UAS used to map damage done to Holiday Beach, Texas by Hurricane Harvey

 

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi—commonly known as the Island University—used UAS to map Holiday Beach, Texas.

The map, also known as an “ultra-high resolution ortho-mosaic image,” was created using the data collected by the UAS, and it is available on the school's website. 

“Disaster sites are not easily accessible due to debris and other obstacles, so we’re hoping that collecting ultra-high-resolution aerial maps from UAS can significantly help,” says Dr. Jinha Jung of the Island University's Department of Engineering and Computing Sciences.

According to Jung, who came up with the idea to map Holiday Beach, these maps can help immensely when it comes to natural disasters.

They can help determine which areas need immediate support, they can “estimate required amounts of resource and recovery time for early planning,” and they can provide first-responders with an idea of what the disaster site is like before arriving, so that they can be safe upon arrival.

Jung also hopes that UAS can be used to help people who had to evacuate from their homes.

He spoke about the technology being used to create a 3D model of a house that was seriously damaged by the hurricane. After uploading the model, homeowners can view the damage done to their homes relatively soon after the damage has been inflicted.

“We will keep exploring potential uses of UAS technology for disaster response applications,” Jung says.

“UAS is a perfect platform to provide ultra-high-resolution geospatial data with short preparation time. It’s a perfect tool for disaster response application.”

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