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Special Issue "Sensors for Disaster and Emergency Management Decision Making"

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A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Remote Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2008)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Yang Gao

Department of Geomatics Engineering Schulich School of Engineering, The University of Calgary Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Interests: satellite navigation; multi-sensor system; integration of GNSS, GIS and wireless communication systems; natural hazards monitoring
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Jason K. Levy (Website)

Homeland Security, National Homeland Security Project, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University, 923 W. Franklin St., Box 842028, Richmond, VA 23284, USA
Phone: 804-921-9828
Fax: 808-689-2301
Interests: emergency management; risk assessment; natural hazards; geomatics engineering; chemical sensors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The current generation of remote sensors provide new opportunities for the real-time analysis and management of disaster risks. For example, by providing reliable, detailed, cost-effective, continuous, and synoptic coverage of natural and anthrropogenic phenomena, remote sensing satellites are capable of answering important disaster and emergency management questions, such as: How do human pressures (ie. land use and landcover change) affect disaster risk? How to reconstruct the historical record of previous extreme events? How do global weather patterns impact climate variability and change? Moreover, advances in real-time data acquisition and hardware/software integration have increasingly been used to improve the monitoring and control of emergency vehicles with fixed or moving sensors. Accordingly, this special issue encourages papers on the use of fully integrated, inexpensive sensor systems suitable for mobile emergency asset management. Finally, the issue will emphasize use of the "Sensor Web" (a distributed global web of sensors for information sharing among networked platforms) for hazard monitoring and emergency management applications (e.g. flood detection, critical infrastructure protection, etc). Research contributions dealing with web sensor architecture design and field deployment for system interoperability and scalability are particularly welcome.

Dr. Yang Gao
Dr. Jason K. Levy
Guest Editors

Keywords

  • disaster management
  • wireless sensors
  • remote sensing
  • emergency planning
  • sensor web
  • hazard mitigation
  • mobile asset emergency management
  • sensor network

Published Papers (19 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Early Forest Fire Detection Using Radio-Acoustic Sounding System
Sensors 2009, 9(3), 1485-1498; doi:10.3390/s90301485
Received: 27 January 2009 / Revised: 17 February 2009 / Accepted: 27 February 2009 / Published: 3 March 2009
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (626 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Automated early fire detection systems have recently received a significant amount of attention due to their importance in protecting the global environment. Some emergent technologies such as ground-based, satellite-based remote sensing and distributed sensor networks systems have been used to detect forest [...] Read more.
Automated early fire detection systems have recently received a significant amount of attention due to their importance in protecting the global environment. Some emergent technologies such as ground-based, satellite-based remote sensing and distributed sensor networks systems have been used to detect forest fires in the early stages. In this study, a radio-acoustic sounding system with fine space and time resolution capabilities for continuous monitoring and early detection of forest fires is proposed. Simulations show that remote thermal mapping of a particular forest region by the proposed system could be a potential solution to the problem of early detection of forest fires. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Disaster and Emergency Management Decision Making)
Open AccessArticle Geodetic Network Design and Optimization on the Active Tuzla Fault (Izmir, Turkey) for Disaster Management
Sensors 2008, 8(8), 4742-4757; doi:10.3390/s8084742
Received: 31 March 2008 / Revised: 29 July 2008 / Accepted: 30 July 2008 / Published: 19 August 2008
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (412 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Both seismological and geodynamic research emphasize that the Aegean Region, which comprises the Hellenic Arc, the Greek mainland and Western Turkey is the most seismically active region in Western Eurasia. The convergence of the Eurasian and African lithospheric plates forces a westward [...] Read more.
