Park Service.

Updates to NASA’s response to these California fires are available online.

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California, Los Angeles CA, NASA, NASA’s headquarters, NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, NASA’s Earth Science Division, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Guard, National Park Service, Palmdale CA, Pasadena CA, USA Forest Service, Washington DC, Wildfire

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