The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency released a podcast June 15, detailing its associate membership role within the U.S. Geological Survey-led Civil Applications Committee and its geospatial support for areas affected by the Kilauea volcano eruption.
The CAC is an interagency committee that facilitates the appropriate federal civil uses of overhead remote sensing technologies and data collected by the military and intelligence community for hazard response, scientific research missions and other uses.
The USGS National Civil Applications Center works under the oversight of the CAC. When the center receives an official request from a federal agency, it disseminates imagery and products detailing requested domestic areas, in accordance with its statutory mission.
Initial requests from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory began April 30 and increased following the May 3 eruption of the Kilauea volcano.
Scientists, analysts and subject matter experts at the NCAC have been creating maps and products for the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, analyzing fissure systems and lava flows of the Kilauea volcano since they received the request. This analysis helps local and federal emergency response officials allocate resources.
Additional CAC-member missions are as diverse as the statutory missions of federal civil agencies. They include geospatial analysis of the spread of the Ebola virus, Arctic sea ice monitoring, and wildland firefighter support.
“Whether it facilitates the precise collection of volcanic ash clouds affecting aviation over the Aleutian archipelago or the analysis of a massive wildfire, the CAC is a unique national committee with a fascinating history and a strong sense of purpose,” said Dan Opstal, CAC executive secretary.
Kilauea volcano videos, maps and products can be viewed on the USGS Volcano Hazards Program website.