Both seismological and geodynamic research emphasize that the Aegean Region, which comprises the Hellenic Arc, the Greek mainland and Western Turkey is the most seismically active region in Western Eurasia. The convergence of the Eurasian and African lithospheric plates forces a westward motion on the Anatolian plate relative to the Eurasian one. Western Anatolia is a valuable laboratory for Earth Science research because of its complex geological structure. Izmir is a large city in Turkey with a population of about 2.5 million that is at great risk from big earthquakes. Unfortunately, previous geodynamics studies performed in this region are insufficient or cover large areas instead of specific faults. The Tuzla Fault, which is aligned trending NE–SW between the town of Menderes and Cape Doganbey, is an important fault in terms of seismic activity and its proximity to the city of Izmir. This study aims to perform a large scale investigation focusing on the Tuzla Fault and its vicinity for better understanding of the region's tectonics. In order to investigate the crustal deformation along the Tuzla Fault and Izmir Bay, a geodetic network has been designed and optimizations were performed. This paper suggests a schedule for a crustal deformation monitoring study which includes research on the tectonics of the region, network design and optimization strategies, theory and practice of processing. The study is also open for extension in terms of monitoring different types of fault characteristics. A one-dimensional fault model with two parameters – standard strike-slip model of dislocation theory in an elastic half-space – is formulated in order to determine which sites are suitable for the campaign based geodetic GPS measurements. Geodetic results can be used as a background data for disaster management systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Disaster and Emergency Management Decision Making)
Open AccessArticle Remote Sensing of Agro-droughts in Guangdong Province of China Using MODIS Satellite Data
Sensors 2008, 8(8), 4687-4708; doi:10.3390/s8084687
Received: 28 May 2008 / Revised: 17 July 2008 / Accepted: 17 July 2008 / Published: 8 August 2008
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (720 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A practical approach was developed in the study for drought monitoring in Guangdong province of China on the basis of vegetation supply water index (VSWI) and precipitation distance index (PDI). A comprehensive index for assessment of agro-drought severity (SADI) was then established [...] Read more.
A practical approach was developed in the study for drought monitoring in Guangdong province of China on the basis of vegetation supply water index (VSWI) and precipitation distance index (PDI). A comprehensive index for assessment of agro-drought severity (SADI) was then established from the normalized VSWI and PDI. Using MODIS satellite images and precipitation data from ground-observed meteorological stations, we applied the approach to Guangdong for drought monitoring in 2006. The monitoring results showed that the drought severity on average was very low in the province during the main growing season from May to September in 2006. However, seasonal variation of the severity was also obvious in difference counties of the province. Higher severity of drought could be seen in the periods of late-June (In China each month is traditionally divided into 3 periods. Each is with 10 days and has different names. This division system is mainly with consideration of farming seasons hence has been widely used as the basis of drought monitoring periods in China. In order to keep this tradition, we define, for example, for June, the early-June as the period from 1st to 10th of June, the mid-June as the period from 11th to 20th, and the late-June as the period from 21st to 30th. So mid-August denotes the period from 11th to 20th of August, and early-July the period from 1st to 10th of July, and so on.), early-July, mid-August and late-September. Regionally, Leizhou Peninsula in the west had the most serious drought before mid-May. Validation indicated that our monitoring results were generally consistent with the drought statistics data and the results from Chinese National Satellite Meteorological Center (CNSMC), which used only remote sensing data. This consistence confirmed the applicability of our approach for drought monitoring. Our better identification of drought severity in Leizhou Peninsula of western Guangdong than that of CNSMC might suggest that the approach developed in the study was able to provide a better alternative to increase the accuracy of drought monitoring for agricultural administration and farming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Disaster and Emergency Management Decision Making)
Open AccessArticle Integrating Physical and Topographic Information Into a Fuzzy Scheme to Map Flooded Area by SAR
Sensors 2008, 8(7), 4151-4164; doi:10.3390/s8074151
Received: 29 May 2008 / Revised: 27 June 2008 / Accepted: 6 July 2008 / Published: 10 July 2008
Cited by 34 | PDF Full-text (1675 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A flood mapping procedure based on a fuzzy sets theory has been developed. The method is based on the integration of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) measurements with additional data on the inundated area, such as a land cover map and a digital [...] Read more.
A flood mapping procedure based on a fuzzy sets theory has been developed. The method is based on the integration of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) measurements with additional data on the inundated area, such as a land cover map and a digital elevation model (DEM). The information on land cover has allowed us to account for both specular reflection, typical of open water, and double bounce backscattering, typical of forested and urban areas. DEM has been exploited to include simple hydraulic considerations on the dependence of inundation probability on surface characteristics. Contextual information has been taken into account too. The proposed algorithm has been tested on a flood occurred in Italy on November 1994. A pair of ERS-1 images, collected before and after (three days later) the flood, has been used. The results have been compared with the data provided by a ground survey carried out when the flood reached its maximum extension. Despite the temporal mismatch between the survey and the post-inundation SAR image, the comparison has yielded encouraging results, with the 87% of the pixels correctly classified as inundated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Disaster and Emergency Management Decision Making)
Open AccessCommunication Connecting Hazard Analysts and Risk Managers to Sensor Information
Sensors 2008, 8(6), 3932-3937; doi:10.3390/s8063932
Received: 23 April 2008 / Revised: 6 June 2008 / Accepted: 9 June 2008 / Published: 11 June 2008
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (174 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hazard analysts and risk managers of natural perils, such as earthquakes, landslides and floods, need to access information from sensor networks surveying their regions of interest. However, currently information about these networks is difficult to obtain and is available in varying formats, [...] Read more.
