Emergency Response


From the Gulf Coast oil spill to Hurricane Katrina, to asbestos detection in South Africa, SpecTIR helps detect environmental contamination throughout the world. Our ability to rapidly deploy sensors in an emergency response situation provides unique and detailed solutions. Hyperspectral data integrated with additional remote sensing and Geospatial data can provide emergency managers greater environmental situational awareness for prevention-mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery before, during and after a natural or manmade disaster.


Fire Risk Assessment

Hyperspectral imaging is used for rooftop classification and fuels mapping to identify homes at greatest risk in the event of a wildfire. Defensible space, tree species identification for determining vegetation with higher burn rates such as Eucalyptus and Pinion Pine, help fire officials assess the fire risk and plan fire mitigation programs. Integrating hyperspectral data with LIDAR and Geospatial information helps to fully model an area of interest and provide valuable data for fire risk management.


Emergency Response – Manmade Disaster

Immediately after the 2010 Deep Water Horizon oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, SpecTIR had its airborne collection team in route. The decision was made to fly coastal regions where the oil had not yet reached shore. Over 2000 square kilometers of National Wildlife Refuges and Tidal Wetlands were collected from Crystal River to St. Mark’s. SpecTIR data is being used to detect and spectrally characterize both acute and chronic damage to vegetation caused by the oil spill. Our ability to provide rapid response allowed for a pre-event environmental baseline. The areas can now be re-flown for change detection and remediation monitoring.


Emergency Response – Natural Disaster

Four days after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, SpecTIR launched an airborne mission to collect data over heavily damaged regions. Preliminary analysis of a tank farm indicated contamination was occurring around the site. The image on the far left is what the naked eye would see from an airplane flying at 6600 feet. The second image from the left has suppressed all material except water which has been false colored blue. The third image from the left has been processed to look for anomalies that can cue investigators where to look for other than water features. The far right images are exploded views of the tanks and near-by surfaces that show some type of contamination (possibly hydrocarbons) originating from the tank region. These effluences cannot be readily discriminated by the naked eye. This quick-look unsupervised analysis demonstrates how the hyperspectral data can aid responders to set priorities and help optimize asset utilization.


Resources

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