1. Nepal Data and Imagery for Earthquake Relief Now Available from ASF DAAC

Nepal Data and Imagery for Earthquake Relief Now Available from ASF DAAC

Kathmandu, Nepal Sentinel-1A SAR image
Kathmandu is the lighter area in the middle of this Sentinel-1A SAR image. © Copernicus data 2015 (ESA).
Relief efforts in Nepal have a new source of vital satellite information through the Alaska Satellite Facility (ASF) of the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF).

On April 27, ASF accomplished a week’s worth of work in a matter of hours to make Nepal data and imagery available online. The data are from the Sentinel-1A satellite of the European Space Agency (ESA) through a new agreement between ESA and NASA. The goal is to make this critical information widely available.

In one day, ASF identified synthetic aperture radar (SAR) scenes of interest for the region, transferred them to a storage environment, and made them available online in a virtualized infrastructure. The data were initially processed by ESA.

On April 28, ASF completed the updating of its data portal Vertex so users can easily search and discover Nepal data from Sentinel-1A in a web-based graphical environment.

Synthetic aperture radar bounces a microwave radar signal off the surface of Earth to detect physical properties including surface roughness. Unlike optical sensor technology, such as Landsat, SAR can see through darkness, clouds and rain. SAR can be used to measure the movement of ground and structures, help identify hazards such as loose slopes, help predict which areas may be particularly vulnerable to aftershocks and future earthquakes, and help understand causes of earthquakes.

The Alaska Satellite Facility is a NASA Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC).

Last Updated: Aug 24, 2017 at 3:00 PM EDT