Hazard analysts and risk managers of natural perils, such as earthquakes, landslides and floods, need to access information from sensor networks surveying their regions of interest. However, currently information about these networks is difficult to obtain and is available in varying formats, thereby restricting accesses and consequently possibly leading to decision-making based on limited information. As a response to this issue, state-of-the-art interoperable catalogues are being currently developed within the framework of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) workplan. This article provides an overview of the prototype catalogue that was developed to improve access to information about the sensor networks surveying geological hazards (geohazards), such as earthquakes, landslides and volcanoes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Disaster and Emergency Management Decision Making)
Open AccessCommunication An Open Distributed Architecture for Sensor Networks for Risk Management
Sensors 2008, 8(3), 1755-1773; doi:10.3390/s8031755
Received: 10 December 2007 / Accepted: 12 March 2008 / Published: 13 March 2008
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (187 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sensors provide some of the basic input data for risk management of natural andman-made hazards. Here the word ‘sensors’ covers everything from remote sensingsatellites, providing invaluable images of large regions, through instruments installed on theEarth’s surface to instruments situated in deep boreholes [...] Read more.
Sensors provide some of the basic input data for risk management of natural andman-made hazards. Here the word ‘sensors’ covers everything from remote sensingsatellites, providing invaluable images of large regions, through instruments installed on theEarth’s surface to instruments situated in deep boreholes and on the sea floor, providinghighly-detailed point-based information from single sites. Data from such sensors is used inall stages of risk management, from hazard, vulnerability and risk assessment in the preeventphase, information to provide on-site help during the crisis phase through to data toaid in recovery following an event. Because data from sensors play such an important part inimproving understanding of the causes of risk and consequently in its mitigation,considerable investment has been made in the construction and maintenance of highlysophisticatedsensor networks. In spite of the ubiquitous need for information from sensornetworks, the use of such data is hampered in many ways. Firstly, information about thepresence and capabilities of sensor networks operating in a region is difficult to obtain dueto a lack of easily available and usable meta-information. Secondly, once sensor networkshave been identified their data it is often difficult to access due to a lack of interoperability between dissemination and acquisition systems. Thirdly, the transfer and processing ofinformation from sensors is limited, again by incompatibilities between systems. Therefore,the current situation leads to a lack of efficiency and limited use of the available data thathas an important role to play in risk mitigation. In view of this situation, the EuropeanCommission (EC) is funding a number of Integrated Projects within the Sixth FrameworkProgramme concerned with improving the accessibility of data and services for riskmanagement. Two of these projects: ‘Open Architecture and Spatial Data Infrastructure forRisk Management’ (ORCHESTRA, http://www.eu-orchestra.org/) and ‘Sensors Anywhere’(SANY, http://sany-ip.eu/) are discussed in this article. These projects have developed anopen distributed information technology architecture and have implemented web servicesfor the accessing and using data emanating, for example, from sensor networks. Thesedevelopments are based on existing data and service standards proposed by internationalorganizations. The projects seek to develop the ideals of the EC directive INSPIRE(http://inspire.jrc.it), which was launched in 2001 and whose implementation began this year(2007), into the risk management domain. Thanks to the open nature of the architecture andservices being developed within these projects, they can be implemented by any interestedparty and can be accessed by all potential users. The architecture is based around a serviceorientedapproach that makes use of Internet-based applications (web services) whose inputsand outputs conform to standards. The benefit of this philosophy is that it is expected tofavor the emergence of an operational market for risk management services in Europe, iteliminates the need to replace or radically alter the hundreds of already operational ITsystems in Europe (drastically lowering costs for users), and it allows users and stakeholdersto achieve interoperability while using the system most adequate to their needs, budgets,culture etc. (i.e. it has flexibility). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Disaster and Emergency Management Decision Making)
Open AccessArticle Integrating Remote Sensing Data with Directional Two- Dimensional Wavelet Analysis and Open Geospatial Techniques for Efficient Disaster Monitoring and Management
Sensors 2008, 8(2), 1070-1089; doi:10.3390/s8021070
Received: 19 November 2007 / Accepted: 15 February 2008 / Published: 19 February 2008
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (5964 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In Taiwan, earthquakes have long been recognized as a major cause oflandslides that are wide spread by floods brought by typhoons followed. Distinguishingbetween landslide spatial patterns in different disturbance regimes is fundamental fordisaster monitoring, management, and land-cover restoration. To circumscribe landslides,this study [...] Read more.
