To support humanitarian action after a disaster, we require reliable data like high-resolution satellite images for analyses aimed to define the damages of facilities and/or infrastructures. However, we cannot obtain satellite images in few days after an event. Thus, in situ surveys are preferred. Advances in unmanned aircraft system (UAS) have promoted them to become precious tools for capturing and assessing the extents and volume of damages. Safety, flexibility, low cost, and ease of operation make UAS suitable for disaster assessment. In this chapter, we developed an example of UAS for swiftly acquiring disaster information. With the selected fixed-wing UAS, we successfully performed data acquisition at specified scales. For the image analysis, we applied a photogrammetric workflow to deal with the very high resolution of the images obtained without ground control points. The results obtained from two destructive earthquakes demonstrated that the presented system plays a key role on the processes of investigating and gathering information about a disaster in the earthquake epicentral areas, like road detection, structural damage survey, secondary disaster investigation, and quick disaster assessment. It can effectively provide disaster information in hardly entered areas to salvation headquarters for rapidly developing the relief measures.
Part of the book: Earthquakes