How can Earth observation help us analyze the impact of a hurricane?

Abstract

Since the beginning of time, humanity has faced different types of natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, etc. This has led people to seek ways of providing as much information as possible about these events, in order to study their behavior and see how their effects can be diminished.

One possible way of studying these disasters is by using technology. This research project, looking at how Earth observation helps us analyze the impact of hurricanes, is based on one of the most devastating hurricanes in history, Hurricane Katrina.

In our research, we were able to find out about the effects of Hurricane Katrina in social, physical, and economic terms. Thanks to satellite images, we were able to establish the impact of the hurricane in terms of nature loss (forest and tree destruction), as well as the impact on the city of New Orleans. We found that there are a variety of systems that provide information about hurricanes. One of the latest instruments created by NASA is called HIRAD (Hurricane Imaging Radiometer). This system provides information about a hurricane’s wind behavior, which can help provide precise forecasting, including a more accurate path of the hurricane.

Such precise and accurate information can encourage people to take evacuation and prevention measures seriously. This project seeks to emphasize that natural disasters are impossible to completely prevent, therefore with the knowledge that scientists can acquire, these natural events can be anticipated in advance and catastrophes such as Katrina can be managed to a certain degree.

SGS Earth Observation Disaster themed poster

Students

• Esteban Benavides

• Mariana Botero

• Lorena Clavijo

• Luis Alberto Hurtado

• Sebastian Lopez

• Maria Camila Pacheco

• Alejandra Patiño

• Mateo Rodriguez

Teachers

• Nelson Robby, Physics Teacher

• Hans Simons, Biology Teacher

• Daniel Nieto, Chemistry Teacher

• Annie Dye, Project Coordinator