SAR, emergency position-indicating radio beacon, NEN, SN, NSN, ACCESS 

ESC Assists in Hurricane Harvey & Hurricane Irma Response and Rescue Efforts

September 11, 2017

This blog post was written prior to a reorganization of ESC’s projects and networks in support of the agency’s commercialization effort. Though accurate at the time of publication, it is no longer being updated and may contain broken links or outdated information. For more information about the reorganization, click here.

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, NASA is working with national, state and local agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Guard, as well as other partners, to support ongoing storm and flooding responses.

ESC’s space communications networks, the Near Earth Network and the Space Network, provide telemetry, tracking and command services to some of the many domestic and international satellites that the agency is using to better understand the rainfall accumulations of Harvey and Irma and their aftermath. Products created from this satellite data will help to inform mapping of the disaster and response efforts.

Technology developed by our Search and Rescue office has helped first responders locate and rescue several people in distress due to the storm. On Aug. 26, four fisherman were rescued near Brownsville, Texas, when their ship sank due to Hurricane Harvey’s effects. The fishermen had activated their emergency position-indicating radiobeacon (EPIRB), which aided in their rescue. EPIRBS were developed in part by NASA’s Search and Rescue office.

ESC’s Dr. Lisa Mazzuca, Search and Rescue mission manager, is currently working to update emergency locator beacon technology. She has been selecting as a finalist for the prestigious Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal and People’s Choice Award for her efforts. Voting for the award is open here:

To read about more Search and Rescue saves, visit: