ImageCat led consortium of researchers win a 4-year NASA ROSES Program award to develop critical infrastructure exposure

17 Apr 2019

NASA Applied Sciences Program

ImageCat led consortium of researchers win a 4-year NASA ROSES Program award to develop critical infrastructure exposure for disaster risk forecasting, mitigation and response.

ImageCat and research partners Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University and Humanitarian Open Street Map Team (HOT) are proud to announce funding from the NASA Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES-2018), Program, “Earth Science Applications – Disaster Risk Reduction and Response,” to investigate novel methods of extracting critical infrastructure data from EO data. “Open Critical Infrastructure Exposure for Disaster Forecasting, Mitigation and Response” is a 4-year project that will build on the previous 2011 NASA ROSES program grant “Developing Global Building Exposure for Disaster Forecasting, Mitigation, and Response,” for which ImageCat and CIESIN established methods of developing building exposure databases for modeling damage from natural disasters. Addressing the often overlooked, but substantial risk to cities when their interconnected “lifeline” networks are damaged or severed from a natural disaster, we will expand the ability to model the catastrophic impacts of infrastructure disruption by providing a foundation for CI exposure development with EO. The resulting data will be suitable for the types of risk studies prioritized by the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction that are currently being implemented by NGOs in developing countries.  It will support various decision-making activities, such as better understanding and pricing of the risk transfer mechanism for insurers in new and existing markets, better risk mitigation, communication, and reduction strategies for government agencies and NGOs, and enhance capabilities of government and NGOs to perform post-disaster needs assessments.

The team will be developing an open critical Infrastructure exposure database for the Indian subcontinent and will apply the methods to other developing countries globally. In India, multiple country partners have been identified and approached in the State of Gujarat for participation in a pilot study for applying the data to the detection and prevention of cascading effects. The City of Vadodara has expressed interest to work with the project team as a pilot area to implement EO based output of critical infrastructure datasets.

The principal investigator for this project will be Charles K. Huyck (ImageCat). He will be supported by co-investigators Ronald Eguchi (ImageCat), a subject matter expert on critical infrastructure and Shubharoop Ghosh (ImageCat), an expert in end-user engagement and sustainability planning. CIESIN will be contributing to the project by providing transportation databases, help in the extraction of electrical and utility pipeline features, and nominate the resulting databases to be included in NASA’s SEDAC data center. HOT will coordinate collection of EO-based CI data through OSM platform. R.K. Dave, PhD. an international consultant in emergency and risk management will support the project by working with the City of Vadodara, various state and the Indian central government stakeholders. Prof. B. S. Manoj of the Indian Institute of Space, Science and Technology (IIST), will also take a leading role as an in-country partner to help build capacity by working with students and faculty to advance the use of EO CI exposure data for the detection and prevention of cascading effects.


For information, contact project PI: Charles Huyck at or 562.628.1675 x 224