Nasa’s considerable Earth-observing and data analysis and distribution capabilities have been mobilised to provide information to support disaster recovery efforts in Haiti after the devastating earthquake on 12 January.
Nasa has tasked two of its space-based, high-resolution instruments to image areas hardest hit by the earthquake. Before-and-after scenes of Port-au-Prince, for example, will be used to aid with damage assessment and recovery.
The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER), a Japanese-US instrument with visible, infrared and thermal infrared sensors flying on the Terra spacecraft, took observations of the region on 14 January. The data are being processed and compared with pre-earthquake imagery. ASTER will again revisit the area on 19 January and 21 January.
Nasa’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite obtained multispectral images of the region on 15 January.
Nasa and the Nasa-funded SERVIR Rapid Response Mapping team at the Centre for Water in the Humid Tropics in Latin America and the Caribbean are on standby to support the damage assessment efforts once EO-1 and ASTER data are available.
Nasa is co-ordinating its efforts with international space agencies through the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response, as well as agreements with the Committee on Earth Observations and the Group on Earth Observations.