Natural Hazards Reconnaissance With the NHERI RAPID Facility

Jeffrey W. Berman, Joseph Wartman, Michael Olsen, Jennifer L. Irish, Scott B. Miles, Troy Tanner, Kurtis Gurley, Laura Lowes, Ann Bostrom, Jacob Dafni, Michael Grilliot, Andrew Lyda (+1 others)
2020 Frontiers in Built Environment  
In 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded a multi-institution interdisciplinary team to develop and operate the Natural Hazards Reconnaissance Facility (known as the "RAPID") as part of the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) program. During the following 2 years, the RAPID facility developed its instrumentation portfolio and operational plan with input from the natural hazards community, the facility's leadership team, and an external steering committee. In
more » ... eptember 2018, the RAPID began field operations, which continue today and include instrumentation, software, training, and support services to conduct reconnaissance research before, during, and after natural hazard and disaster events. Over the past 2 years, the RAPID has supported the data collection efforts for over 60 projects worldwide. Projects have spanned a wide range of disciplines and hazards and have also included data collection at large-scale experimental facilities in the United States and abroad. These projects have produced an unprecedented amount of high-quality field data archived on the DesignSafe cyberinfrastructure platform. This paper describes the RAPID facility's development, instrumentation portfolio (including the mobile application RApp), services and capabilities, and training activities. Additionally, overviews of three recent RAPID-supported projects are presented, including descriptions of field data collection workflows, details of the resulting data sets, and the impact of these project deployments on the natural hazard fields. Frontiers in Built Environment | November 2020 | Volume 6 | Article 573067 Berman et al. Natural Hazards Reconnaissance: NHERI RAPID response to natural hazards, evaluate design methodologies' effectiveness, calibrate simulation models, and develop solutions for resilient communities. The RAPID's primary mission serves the interdisciplinary natural hazards and disaster research communities, but its resources and services are also available to other government agencies and industry. Researchers and practitioners have used the RAPID's resources effectively across various engineering, geosciences, and social science disciplines. Consistent with NSF's focus, the RAPID primarily serves reconnaissance needs for earthquake, windstorm, landslide, and tsunami hazards. However, its equipment and services are available for a broad range of applications. The RAPID facility provides investigators with the hardware, software, and support services needed to collect, process, and assess perishable interdisciplinary data following natural hazards and disaster events. Support for the natural hazards and disaster research community is provided through training and educational activities, field deployment services, and promoting public engagement with science and engineering. Specifically, the RAPID facility engages in the following strategic activities: (1) acquisition, maintenance, and operation of state-of-the-art data collection equipment; (2) development and support of mobile applications to enable interdisciplinary field reconnaissance; (3) providing advisory services and basic logistics support for research missions; (4) facilitation of the systematic archiving, processing, and visualization of acquired data in DesignSafe (Rathje et al., 2017); (5) training a broad user base through workshops and other activities; and (6) public engagement, community outreach, and education. The facility emphasizes three-dimensional, image-based, advanced survey data [for example, lidar and high-resolution photos from unmanned aerial systems (UASs)] to serve a range of disciplines. In addition, it has equipment for more discipline-specific data collection, including, for example, seismometers, accelerometers, ground investigation equipment, a hydrographic survey vessel, water level gauges, and flow velocity meters, among many other instruments. The RAPID has also developed, and continues to advance, a reconnaissance mobile software application called RApp (the "RAPID application"). The software RApp integrates the collection of field data such as questionnaires, photos, video, and audio, and metadata associated with RAPID instrumentation data collection, while also serving as an in-field resource for team organization and RAPID equipment user manuals (Miles and Tanner, 2018). Integration through common metadata enables linked analyses to support interdisciplinary investigations and simulations. Data collected with RApp are automatically archived on the NHERI cyberinfrastructure, DesignSafe (Rathje et al., 2017) . RAPID began supporting field deployments in September 2018 and, since then, has deployed equipment and/or staff on more than 60 missions worldwide in support of facility users. An unprecedented amount of high-resolution and high-accuracy data has been collected on the impacts of Hurricanes Florence and Michael in
doi:10.3389/fbuil.2020.573067 fatcat:27dguetidjaf3dwiwcl2e4mati