In Taiwan, earthquakes have long been recognized as a major cause oflandslides that are wide spread by floods brought by typhoons followed. Distinguishingbetween landslide spatial patterns in different disturbance regimes is fundamental fordisaster monitoring, management, and land-cover restoration. To circumscribe landslides,this study adopts the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), which can bedetermined by simply applying mathematical operations of near-infrared and visible-redspectral data immediately after remotely sensed data is acquired. In real-time disastermonitoring, the NDVI is more effective than using land-cover classifications generatedfrom remotely sensed data as land-cover classification tasks are extremely time consuming.Directional two-dimensional (2D) wavelet analysis has an advantage over traditionalspectrum analysis in that it determines localized variations along a specific direction whenidentifying dominant modes of change, and where those modes are located in multi-temporal remotely sensed images. Open geospatial techniques comprise a series ofsolutions developed based on Open Geospatial Consortium specifications that can beapplied to encode data for interoperability and develop an open geospatial service for sharing data. This study presents a novel approach and framework that uses directional 2Dwavelet analysis of real-time NDVI images to effectively identify landslide patterns andshare resulting patterns via open geospatial techniques. As a case study, this study analyzedNDVI images derived from SPOT HRV images before and after the ChiChi earthquake(7.3 on the Richter scale) that hit the Chenyulan basin in Taiwan, as well as images aftertwo large typhoons (Xangsane and Toraji) to delineate the spatial patterns of landslidescaused by major disturbances. Disturbed spatial patterns of landslides that followed theseevents were successfully delineated using 2D wavelet analysis, and results of patternrecognitions of landslides were distributed simultaneously to other agents using geographymarkup language. Real-time information allows successive platforms (agents) to work withlocal geospatial data for disaster management. Furthermore, the proposed is suitable fordetecting landslides in various regions on continental, regional, and local scales usingremotely sensed data in various resolutions derived from SPOT HRV, IKONOS, andQuickBird multispectral images. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Disaster and Emergency Management Decision Making)
Open AccessArticle An Integrated GIS-Expert System Framework for Live Hazard Monitoring and Detection
Sensors 2008, 8(2), 830-846; doi:10.3390/s8020830
Received: 4 January 2008 / Accepted: 1 February 2007 / Published: 8 February 2008
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (614 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the context of hazard monitoring, using sensor web technology to monitor anddetect hazardous conditions in near-real-time can result in large amounts of spatial data thatcan be used to drive analysis at an instrumented site. These data can be used for decisionmaking [...] Read more.
In the context of hazard monitoring, using sensor web technology to monitor anddetect hazardous conditions in near-real-time can result in large amounts of spatial data thatcan be used to drive analysis at an instrumented site. These data can be used for decisionmaking and problem solving, however as with any analysis problem the success ofanalyzing hazard potential is governed by many factors such as: the quality of the sensordata used as input; the meaning that can be derived from those data; the reliability of themodel used to describe the problem; the strength of the analysis methods; and the ability toeffectively communicate the end results of the analysis. For decision makers to make use ofsensor web data these issues must be dealt with to some degree. The work described in thispaper addresses all of these areas by showing how raw sensor data can be automaticallytransformed into a representation which matches a predefined model of the problem context.This model can be understood by analysis software that leverages rule-based logic andinference techniques to reason with, and draw conclusions about, spatial data. These toolsare integrated with a well known Geographic Information System (GIS) and existinggeospatial and sensor web infrastructure standards, providing expert users with the toolsneeded to thoroughly explore a problem site and investigate hazards in any domain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Disaster and Emergency Management Decision Making)
Open AccessArticle Development of an Earthquake Early Warning System Using Real-Time Strong Motion Signals
Sensors 2008, 8(1), 1-9; doi:10.3390/s8010001
Received: 20 December 2007 / Accepted: 5 January 2008 / Published: 9 January 2008
Cited by 77 | PDF Full-text (282 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As urbanization progresses worldwide, earthquakes pose serious threat to livesand properties for urban areas near major active faults on land or subduction zonesoffshore. Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) can be a useful tool for reducing earthquakehazards, if the spatial relation between cities and [...] Read more.
