Spill Central at University of Miami

MIAMI – As Florida Governor Charlie Crist declared a state of emergency in parts of the Panhandle today, scientists at the Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing (CSTARS) at the University of Miami continue to actively collaborate with several international satellite data providers to acquire critical environmental imagery for the Gulf of Mexico. The Deepwater Horizon oil platform caught fire after an explosion on April 20 at approximately 22:00 EDT, resulting in a the release of thousands of gallons of diesel fuel and oil into the Gulf. On April 22, the oil platform sank and oil has continued to leak into the environment.

Scientists at CSTARS immediately began processing and analyzing valuable images to identify the extent of the spill and to support recovery efforts. Images collected at the state-of-the-art facility located in South Dade County, Florida are being displayed and updated daily at www.cstars.rsmas.miami.edu.

“Like in the recent Haiti disaster, we are collecting sophisticated satellite images from several global providers that we can provide to government entities that are directly involved in disaster relief efforts,” said Dr. Hans Graber, executive director of CSTARS, and chair and professor of Applied Marine Physics at the University of Miami. “We are fortunate to have a strong infrastructure whereby we can help organizations like NOAA, FEMA, the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the U.S. Southern Command and others who are involved in these massive emergency response efforts.”

About CSTARS

Launched in 2003, CSTARS is a program of the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Employing low earth-orbiting satellite systems, CSTARS scientists conduct research using remotely-sensed data. They provide directly downlinked, high-resolution data for environmental monitoring of the Gulf of Mexico, Southeastern United States, northern South America, Central America and the Caribbean Basin. CSTARS also furnishes a reliable communications channel for researchers stationed at the Antarctic Southpole Research Station, connecting them via VoIP (Voice over the Internet Protocol), and providing electronic medical file transfers, when required. For more information, please visit http://cstars.rsmas.miami.edu/

About the University of Miami

The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives.


The material in this press release comes from the originating research organization. Content may be edited for style and length. Have a question? Let us know.

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