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MCEER Publishes CD-ROM on Using Advanced Technologies for Loss Estimation

Assessment of Advanced Technologies for Loss Estimation, by David Tralli (MCEER-00-SP02), describes the current state of advanced airborne and spaceborne remote sensing and ground-based technologies applicable to earthquake hazard mitigation.

Aerial photo of building damage in Golcuk, 
Turkey following the 1999 earthquake

The advanced technologies discussed in this report include sensors; instruments and their platforms such as aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and satellites; data; data storage and delivery systems; image processing; visualization; display capabilities; and telecommunications.

The benefits of using these new technologies in loss estimation include the development of:

Image of Northridge slip distribution
in perspective 3-D view

The report reviews three advanced technologies in detail: seismological systems, the Global Positioning System (GPS) and remote sensing.


Real-Time Seismological Monitoring Systems

Real-time seismological monitoring systems can be used to calculate the likelihood of subsequent, probabilistically related events. Seismological networks that are used for early warning and rapid response rely on the ability to perform real-time waveform inversions in order to provide earthquake parameters during the actual rupture process. These networks also contribute to the reduction of recovery times after a major earthquake, and help to allow a more rapid determination of the resources that will be needed for post-disaster rebuilding and recovery.


Ground-Based Technologies

Ground-based technologies such as continuous Global Positioning System (GPS) and ground deformation monitoring networks provide critical measurements for understanding the earthquake process and its impact on the built environment. Continued deployment of GPS monitoring networks will lead to:

Measurement of coseismic 
displacements caused by the 
Landers earthquake using 
differential interferometry.


Remote Sensing Systems

The emergence of airborne and spaceborne remote sensing systems, from optical to microwave spectral bands, has created arguably the most significant opportunity for improving loss estimation methodologies. When fully operational for natural hazards risk management applications sometime in the next decade, these systems and attendant data visualization technologies will provide enhanced measurement accuracy, near-real-time capability, greater geographic coverage and hold the promise of reduced operational cost. The continued demonstration, validation and adoption of remote sensing in disaster management and other applications, plus greater competition among data and service providers, and increasingly better defined civil and private user requirements for data and information products will lead to stable data rights, licensing and pricing options. This will engender the growth of the industry in a manner that can support routine operational capacity in disaster management and response and other equally time-sensitive applications.

The assessment of these advanced technologies for loss estimation, as reported in this document, led to a set of  ten recommendations for future work. They include the continuation of applied research to validate and demonstrate the capability to image man-made structures and lifelines with remote sensing, development of a multidisciplinary approach to the theoretical and practical integration of remote sensing data products with measurements provided by dense seismographic and GPS networks, and a comprehensive research program to apply remote sensing technology to real-time damage assessment.

This 80-plus page report, produced on CD-ROM, contains many links to Internet sites, numerous references to additional resources on the topic, two examples of the resolution provided by LiDAR (fly-through files of a 1-m digital elevation model (DEM) collected over Baltimore, Maryland, using the Optech ALTM airborne laser terrain mapping system flown by Airborne-1 Corp). The report is in PDF format, and requires Adobe® Acrobat®T Reader 4.05 to view.

The CD-ROM  is available from MCEER Publications for $25.00.

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