First Responders Gain Valuable Insights from Applanix Technology for Rescue and Damage Assessment - Inside GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite Systems Engineering, Policy, and Design

First Responders Gain Valuable Insights from Applanix Technology for Rescue and Damage Assessment

Georeferenced aerial images and mapping captured by NOAA with sixth-generation Digital Sensor System

Applanix, a Trimble Company (NASDAQ: TRMB), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently collaborated to provide critical information to first responders in the wake of Hurricanes Henri and Ida. Applanix’s high-accuracy direct georeferencing (DG) technology enabled NOAA to quickly collect aerial mapping imagery to (1) provide valuable disaster remediation information to first responders and (2) demonstrate the value of cutting edge mapping technology in preparing for and responding to emergency situations such as hurricanes, tornadoes and other disasters.

Within hours of Hurricanes Henri and Ida making landfall, NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey collected post-storm imagery using the latest generation Digital Sensor System (DSS). The sixth-generation DSS, designed and manufactured for Applanix by Lead’Air, is the most powerful to date, thanks to several new features introduced within the solution:

  • Simultaneous full color and near-infrared image capture using high-performance Phase One iXM 100 MP NIR and 150 MP RGB cameras,
  • Option to fly the cameras in wide coverage oblique or traditional overhead (straight line down) mode for mapping with uninterrupted measurement,
  • Embedded Trimble AP60 global navigation satellite system-inertial (GNSS-inertial) OEM DG solution for mapping without the need for ground control or aerial triangulation,
  • Applanix POSPac™ post-processing software featuring the Trimble post-processed CenterPoint® RTX™ correction service (PP-RTX) for centimeter-level mapping without GNSS reference stations,
  • In-air development of raw imagery to JPEG-ready files for creating map products immediately upon landing, and
  • Lead’Air’s innovative X-Track flight management, which enables the system to be flown outside of planned flight lines to follow roads, rivers and coastlines.

Applanix’s DG technology suite provides direct GNSS inertial georeferencing, meaning that all pixels in the aerial images taken by NOAA are mapped at their exact location on the ground.

“We have worked with Applanix for nearly 20 years,” said Michael L. Aslaksen Jr., chief, remote sensing division, NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey. “The level of sophistication they bring to aerial imagery and mapping keeps our team at the forefront of the industry. Their customer support team is always open to new ideas, new innovations and doing whatever it takes to get the job done.”

First responders have access to this imagery and mapping within 24 hours via the cloud (as does anyone at and can map detailed response plans based on highly accurate data highlighting where the greatest need lies. Access to this turnkey emergency response imagery is available to any federal agency, municipality, insurance companies and other entities who depend on highly accurate information to plan for and recover from disasters.