NASA-Generated Damage Map To Assist With Typhoon Haiyan Disaster Response
When Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded on Earth, struck the Philippines Nov. 8, 2013, it tore a wide swath of destruction across large parts of the island nation. To assist in the disaster response efforts, scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., in collaboration with the Italian Space Agency, generated this image of the storm's hardest-hit regions, depicting its destruction.
The 40-by-50 kilometer damage proxy map, which covers a region near Tacloban City, where the massive storm made landfall, was processed by JPL's Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team using X-band interferometric synthetic aperture radar data from the Italian Space Agency's COSMO-SkyMed satellite constellation. The technique uses a prototype algorithm to rapidly detect surface changes caused by natural or human-produced damage. The assessment technique is most sensitive to destruction of the built environment. When the radar images areas with little to no destruction, its image pixels are transparent. Increased opacity of the radar image pixels reflects damage, with areas in red reflecting the heaviest damage to cities and towns in the storm's path. The time span of the data for the change is Aug. 19--Nov. 11, 2013. Each pixel in the damage proxy map is about 30 meters across.
ARIA is a JPL- and NASA-funded project being developed by JPL and Caltech. It is building an automated system for providing rapid and reliable GPS and satellite data to support the local, national, and international hazard monitoring and response communities. Using space-based imagery of disasters, ARIA data products can provide rapid assessments of the geographic region impacted by a disaster, as well as detailed imaging of the locations where damage occurred.
For more information about ARIA, visit: http://aria.jpl.nasa.gov .