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Sue Owen - "Mapping Disasters from Space"

Friday, October 5, 2018
7:00pm to 8:30pm
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Ramo Auditorium
  • Public Event

Learn how we are using GPS and space-based radar to respond to earthquakes, volcanic unrest, floods, and fires.

Space-based geodetic measurement techniques such as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR), Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS), and SAR-based change detection have recently become critical additions to our toolset for understanding and mapping the damage caused by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, hurricanes and floods. The ability of space-based SAR to see through clouds to image changes on the ground made it a valuable data set in FEMA's response last year's Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Maria. The large footprint of some of the current SAR missions enables a synoptic view of the damage, both in urban and more remote areas, helpful in identifying damage outside of the main city centers following the 2015 Nepal earthquake and 2017 Mexico earthquakes.

The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) project is focused on rapidly generating higher level geodetic imaging products and placing them in the hands of the solid earth science and local, national, and international natural hazard communities by providing science product generation, exploration, and delivery capabilities at an operational level. Analyses of these data sets have been largely handcrafted following each event and are not generated rapidly and reliably enough for response to natural disasters or for timely analysis of large data sets. The ARIA project, a joint California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) venture, has been capturing the knowledge applied to these responses and building it into an automated infrastructure to generate imaging products in near real-time that can improve situational awareness for disaster response.

This is a free event; no tickets or reservations are required.

About the Speaker

Sue Owen is the Section Manager, Earth Science Section at JPL. She received her PhD in Geophysics from Stanford University, and her BA in Physics from Harvard-Radcliffe University.

About the Series

The Theodore von Kármán Lecture Series, named after JPL's founder, and presented by JPL's Office of Communication and Education, brings the excitement of the space program's missions, instruments and other technologies to both JPL employees and the local community. Lectures take place twice per month, on consecutive Thursdays and Fridays. The Thursday lectures take place in JPL's Theodore von Kármán Auditorium and are streamed live via Ustream, and (beginning in July 2018) Friday lectures take place at Caltech's Ramo Auditorium. Both start at 7:00 p.m. Admission and parking are free for all lectures, no reservations are required, and seating is limited.

Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

For more information, please contact Caltech Ticket Office by phone at (626) 395-4652 or by email at [email protected].