As urbanization progresses worldwide, earthquakes pose serious threat to livesand properties for urban areas near major active faults on land or subduction zonesoffshore. Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) can be a useful tool for reducing earthquakehazards, if the spatial relation between cities and earthquake sources is favorable for suchwarning and their citizens are properly trained to respond to earthquake warning messages.An EEW system forewarns an urban area of forthcoming strong shaking, normally with afew sec to a few tens of sec of warning time, i.e., before the arrival of the destructive Swavepart of the strong ground motion. Even a few second of advanced warning time willbe useful for pre-programmed emergency measures for various critical facilities, such asrapid-transit vehicles and high-speed trains to avoid potential derailment; it will be alsouseful for orderly shutoff of gas pipelines to minimize fire hazards, controlled shutdown ofhigh-technological manufacturing operations to reduce potential losses, and safe-guardingof computer facilities to avoid loss of vital databases. We explored a practical approach toEEW with the use of a ground-motion period parameter τc and a high-pass filtered verticaldisplacement amplitude parameter Pd from the initial 3 sec of the P waveforms. At a givensite, an earthquake magnitude could be determined from τc and the peak ground-motionvelocity (PGV) could be estimated from Pd. In this method, incoming strong motion acceleration signals are recursively converted to ground velocity and displacement. A Pwavetrigger is constantly monitored. When a trigger occurs, τc and Pd are computed. Theearthquake magnitude and the on-site ground-motion intensity could be estimated and thewarning could be issued. In an ideal situation, such warnings would be available within 10sec of the origin time of a large earthquake whose subsequent ground motion may last fortens of seconds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Disaster and Emergency Management Decision Making)
Open AccessArticle Development of a Space-charge-sensing System
Sensors 2007, 7(12), 3058-3070; doi:10.3390/s7123058
Received: 21 October 2007 / Accepted: 30 November 2007 / Published: 4 December 2007
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (917 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A system for remotely measuring the distribution of air space charge in real time is developed. The system consists of a loudspeaker and an electric field antenna. By propagating a burst of directional sound wave from the speaker, a modulation in the [...] Read more.
A system for remotely measuring the distribution of air space charge in real time is developed. The system consists of a loudspeaker and an electric field antenna. By propagating a burst of directional sound wave from the speaker, a modulation in the space charge and, therefore, an electric field change at ground is produced. The distribution of the space charge density is derived from the E-field change which can be measured by the E- field antenna. The developed system has been confirmed by both laboratory and field experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Disaster and Emergency Management Decision Making)
Open AccessArticle Animals as Mobile Biological Sensors for Forest Fire Detection
Sensors 2007, 7(12), 3084-3099; doi:10.3390/s7123084
Received: 7 November 2007 / Accepted: 3 December 2007 / Published: 4 December 2007
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (780 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper proposes a mobile biological sensor system that can assist in earlydetection of forest fires one of the most dreaded natural disasters on the earth. The main ideapresented in this paper is to utilize animals with sensors as Mobile Biological Sensors(MBS). [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a mobile biological sensor system that can assist in earlydetection of forest fires one of the most dreaded natural disasters on the earth. The main ideapresented in this paper is to utilize animals with sensors as Mobile Biological Sensors(MBS). The devices used in this system are animals which are native animals living inforests, sensors (thermo and radiation sensors with GPS features) that measure thetemperature and transmit the location of the MBS, access points for wireless communicationand a central computer system which classifies of animal actions. The system offers twodifferent methods, firstly: access points continuously receive data about animals’ locationusing GPS at certain time intervals and the gathered data is then classified and checked tosee if there is a sudden movement (panic) of the animal groups: this method is called animalbehavior classification (ABC). The second method can be defined as thermal detection(TD): the access points get the temperature values from the MBS devices and send the datato a central computer to check for instant changes in the temperatures. This system may beused for many purposes other than fire detection, namely animal tracking, poachingprevention and detecting instantaneous animal death. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Disaster and Emergency Management Decision Making)
Open AccessArticle VLF/LF Radio Sounding of Ionospheric Perturbations Associated with Earthquakes
Sensors 2007, 7(7), 1141-1158; doi:10.3390/s7071141
Received: 18 June 2007 / Accepted: 5 July 2007 / Published: 10 July 2007
Cited by 57 | PDF Full-text (515 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is recently recognized that the ionosphere is very sensitive to seismic effects,and the detection of ionospheric perturbations associated with earthquakes, seems to bevery promising for short-term earthquake prediction. We have proposed a possible use ofVLF/LF (very low frequency (3-30 kHz) /low [...] Read more.
