PASADENA, Calif., Jan. 27 (UPI) — NASA says it has added several science overflights of earthquake faults in Haiti and the Dominican Republic to a previously scheduled airborne radar project.
The space agency’s Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar, or UAVSAR, left NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in California Monday aboard a modified NASA Gulfstream III aircraft.
The three-week overflight of the island of Hispaniola will involve the use of the L-band wavelength radar developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to study the structure of tropical forests; monitor volcanic deformation and examine Mayan archeological sites.
After the Jan. 12 Haitian earthquake occurred, NASA managers said they added additional science objectives that will allow UAVSAR’s unique observational capabilities to study geologic processes.
“UAVSAR will allow us to image deformations of Earth’s surface and other changes associated with post-Haiti earthquake geologic processes such as aftershocks … and the potential for landslides,” said JPL’s Paul Lundgren, the principal investigator for the Hispaniola overflights.
NASA said flight plans call for multiple observations through early to mid-February.