Identifying drought-prone areas and developing an early warning system for crop damage. Protecting biologically diverse areas of the National Park System with a trail monitoring tool. Confirming flooded areas to better inform decision-makers during a disaster.

Each program area supports a variety of projects that utilize Earth observations to identify challenges around the world and create innovative solutions. Our portfolio demonstrates the benefits of using NASA Earth observations to enhance decision-making and improve life on Earth.

Sort by program area to find specific projects or explore them all below.

 

Principal Investigator

Margaret T Glasscoe

Obtaining highly reliable information about flooding events on a global scale currently requires the manual review and integration of multiple sources. There is a great variety of data, each part of which may or may not be relevant for a particular scenario, and each with...

Principal Investigator

Kyle Hilburn

The United States has entered a new era of increasing wildfire frequency and intensity, which has culminated in a number of devastating wildfire seasons over the past decade. This fire-prone landscape is also more densely settled and developed than in previous years, resulting in steeply rising fire-suppression...

Principal Investigator

Nickolay Krotkov

The dangers that volcanic ash clouds pose on inflight air traffic safety can lead to prolonged flight cancellations that have a ripple effect on the airline industry’s economy and personal travel. Low-latency satellite observations provide crucial information for rerouting air traffic around volcanic clouds. During...

Principal Investigator

Francis Monaldo

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is responsible for monitoring coastal U.S. waters for accidental and deliberate oil spills, as well as for the emergency response and environmental assessment and restoration following such events. In addition, in the aftermath of severe storms, NOAA assesses the...

Principal Investigator

Dalia Kirschbaum

Landslides globally cause loss of life and lasting damage to critical infrastructure. A major rainfall or earthquake can trigger tens of thousands of landslides, compounding losses from damage to transportation networks that inhibit disaster response, resulting in cascading effects such as flooding and debris hazards...

Principal Investigator

Sang-Ho Yun

Rapid mapping of natural disasters is of financial and humanitarian importance. Radar is an ideal tool for this, as it sees through clouds and can image day and night. The number of spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensors is increasing: anywhere on Earth, the first...

Principal Investigator

Kristopher Bedka

Much of the world is impacted by severe thunderstorms, but whether they become disasters depends upon resilience: the capacity to prepare, mitigate, respond, and recover. Hail is the costliest severe weather hazard for the insurance industry, generating ~70% of severe convective storm losses in 2017...

Principal Investigator

Franz Meyer

Weather-related hazards are ubiquitous in the United States, including: 1) hurricane storm surges impacting coastal areas, 2) rapid snowmelt and heavy rainfall causing basin-scale flooding, 3) severe weather leading to flash floods and tornadoes, and 4) seasonal freeze and thaw of rivers that may lead...

Principal Investigator

Diego Melgar

Compared to other natural hazards such as hurricanes or forest fires that annually propagate, large tsunamis are infrequent. As a result, over the last 50 years as digital geophysical instrumentation has matured, local tsunami warning systems that alert the coastlines immediately adjacent to a large event have not...

Principal Investigator

Charles Huyck

Cities are complex systems with interconnected “lifeline networks” enabled by critical infrastructure, which can be severely damaged or destroyed in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Following Hurricanes Maria and Katrina and the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, for example, damage to critical systems resulted in...