The Jet Propulsion Lab folks are always coming up with interesting stuff. Here’s an image from their UAVSAR a government acronym for Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar showing the false-color composite image of the city of Port-au-Prince (yellow arrow) and the long fault line (black arrow) responsible for the quake.
The image is a composite of three different types of radar polarization which, when combined with a later image, can be used to measure the Earth’s surface movement between the two images and allow scientists to more accurately measure pressures at fault depth. More on the Haiti mission here.
NASA’s Gulfstream III and the UAVSAR. Photo: JPL/NASA
Interestingly, the radar platform is not currently uninhabited, as “uninhabited” is the first word in the UAVSAR name. For now it is hanging off the bottom of a modified Gulfstream III jet aircraft. Eventually however, it will be platformed by a remotely-piloted aerial vehicle, such as the Global Hawk.
Unmanned USAF Global Hawk.
Writer: Dave Gorham