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Published July 2016 | public
Book Section - Chapter

Recent rapid disaster response products derived from COSMO-Skymed synthetic aperture radar data


The April 25, 2015 M7.8 Gorkha earthquake caused more than 8,000 fatalities and widespread building damage in central Nepal. Four days after the earthquake, the Italian Space Agency's (ASI's) COSMO-SkyMed Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite acquired data over Kathmandu area. Nine days after the earthquake, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA's) ALOS-2 SAR satellite covered larger area. Using these radar observations, we rapidly produced damage proxy maps derived from temporal changes in Interferometric SAR (InSAR) coherence. These maps were qualitatively validated through comparison with independent damage analyses by National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the UNITAR's (United Nations Institute for Training and Research's) Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT), and based on our own visual inspection of DigitalGlobe's WorldView optical pre- vs. post-event imagery. Our maps were quickly released to responding agencies and the public, and used for damage assessment, determining inspection/imaging priorities, and reconnaissance fieldwork.

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© 2016 IEEE.

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