UAVs for Storm Damage Surveys

Vanuatu was recently hit by Cyclone Pam, causing massive damage to most of the South Pacific island.  Currently UAVs are being used for disaster recovery surveys.  The story appears to mention that oblique imagery is the majority being captured, no mention of ortho imagery, the focus is on walls and not just roofs.  Satellite imagery appears to be used for the straight down sensor capture.

Two teams, one from Australia, one from New Zealand are taking part in the flights with the rotocopter design UAVs.  No mention is made of fixed wing UAVs.  The article mentions high resolution imagery but no image specifics are listed to define just how detailed they are capturing the image data.  There is also no mention of any post-processing of image data to derive LiDAR points or straight LiDAR sensor capture for damage assessment.

One of the major stakeholders in the flights is the World Bank as they try to access the damage to provide damage estimates for release of monetary aid to the country.


About Chuck Schoeneberger

Former forecaster at Meridian Environmental Technologies Inc (now a Interis Company), with a background in GIS and LiDAR, with other stints at GeoSpatial Services of Winona, MN and Aerometric (Now Quantum Spatial) of Sheboygan, WI. He is a weather technologist for public storm safety from a local to international level. LinkedIn Profile: His views are his own and not of his employer.
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