Floods caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, USA, seen by TerraSAR-X satellite

In the midst of Hurricane Harvey, Airbus Defence and Space has acquired TerraSAR-X imagery over Texas to support the International Charter and Copernicus Emergency Management Service. The data acquired will assist in assessing the damage and help rescue organisations in the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The TerraSAR-X WideScanSar scene (covering an area of appr. 67,000km²) shows the coastal area between Houston and Corpus Christi. The scene is overlayed with a flood map showing the extent of water bodies before Hurricane Harvey hit the coast of Texas. The second flood map extracted based on a TerraSAR-X image acquired on August 28th at 07:25 am local time shows the devastation caused by the hurricane.

The second image provided is a subset of this scene focusing on the area between Houston in the North and Matagorda Bay in the South.

TerraSAR-X dependably acquires high-resolution and wide-area radar imagery, independent of weather conditions. Natural disasters, including hurricanes and major floods produce heavy rainfall with cloud cover that most often, optical satellites cannot support during, or soon after, an event. TerraSAR-X can provide precise and reliable information to support rescue services while an event is striking.

In the coming days, more imagery will be provided by Airbus Defence and Space to support the International Charter.


Full scene before flooding

Full scene after flooding
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Subset before flooding

Subset after flooding
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Floods caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, USA, seen by TerraSAR-X satellite