5A.6 Initial Response Products Using Optical and SAR Imagery from Earth Observing Platforms for Decision Support Services (DSS)

Tuesday, 24 January 2017: 11:45 AM
Conference Center: Tahoma 3 (Washington State Convention Center )
Jordan R. Bell, Univ. of Alabama, Huntsville, AL; and A. L. Molthan

Decision makers rely on timely information to assist with decision making and support for their missions. Earth observing satellites provide tools for viewing and assessing the areas impacted. Optical remote sensors are able to view the surface of the Earth through different portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, but are limited by sky conditions and potential cloud cover. Cloud-free observations, for some sensors, can be significantly delayed depending upon on their repeat cycle. Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) offers several advantages over optical sensors in terms of spatial resolution and the ability to map the Earth’s surface whether skies are clear or cloudy.  In cases where both SAR and cloud-free optical data are available, these instruments can be used together to increase the confidence of what is being observed at the surface.

This presentation highlights events where data from current optical and SAR platforms can be used together for use in DSS environments such as a response to natural disasters. Specifically the Missouri and Mississippi River flooding in early 2016 and damage from a hail swath left as in northwestern Iowa on 17 June are two events that are assessed. Data collected specifically from the EO-1 (optical), Landsat (optical) and Sentinel 1 (SAR) missions are used to explore several applicable methodologies to determine which products may provide decision makers with actionable information in a timely manner.

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