Remote Sensing in Disaster Response

Remote sensing is the observation of phenomena at a distance, using a range of sensors for object identification based on their spectral signature, that is, the degree to which they absorb, reflect, backscatter, or emit light at various segments of the electromagnetic spectrum. Remote sensing can be accomplished from aircraft, from Earth-observing satellites, and from specialized in situ devices. Remote sensing technology has been used to facilitate first-responders’ decision support for a wide array of biogenic (naturally caused) and anthropogenic (man-made) disasters. Such natural disasters include landslides, snow disasters, volcanic eruptions, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, famines, epidemics, and epizootics. Anthropogenic disaster responses that have benefited from remote sensing data include both inadvertent disasters (e.g., pollution, mining accidents, hazardous chemical and oil spills, train derailments) ...

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