It is recently recognized that the ionosphere is very sensitive to seismic effects,and the detection of ionospheric perturbations associated with earthquakes, seems to bevery promising for short-term earthquake prediction. We have proposed a possible use ofVLF/LF (very low frequency (3-30 kHz) /low frequency (30-300 kHz)) radio sounding ofthe seismo-ionospheric perturbations. A brief history of the use of subionospheric VLF/LFpropagation for the short-term earthquake prediction is given, followed by a significantfinding of ionospheric perturbation for the Kobe earthquake in 1995. After showingprevious VLF/LF results, we present the latest VLF/LF findings; One is the statisticalcorrelation of the ionospheric perturbation with earthquakes and the second is a case studyfor the Sumatra earthquake in December, 2004, indicating the spatical scale and dynamicsof ionospheric perturbation for this earthquake. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Disaster and Emergency Management Decision Making)
Open AccessArticle Monitoring of ULF (Ultra-Low-Frequency) Geomagnetic Variations Associated with Earthquakes
Sensors 2007, 7(7), 1108-1122; doi:10.3390/s7071108
Received: 14 June 2007 / Accepted: 26 June 2007 / Published: 4 July 2007
Cited by 57 | PDF Full-text (779 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
ULF (ultra-low-frequency) electromagnetic emission is recently recognized as one of the most promising candidates for short-term earthquake prediction. This paper reviews previous convincing evidence on the presence of ULF emissions before a few large earthquakes. Then, we present our network of ULF [...] Read more.
ULF (ultra-low-frequency) electromagnetic emission is recently recognized as one of the most promising candidates for short-term earthquake prediction. This paper reviews previous convincing evidence on the presence of ULF emissions before a few large earthquakes. Then, we present our network of ULF monitoring in the Tokyo area by describing our ULF magnetic sensors and we finally present a few, latest results on seismogenic electromagnetic emissions for recent large earthquakes with the use of sophisticated signal processings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Disaster and Emergency Management Decision Making)
Open AccessArticle Development of a Fully Automated, GPS Based Monitoring System for Disaster Prevention and Emergency Preparedness: PPMS+RT
Sensors 2007, 7(7), 1028-1046; doi:10.3390/s7071028
Received: 29 May 2007 / Accepted: 26 June 2007 / Published: 28 June 2007
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (661 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The increasing number of structural collapses, slope failures and other naturaldisasters has lead to a demand for new sensors, sensor integration techniques and dataprocessing strategies for deformation monitoring systems. In order to meet extraordinaryaccuracy requirements for displacement detection in recent deformation monitoringprojects, [...] Read more.
The increasing number of structural collapses, slope failures and other naturaldisasters has lead to a demand for new sensors, sensor integration techniques and dataprocessing strategies for deformation monitoring systems. In order to meet extraordinaryaccuracy requirements for displacement detection in recent deformation monitoringprojects, research has been devoted to integrating Global Positioning System (GPS) as amonitoring sensor. Although GPS has been used for monitoring purposes worldwide,certain environments pose challenges where conventional processing techniques cannotprovide the required accuracy with sufficient update frequency. Described is thedevelopment of a fully automated, continuous, real-time monitoring system that employsGPS sensors and pseudolite technology to meet these requirements in such environments.Ethernet and/or serial port communication techniques are used to transfer data betweenGPS receivers at target points and a central processing computer. The data can beprocessed locally or remotely based upon client needs. A test was conducted that illustrateda 10 mm displacement was remotely detected at a target point using the designed system.This information could then be used to signal an alarm if conditions are deemed to beunsafe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Disaster and Emergency Management Decision Making)

Review

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Open AccessReview On Line Disaster Response Community: People as Sensors of High Magnitude Disasters Using Internet GIS
Sensors 2008, 8(5), 3037-3055; doi:10.3390/s8053037
Received: 30 December 2007 / Accepted: 17 April 2008 / Published: 6 May 2008
Cited by 32 | PDF Full-text (125 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Indian Ocean tsunami (2004) and Hurricane Katrina (2005) reveal the coming of age of the on-line disaster response community. Due to the integration of key geospatial technologies (remote sensing - RS, geographic information systems - GIS, global positioning systems – GPS) [...] Read more.
