Research and Application News
Architecting an Earth observation strategy for disaster risk management
15 July 2014
Satellites provide a unique perspective for monitoring natural hazards, providing both global and regional information to support analysis and forecasts as well as decision-making activities of emergency management personnel. Geosynchronous sensors can provide continuous regional information on a continental scale in near real time, as frequently seen in weather monitoring by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operational satellites.
NASA is examining concepts for monitoring atmospheric and coastal events from geosynchronous orbit, potentially sharing a communications satellite as a host payload. Polar-orbiting satellites, such as the experimental EO-1, can provide high-resolution information for targeted events that are within its field of view and revisit frequency, typically every 16 days. However, providing relevant, actionable products to decision-makers requires many steps to be worked out in advance.
Enhanced satellite data support to disaster risk management requires timely delivery and streamlined access to products that are customised to specific applications and regions. The goals of the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS) architecture for disasters management were to lower barriers to entry for users and suppliers of satellite products, to reduce redundancies and gaps in inter-organisational systems, and to assist in managing and prioritising information and computing resources. Resulting systems must interoperate, while sustaining capabilities for the long term, including adapting to new technologies and evolving user needs.
Image credit: Stuart Frye, SGT Inc. for NASA Flood Sensor Web Pilot - RADARSAT-2 and Open Street Map data of flooding from Hurricane Isaac in Google Earth