Not only are satellites being called into action. Dispatched from Beale Air Force Base in California on September 1, a U-2 Dragonlady aircraft conducted a surveillance flyover of hard-hit areas due to Hurricane Katrina.
During a six-hour mission, the piloted U-2 put to use an Optical Bar Camera (OBC), hardware ideal for photographing very large areas with high resolution. The OBC, or film-based imagery equipment utilized, can collect imagery over 90,000 square nautical miles.
Film taken during the high-altitude run by the U-2 is in support of FEMA to assist in disaster relief efforts, according to a U.S. Air Force press statement.
Personnel at the 548th IGâ€™s 9th Intelligence Squadron have processed more than 3.5 miles of Optical Bar Camera, OBC, film from U-2 aircraft missions to help aid FEMA and humanitarian relief efforts.
â€œThe film covered approximately 130,000 square miles of area providing imagery of nearly all of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and parts of Florida and a few other states in the area,â€ said Lt. Col. Christopher Kubick, 9th Intelligence Squadron commander.
The squadron scanned and digitized more than 1000 images from the OBC film at USNORTHCOMâ€™s request since operations began over areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina last week, Colonel Kubick said.