Using SAR and GPS for Hazard Management and Response: Progress and Examples from the Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) Project
Abstract:ARIA is a joint JPL/Caltech project to automate synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and GPS imaging capabilities for scientific understanding, hazard response, and societal benefit. We have built a prototype SAR and GPS data system that forms the foundation for hazard monitoring and response capability, as well as providing imaging capabilities important for science studies. Together, InSAR and GPS have the ability to capture surface deformation in high spatial and temporal resolution. For earthquakes, this deformation provides information that is complementary to seismic data on location, geometry and magnitude of earthquakes. Accurate location information is critical for understanding the regions affected by damaging shaking. Regular surface deformation measurements from SAR and GPS are useful for monitoring changes related to many processes that are important for hazard and resource management such as volcanic deformation, groundwater withdrawal, and landsliding.
Observations of SAR coherence change have a demonstrated use for damage assessment for hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and volcanic eruptions. These damage assessment maps can be made from imagery taken day or night and are not affected by clouds, making them valuable complements to optical imagery. The coherence change caused by the damage from hazards (building collapse, flooding, ash fall) is also detectable with intelligent algorithms, allowing for rapid generation of damage assessment maps over large areas at fine resolution, down to the spatial scale of single family homes.
We will present the progress and results we have made on automating the analysis of SAR data for hazard monitoring and response using data from the Italian Space Agency’s (ASI) COSMO-SkyMed constellation of X-band SAR satellites. Since the beginning of our project with ASI, our team has imaged deformation and coherence change caused by many natural hazard events around the world. We will present progress on our data system technology that enables rapid and reliable production of imagery. Lastly, we participated in the March 2014 FEMA exercise based on a repeat of the 1964 M9.2 Alaska earthquake, providing simulated data products for use in this hazards response exercise. We will present lessons learned from this and other simulation exercises.