The Indian Ocean tsunami (2004) and Hurricane Katrina (2005) reveal the coming of age of the on-line disaster response community. Due to the integration of key geospatial technologies (remote sensing - RS, geographic information systems - GIS, global positioning systems – GPS) and the Internet, on-line disaster response communities have grown. They include the traditional aspects of disaster preparedness, response, recovery, mitigation, and policy as facilitated by governmental agencies and relief response organizations. However, the contribution from the public via the Internet has changed significantly. The on-line disaster response community includes several key characteristics: the ability to donate money quickly and efficiently due to improved Internet security and reliable donation sites; a computer-savvy segment of the public that creates blogs, uploads pictures, and disseminates information – oftentimes faster than government agencies, and message boards to create interactive information exchange in seeking family members and identifying shelters. A critical and novel occurrence is the development of “people as sensors” - networks of government, NGOs, private companies, and the public - to build rapid response databases of the disaster area for various aspects of disaster relief and response using geospatial technologies. This paper examines these networks, their products, and their future potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Disaster and Emergency Management Decision Making)
Open AccessReview Systems and Sensors for Debris-flow Monitoring and Warning
Sensors 2008, 8(4), 2436-2452; doi:10.3390/s8042436
Received: 18 December 2007 / Accepted: 2 April 2008 / Published: 4 April 2008
Cited by 37 | PDF Full-text (757 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Debris flows are a type of mass movement that occurs in mountain torrents. They consist of a high concentration of solid material in water that flows as a wave with a steep front. Debris flows can be considered a phenomenon intermediate between [...] Read more.
Debris flows are a type of mass movement that occurs in mountain torrents. They consist of a high concentration of solid material in water that flows as a wave with a steep front. Debris flows can be considered a phenomenon intermediate between landslides and water floods. They are amongst the most hazardous natural processes in mountainous regions and may occur under different climatic conditions. Their destructiveness is due to different factors: their capability of transporting and depositing huge amounts of solid materials, which may also reach large sizes (boulders of several cubic meters are commonly transported by debris flows), their steep fronts, which may reach several meters of height and also their high velocities. The implementation of both structural and nonstructural control measures is often required when debris flows endanger routes, urban areas and other infrastructures. Sensor networks for debris-flow monitoring and warning play an important role amongst non-structural measures intended to reduce debris-flow risk. In particular, debris flow warning systems can be subdivided into two main classes: advance warning and event warning systems. These two classes employ different types of sensors. Advance warning systems are based on monitoring causative hydrometeorological processes (typically rainfall) and aim to issue a warning before a possible debris flow is triggered. Event warning systems are based on detecting debris flows when these processes are in progress. They have a much smaller lead time than advance warning ones but are also less prone to false alarms. Advance warning for debris flows employs sensors and techniques typical of meteorology and hydrology, including measuring rainfall by means of rain gauges and weather radar and monitoring water discharge in headwater streams. Event warning systems use different types of sensors, encompassing ultrasonic or radar gauges, ground vibration sensors, videocameras, avalanche pendulums, photocells, trip wires etc. Event warning systems for debris flows have a strong linkage with debris-flow monitoring that is carried out for research purposes: the same sensors are often used for both monitoring and warning, although warning systems have higher requirements of robustness than monitoring systems. The paper presents a description of the sensors employed for debris-flow monitoring and event warning systems, with attention given to advantages and drawbacks of different types of sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Disaster and Emergency Management Decision Making)
Open AccessReview Ground Based Ultraviolet Remote Sensing of Volcanic Gas Plumes
Sensors 2008, 8(3), 1559-1574; doi:10.3390/s8031559
Received: 19 February 2008 / Accepted: 6 March 2008 / Published: 10 March 2008
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (805 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ultraviolet spectroscopy has been implemented for over thirty years to monitorvolcanic SO2 emissions. These data have provided valuable information concerningunderground magmatic conditions, which have been of utility in eruption forecastingefforts. During the last decade the traditionally used correlation spectrometers have beenupgraded [...] Read more.
