According to a new study, emergency responders could cut costs and save time by using near-real-time satellite data along with other decision-making tools after a flooding disaster
In the first NASA study to calculate the value of using satellite data in disaster scenarios, researchers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, calculated the time that could have been saved if ambulance drivers and other emergency responders had near-real-time information about flooded roads, using the 2011 Southeast Asian floods as a case study. Ready access to this information could have saved an average of nine minutes per emergency response and potential millions of dollars, they said.
The study is a first step in developing a model to deploy in future disasters, according to the researchers.
With lives on the line, time is money
In 2011, heavy monsoon rains and La Niña conditions across Southeast Asia’s Mekong River basin inundated and destroyed millions of acres of crops, displacing millions of people and killing hundreds. NASA Goddard’s Perry Oddo and John Bolten investigated how access to near-real-time satellite data could have helped in the aftermath of the floods, focusing on the area surrounding Bangkok, Thailand.
In previous work, they helped develop an algorithm that estimated floodwater depth from space-based observations, then combined this data with information on local infrastructure, population and land cover. They used this algorithm to calculate the disaster risk for the region, considering the vulnerability and exposure for various land cover types, and mapped where the costliest damage occurred. Assessing cost of damage can help emergency managers see what areas may be most in need of resources and also aid flood-mitigation planning and develop disaster resilience. The team used this tool to support disaster recovery after the 2018 failure of the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam in Laos.
In the current study, the researchers investigated the value of near-real-time information on flooded roadways — specifically, how much time could have been saved by providing satellite-based flood inundation maps to emergency responders in their drive from station to destination.
Flood depth information was calculated from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), and land cover from the NASA-USGS Landsat satellites. Infrastructure, road and population data came from NASA’s Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) and OpenStreetMap, an open-access geographic data source.
“We chose data that represented what we would know within a couple hours of the event,” said Perry Oddo, an associate scientist at Goddard and the study’s lead author. “We took estimates of flood depth and damage and asked how we could apply that to route emergency response and supplies. And ultimately, we asked, what is the value of having that information?”
First, the researchers used OpenRouteService’s navigation service to chart the most direct routes between emergency dispatch sites and areas in need, without flooding information. Then they added near-real-time flooding information to the map, generating new routes that avoided the most highly flooded areas.
The direct routes contained about 10 miles’ worth of flooded roadways in their recommendations. In contrast, the routes with flood information were longer, but avoided all highly flooded areas and contained just 5 miles of affected roadways. This made the flood-aware routes about 9 minutes faster than their baseline counterparts on average.
“The response time for emergency responders is heavily dependent on the availability and fidelity of the mapped regions,” said John Bolten, associate program manager of the NASA Earth Science Water Resources Program, and the study’s second author. “Here we demonstrate the value of this map, especially for emergency responders, and assign a numeric value to it. It has a lot of value for planning future response scenarios, allowing us to move from data to decision-making.”
A 9-minute reduction in response time may seem insignificant, but previous research has pegged that value in the millions of dollars, the team said. While Oddo and Bolten did not include explicit financial calculations in their model, one previous study in Southeast Asia showed that reducing emergency vehicles’ response time by just one minute per trip over the course of a year could save up to $50 million.
Working together to save lives
The study represents a first step toward a model that can be used in future disasters, the team said.
NASA has participated in research and applications in Southeast Asia for over 15 years via several Earth Science efforts, including NASA’s Disasters, Water Resources and Capacity Building Programs. Through these efforts, NASA works with regional partners — including the Mekong River Commission (MRC), the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) and other agencies — to provide Earth observation data and value-added tools for local decision makers in the Mekong River basin.
Oddo and Bolten have not only developed tools for partners, but also shared their results with Southeast Asian decision makers.
“The NASA Earth Sciences Applied Sciences Program works by collaborating with partners around the world,” Bolten said. “This isn’t just research; our partner groups desperately need this information. The work we’ve laid out here demonstrates the utility of satellite observations in providing information that informs decision making, and mitigates the impact of flooding disasters, both their monetary impact and perhaps loss of life.”
The Latest Google Headlines on:
Near-real-time satellite data
The Latest Bing News on:
Near-real-time satellite data
- NASA analyzes rainfall around Typhoon Chan-hom's ragged eyeon October 7, 2020 at 8:36 am
A NASA satellite rainfall product that incorporates data from satellites and observations found heavy rainfall occurring throughout Typhoon Chan-hom and the heaviest rainfall in the eyewall. Chan-hom ...
- Africa Wildlife Tracking Leverages ORBCOMM’s Satellite IoT Technology to Support Conservation Efforts Around the Worldon October 7, 2020 at 8:14 am
Tracking and monitoring solutions help reduce poaching, protect endangered wildlife and deliver valuable insights into animal behavior for ...
