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E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A High – Alone SAR Mount McKinley Denali National Park and Preserve May 21 – 26, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A High – Alone SAR Mount McKinley Denali National Park and Preserve May 21 – 26, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A High – Alone SAR Mount McKinley Denali National Park and Preserve May 21 – 26, 2009

2 Use of Photography During High Elevation SAR E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A

3 Background Denali (Mt. McKinley) – elev. 20,320 ft. Denali (Mt. McKinley) – elev. 20,320 ft. Base Camp – 7,200 ft. Base Camp – 7,200 ft. Climbing season – May to early July Climbing season – May to early July 1161 climbers, avg. 52% summit success 1161 climbers, avg. 52% summit success E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A

4 SAR Location E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A

5 Summary Subject was member of 4-person team Subject was member of 4-person team Left 14,200’ camp solo – didn’t tell companions Left 14,200’ camp solo – didn’t tell companions Last seen at 18,200’ with skis, minimal gear, by climbers descending due to high winds Last seen at 18,200’ with skis, minimal gear, by climbers descending due to high winds Had a SPOT which he used periodically prior to last sighting Had a SPOT which he used periodically prior to last sighting Known to have limited ski ability Known to have limited ski ability Previous climbing experience <14,500’ (Colorado) Previous climbing experience <14,500’ (Colorado) