SXSW 2024

NASA Satellites for Safer Transportation


Did you know NASA satellites are involved in improving transportation planning for humans AND animals? Volcanic ash, desert dust and natural disasters can make travel more dangerous and less efficient—a critical combination when emergency response teams are trying to figure out which roads are blocked by trees or floods so they can quickly get help to those who need it. And NASA data also helps rice farmers provide highways for migrating birds, and informs the protection of habitat to create wildlife corridors so endangered species have enough space move, hunt, and care for their young.

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  1. From volcanic ash in airways and dust storms on highways, custom NASA tools are helping make sure humans and animals alike can travel safely.
  2. When disaster strikes, NASA data helps first responders reach victims faster and save taxpayers time and money.
  3. As human activity disrupts animal habitats, conservationists use satellite data to protect critical migration pathways for endangered species.



Dietrich Schmidt, Lead Technical Architect, NASA Applied Sciences

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Transportation
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate

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