The NASA Disasters Program sponsors application science to support disaster risk reduction, response, and recovery through a series of grants and partnerships funded by the NASA Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES) program. The current portfolio of projects from the 2019 ROSES A.37 solicitation covers a broad swath of hazard and disaster research, from tsunami and landslide forecasting to volcanic ash and wildfire smoke plume tracking. It represents the cutting edge of applied disasters research. The program’s research efforts aim to assemble scientifically-defensible studies on disaster risk management, demonstrate the applications of NASA Earth-observing data for studying disasters, and mature the technologies and techniques developed from these projects to operational use.


Projects

Principal Investigator

Margaret T Glasscoe

Floods are the deadliest and most costly natural hazard worldwide, so it is important to obtain highly reliable information about global flooding events. This project aims to integrate flood inundation information from multiple sources into the DisasterAWARE® (All-hazard Warnings, Analysis, and Risk Evaluation) platform, providing...

Principal Investigator

Kyle Hilburn

Over the past decade, increasing wildfire frequency and intensity in the United States has led to several devastating wildfire seasons. The United States’ fire-prone landscape is more densely settled and developed than in previous years, resulting in steeply rising fire-suppression costs. The Weather Research Forecasting...

Principal Investigator

Nickolay Krotkov

Volcanic ash clouds pose a great danger to air traffic safety, leading to flight cancellations and creating a ripple effect on the airline industry’s economy. Real time satellite observations can provide crucial information for re-routing air traffic around the hazardous volcanic clouds. Nickolay Krotkov’s A.37 project...

Principal Investigator

Ronald Eguchi

Catastrophe (CAT) models help insurance companies price insurance by using data from natural hazard physical parameters (e.g., ground motion, flood depth, wind speed) to assess risk and probable loss. These models depend on geographic information systems (GIS) databases to characterize building exposure, but in emerging...

Principal Investigator

Francis Monaldo

Francis Monaldo’s A.37 project, “Development and Implementation of Remote Sensing Techniques for Oil Spill Monitoring and Storm Damage Assessment in an Operational Context,” is collaborating with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to improve the algorithms that identify the United States’ coastal oil spills...

Principal Investigator

Dalia Kirschbaum

Compared to other hazards such as floods and earthquakes, landslides are small, making them more challenging to observe. As a result, there has been no global network for determining when they might occur. Despite their size, landslides are a pervasive hazard – killing thousands of...

Principal Investigator

Eric Fielding

The moments immediately following a disaster are crucial to a swift recovery, yet it can be difficult for first responders to find reliable disaster information with such a tight timeframe. Sang-Ho Yun’s research project aims to provide rapid mapping of disaster damage using synthetic aperture...

Principal Investigator

Kristopher Bedka

Hail is the costliest severe weather hazard for the insurance industry, damaging assets such as homes, businesses, agriculture, and infrastructure. Since most insurance companies do not reserve enough capital to cover catastrophes, they require reinsurance – insurance for insurance companies. The reinsurance industry uses...

Principal Investigator

Franz Meyer

Weather-related hazards, such as flash flooding and hurricane surges, are natural phenomena that can have devastating impacts on communities worldwide. As a result, disaster responders must react as quickly as possible to mitigate the impact on people and their homes. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) –...

Principal Investigator

Diego Melgar

Tsunamis are one of the most powerful and destructive natural forces. Triggered by earthquakes, tsunami waves typically reach shores anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes after a quake occurs. Current tsunami early warning systems in the Cascadia subduction zone struggle to respond within the first...