Ultraviolet spectroscopy has been implemented for over thirty years to monitorvolcanic SO2 emissions. These data have provided valuable information concerningunderground magmatic conditions, which have been of utility in eruption forecastingefforts. During the last decade the traditionally used correlation spectrometers have beenupgraded with miniature USB coupled UV spectrometers, opening a series of exciting newempirical possibilities for understanding volcanoes and their impacts upon the atmosphere.Here we review these technological developments, in addition to the scientific insightsthey have precipitated, covering the strengths and current limitations of this approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Disaster and Emergency Management Decision Making)
Open AccessReview Advances in Remote Sensing for Oil Spill Disaster Management: State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology for Oil Spill Surveillance
Sensors 2008, 8(1), 236-255; doi:10.3390/s8010236
Received: 22 December 2007 / Accepted: 10 January 2008 / Published: 21 January 2008
Cited by 68 | PDF Full-text (1015 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Reducing the risk of oil spill disasters is essential for protecting the environmentand reducing economic losses. Oil spill surveillance constitutes an important component ofoil spill disaster management. Advances in remote sensing technologies can help to identifyparties potentially responsible for pollution and to [...] Read more.
Reducing the risk of oil spill disasters is essential for protecting the environmentand reducing economic losses. Oil spill surveillance constitutes an important component ofoil spill disaster management. Advances in remote sensing technologies can help to identifyparties potentially responsible for pollution and to identify minor spills before they causewidespread damage. Due to the large number of sensors currently available for oil spillsurveillance, there is a need for a comprehensive overview and comparison of existingsensors. Specifically, this paper examines the characteristics and applications of differentsensors. A better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of oil spill surveillancesensors will improve the operational use of these sensors for oil spill response andcontingency planning. Laser fluorosensors were found to be the best available sensor for oilspill detection since they not only detect and classify oil on all surfaces but also operate ineither the day or night. For example, the Scanning Laser Environmental AirborneFluorosensor (SLEAF) sensor was identified to be a valuable tool for oil spill surveillance.However, no single sensor was able to provide all information required for oil spillcontingency planning. Hence, combinations of sensors are currently used for oil spillsurveillance. Specifically, satellite sensors are used for preliminary oil spill assessmentwhile airborne sensors are used for detailed oil spill analysis. While satellite remote sensingis not suitable for tactical oil spill planning it can provide a synoptic coverage of theaffected area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Disaster and Emergency Management Decision Making)
Open AccessReview Lightning Sensors for Observing, Tracking and Nowcasting Severe Weather
Sensors 2008, 8(1), 157-170; doi:10.3390/s8010157
Received: 7 November 2007 / Accepted: 7 January 2008 / Published: 21 January 2008
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1311 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Severe and extreme weather is a major natural hazard all over the world, oftenresulting in major natural disasters such as hail storms, tornados, wind storms, flash floods,forest fires and lightning damages. While precipitation, wind, hail, tornados, turbulence,etc. can only be observed at [...] Read more.
Severe and extreme weather is a major natural hazard all over the world, oftenresulting in major natural disasters such as hail storms, tornados, wind storms, flash floods,forest fires and lightning damages. While precipitation, wind, hail, tornados, turbulence,etc. can only be observed at close distances, lightning activity in these damaging stormscan be monitored at all spatial scales, from local (using very high frequency [VHF]sensors), to regional (using very low frequency [VLF] sensors), and even global scales(using extremely low frequency [ELF] sensors). Using sensors that detect the radio wavesemitted by each lightning discharge, it is now possible to observe and track continuouslydistant thunderstorms using ground networks of sensors. In addition to the number oflightning discharges, these sensors can also provide information on lightningcharacteristics such as the ratio between intra-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning, thepolarity of the lightning discharge, peak currents, charge removal, etc. It has been shownthat changes in some of these lightning characteristics during thunderstorms are oftenrelated to changes in the severity of the storms. In this paper different lightning observingsystems are described, and a few examples are provided showing how lightning may beused to monitor storm hazards around the globe, while also providing the possibility ofsupplying short term forecasts, called nowcasting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Disaster and Emergency Management Decision Making)

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