May 25, 2023
StormGeo, a leading provider of weather intelligence and decision-support solutions, has partnered with the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) and Florida State University to study a satellite- and AI-based framework designed to aid infrastructure operators and communities in their response to natural disasters. The study is led by the HVL and is a part of the United Nations Focus Group on A.I. for Natural Disaster Management (FG-AI4NDM) activities.
The study called the Situational Awareness System for Disaster Response Using Space-based AI (SARA) merges high-resolution satellite images with meteorological data to offer situational awareness of infrastructure vulnerabilities and extreme weather threats. SARA combines these satellite images and weather data with information on infrastructure networks and demographic data and analyzes them with the help of deep learning algorithms to develop vulnerability maps and assess damages.
“SARA represents a significant step forward in advancing space-based A.I. solutions for disaster response and resilience,” said Professor Reza Arghandeh, Leader Data Science Group at HVL and Senior Data Scientist at StormGeo. “By offering accurate situational awareness and early warning systems, SARA can help infrastructure operators and communities become better prepared to manage the impacts of extreme weather events.”
In the SARA research initiative led by the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, the partners are reviewing state-of-the-art and available satellite imagery and data, aiming to develop A.I. algorithms for satellite-based early warning systems. Currently, their research has focused on hurricane impacts in Tallahassee, Florida. However, the study can have far-reaching effects, potentially extending to cover other natural disasters. Some of the outcomes of this study have been published in multiple scientific journals [e.g., this paper] and academic and industrial conferences, such as the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2023 [Conf].
StormGeo contributes the necessary domain knowledge regarding weather intelligence, extreme weather events, and climate change impact in the project. The project team aims to disseminate their learnings to the industry and relies on close relationships with global industry experts.
“Our vision is to develop new insights that can help our clients and communities prepare for a changing climate and meet societal and environmental challenges by minimizing the fatality and cost of natural disasters,” said Arghandeh. “To accomplish this, we must work closely with governmental bodies and industry experts, helping them to understand and apply A.I. to analyze high-volume satellite data for various geographical areas automatically.”
Infrastructure operators, industry players, and other stakeholders benefitting from space-based A.I., such as electric utilities, roadway, and railway operators, are welcome to contact the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.
The Focus Group on A.I. for Natural Disaster Management (FG-AI4NDM) is led by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP). This group capitalizes on the growing interest and novelty of A.I. in the field of natural disaster management to help lay the groundwork for best practices in the use of A.I.
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