Puerto Rico Disaster Response Aerial Imagery

Various Locations, Puerto Rico

One of the most efficient ways to assess damage across large expanses is to acquire aerial imagery from manned, fixed-wing aircraft. About a week and a half after Hurricane Fiona hit, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sent a task order for imagery over the entire island to our team, and we proceeded to design and execute the imagery acquisition efforts.

Through the Ad Hoc and Disaster Support Programs, the USDA sent a task order to us for 4-band (red, green, blue, near infrared) 30cm post-hurricane imagery over Puerto Rico with “relaxed” specifications. While most PINE programs require a minimum 30-degree sun angle and no cloud cover, this task order allowed a minimum 25-degree sun angle and up to 10 percent cloud cover to expedite acquisition. Through the PINE contract, the USDA and our team were able to work together and successfully and quickly provide the aerial imagery that federal agencies such as FEMA needed to respond to hurricane Fiona’s aftermath.