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The L-band radar aboard the AFRC G-III aircraft flew over the Woolsey and Hill fires in Southern California on 15 November as part of the NASA response to the fires.  The flight was at night to stay out of the way of firefighting aircraft in the area.  We also carried a FLIR thermal camera (7.5-13.5 um) supplied by the Mobility and Robotic Systems Section of JPL.   Andrea Donnellan (JPL) has been developing a camera mount system to co-collect optical imagery with SAR data.  We plan to use the thermal camera imagery to attempt to match the active fire front with the SAR imagery.  We flew two existing flight lines that are part of a much larger study understanding regional tectonics (i.e. San Andreas fault) and landslides.  Data from this flight will also serve as a baseline post-fire land surface for studying the landslide and debris flow risks of areas where vegetation was removed by the wildfire.

A JPL press release of the NASA fire response effort can be found here:



The Next Generation AVIRIS (AVIRIS-NG) has been conducting an airborne survey of methane sources in California.  Last week there was a coordinated flight with the Scientific Aviation Mooney aircraft (Tail Number N2123X) over sites in SF Bay Area.   The Mooney aircraft has in situ methane gas analyzers and performed low level spirals above methane sources, while the King Air flew at 10,000 ft with the AVIRIS-NG to remotely sense the sources areas.


OMG was featured on HBO’s Vice News Tonight on 3 October, 2018.  A press release was created in advance of the news segment by JPL Public Affairs Office with a video segment, and that is located at:


ASO completed flights in Klamath National Forest and Shasta Trinity National Forest last week for a partnership effort with the US Forest Service.


The next generation AVIRIS (AVIRIS-ng) has been flying the CA Methane Airborne Survey on the Dynamic Aviation King Air.  Flights have been conducted in the Southern CA, San Joaquin Valley and the Bay Area.  There have been coordinated flights with the CIRPAS Twin Otter which is flying a Navy Wind Lidar. 

The Classic AVIRIS (AVIRIS-C) has completed the 2018 flights season on the NASA ER2.


In all we conducted 5 flights over the Carolinas to map flood extent and inundation change along Neuse, Cape Fear, Lumber, and CatawbaRivers in North Carolina and Pee Dee, Waccamaw, Congaree, and Santee Rivers in South Carolina.

While we were on deployment, we received a request from USFS to image Croatan National Forest near Wilmington, NC to determine flood extent as well as downed trees from reported tornado sightings.  We were able to add a flight line in our last two flights to map the forest.  Polarimetric images of the forest showed extensive flooding, as suspected, and we are working to assist USFS to interpret the images.

Sunday, 23 September’s flight marked UAVSAR’s 1000th flight aboard the AFRC C-20A aircraft since December 2007, a milestone accomplished by the close collaboration of the aircraft team at AFRC and the instrument team at JPL.


AVIRIS Next Generation (AVIRIS-NG) began flying a CA Airborne Methane Survey on the Dynamic Aviation King Air.    A PG&E controlled methane release was flown with AVIRIS-NG near Barstow, CA and there was a coordinated flight with CIRPAS Twin Otter that was flying an Airborne Wind Lidar. 

AVIRIS-C has completed the ER-2 missions for 2018.


OMG‘s Airborne eXpendable Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth (AXCTD):  OMG completed the last two flights on 10 & 11 September and flew a total of 15 additional science flight hours. This brings the total number of probes deployed to 239, successfully completing the survey for this year.

OMG science and surveys were featured in a major news article published by Reuters on 19 September:


The Ka-band radar aboard the JSC G-III successfully completed a short deployment to Hawaii where we conducted two local science flights to image the Kilauea volcano lava field.  In the mean time, the L-band radar aboard the AFRC C-20A was tasked by FEMA to deploy to the east coast in response to the extensive flooding caused by Hurricane Florence. The aircraft imaged Catawba River (North Carolina) and Pee Dee River (South Carolina) en route to Gainesville, FL on Monday, 17 September.   The attached quicklook polarimetric color composite image of Pee Dee River shows extensive inundation along the river (various shades of pink pixels covering the broad area along the river, 8 to 10 km wide).

UAVSAR HH/HV/VV (RGB) color composite image displayed in Google Earth.
Image swath is ~ 20 km cross track flown in 150 degrees heading looking left.  This
image of Pee Dee River was acquired on 17 September.  Extensive inundation
(various shades of pink pixels) along the present day river and old river
bed across a broad area of 8 to 10 km.


ASO completed surveys of the Lake Tahoe basin last week in partnership with the US Forest Service. 

Tom Painter, ASO Principal Investigator, was awarded the NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal for the development of the NASA Airborne Snow Observatory, a pioneering platform with unprecedented high resolution measurements of snowpack height and snow water equivalent.