3-D Views of Puerto Rico’s Forests After Hurricane Maria

3-D Views of Puerto Rico's Forests After Hurricane Maria

By: Katie Hutnan

In September 2017, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico head-on as a Category 4 storm with winds topping 155 miles per hour came. The storm damaged homes, forests, and caused the longest black-out in U.S history. Hurricane Maria’s lashing rain and winds transformed Puerto Rico’s lush, tropical rain forest landscape. Research scientist Doug Morton of Goddard was part of the team of NASA researchers who had surveyed Puerto Rico’s forests six months before the storm with Goddard’s Lidar, Hyperspectral, and Thermal (G-LiHT) Airborne Image, a system designed to study the structure and species composition of Puerto Rican forests. Shooting 600,000 laser pulses per second, G-LiHT produces a 3D view of the forest structure in high-resolution.


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This is related to engineering because scientists used specialized equipment to see a hurricane.