- Research: NASA analyzes rainfall around Typhoon Chan-hom’s ragged eye (TDnews)on October 7, 2020 at 7:37 am
NASA’s IMERG estimated Typhoon Chan-hom was generating as much as (30 mm/1.18 inches of rain (dark pink) around the center of… view more Credit Image: Credit Image: NASA/NOAA/NRL A NASA satellite ...
- OilX Applauded by Frost & Sullivan for Emerging the World's First Digital Oil Analyston October 7, 2020 at 6:18 am
Based on its recent analysis of the global oil & gas data intelligence market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes OilX with the 2020 Global ...
- New technology is helping fire-struck communities predict air quality betteron October 2, 2020 at 3:07 am
As fires continue to ravage states along the West Coast, new kinds of sensors and apps are helping people measure the immediate risks from smoky skies.
- How data from Google Earth helps us understand the world, and ourselveson October 1, 2020 at 5:00 am
with data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES satellites being processed by Earth Engine and displayed on both Google Maps and Search in near real time. This ...
- NASA confirms heavy rainfall, strengthening of tropical storm Marieon September 29, 2020 at 5:00 pm
In addition, a mid-level eye has begun to form, as observed in microwave satellite data. What does IMERG do? This near-real time rainfall estimate comes from the NASA's IMERG, which combines ...
- Using cloud computing for better flood inundation mappingon September 27, 2020 at 8:20 am
Using openly accessible satellite data and a cloud computing platform, an international team has now developed a powerful tool for a near real-time mapping of flood extent. The paper published in ...
- Synthetic aperture radar finally shedding its mystiqueon September 25, 2020 at 10:00 am
SAR, when combined with other data sets such as Automatic Identification ... this tool for maritime surveillance when offered in near real time,” EMSA said. EMSA’s Copernicus Maritime ...
The Latest Google Headlines on:
The Latest Bing News on:
- Africa Wildlife Tracking Leverages ORBCOMM’s Satellite IoT Technology to Support Conservation Efforts Around the Worldon October 7, 2020 at 8:18 am
ORBCOMM and Africa Wildlife Tracking (AWT) in Action AWT is leveraging ORBCOMM’s advanced satellite IoT technology to track and monitor animals of all sizes to support their conservation ...
- Marlink Deploys 6WIND vRouters for Global Satellite Networkon October 7, 2020 at 7:59 am
WIND, a Leading high-performance networking software company, today announced that Marlink, the world's leading provider of Smart Network Solutions for ...
- IMERG Data from Chan-hom (image)on October 7, 2020 at 7:34 am
NASA's IMERG estimated Typhoon Chan-hom was generating as much as (30 mm/1.18 inches of rain (dark pink) around the center of circulation. Rainfall throughout most of the storm was occurring between 5 ...
- Ball Aerospace Ships Ozone Mapping Instrument for Weather Satelliteon October 7, 2020 at 7:29 am
Ball Aerospace has shipped the Ozone Mapping Profile Suite (OMPS) instrument for integration onto NOAA's Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) weather satellite. "Ball has been a part of ozone ...
- Satellite Cameras Market : Global Growth by Manufacturers, Regions, Product Types, Major Application Analysis and Forecast to 2027on October 7, 2020 at 6:39 am
The study methodologies used to examine Satellite Cameras Market for the forecast period, 2020 - 2027 further classifies the industry by type, geography, end-use and end-user to add more precision and ...
- Iridium® Satellite Data Confirms Consumers are Increasingly Staying Connected when Going Off-the-Grid During COVID-19 Pandemicon October 7, 2020 at 4:01 am
PRNewswire/ -- Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM), whose technology provides connections beyond where terrestrial cell phones are used, ...
- New EG Report Shows a Surge in Interest for Satellite Offices Post COVID-19 Lockdownon October 6, 2020 at 11:00 pm
EG, a market-leading supplier of data, news and analytics products and services for the UK commercial real estate market announced today the finding ...
- Space debris a frequent topic at Satellite Innovation 2020on October 6, 2020 at 12:39 pm
Tracking and avoiding the growing debris field in low Earth orbit was clearly on the minds of speakers on the first day of the Satellite Innovation 2020 conference.
- How mining companies can leverage geospatial, satellite data refineryon October 4, 2020 at 10:42 am
By leveraging the data obtained from satellite and airborne imagery, geologists can accelerate their hypothesis formulation and exploration strategies to find new deposits.
- Swarm Reveals Pricing for Its Satellite Data Networkon September 29, 2020 at 7:45 am
Swarm Technologies Inc. wants to do something similar, only different. The four-year-old startup has put up a constellation of tiny satellites that deliver internet access in drips and drabs to all ...