Engineering and Organizational Issues Related to the World Trade Center Terrorist Attack: Emergency Response in the Wake of the World Trade Center Attack: The Remote Sensing Perspective
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The third in the series on Engineering and Organizational Issues Related to the World Trade Center Terrorist Attack, this report documents and evaluates the use of remote sensing in emergency response following the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster. Based on interviews with key emergency management and Geographic Information System (GIS) personnel, the report identifies approaches that worked, problems that were encountered, and how such data might be used in future events. The report provides a description of the sequence of key events, including a timeline showing the source and type of remote sensing data acquired for Ground Zero; a catalog of primary remote sensing data used to support emergency operations; and lessons learned with respect to data acquisition, processing, and logistical aspects of integrating remote sensing and GIS into emergency operations. Emphasis is placed on airborne and satellite data with a resolution greater than 20 meters. Technologies described include aerial photography; multispectral satellite imagery; light detection and ranging (LIDAR) altimetry; thermal imagery; hyperspectral data; synthetic aperture radar (SAR); and geospatial cross-referencing and GIS. New methods of data visualization and recommendations for future applications of remote sensing in disaster management are also presented.