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UAVSAR – Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar

Thursday, September 23, 2021

The L-band radar aboard the Armstrong C-20A jet successfully completed the Delta-X fall campaign on 7 September.  In all we conducted 7 flights, imaging Atchafalaya Basin, East and West Terrebonne Basin in high tide and receding tide.  We were co-flying with AirSWOT aboard the Dynamic Aviation B-200 based at Port Arthur, TX.  Data have already been returned to JPL and processing is well underway.

During the Delta-X deployment, we managed to acquire post-Hurricane Ida data over the City of New Orleans on 31 August and the severely affected area just east and south of Terrebonne Basin on several flights.  It was a great opportunity to leverage Delta-X campaign to support disaster response and management.  As it turns out the most useful data we were able to provide for this event were the oil slick images just south of Port Fourchon, where many oil rigs were damaged by the hurricane.   An example of UAVSAR’s oil slick detection is showcased in a JPL Press Release:

In addition, we worked with NOAA Satellite and Information Service (NESDIS) to develop a protocol for generating Marine Pollution Surveillance Report (MPSR) for future oil spill response events.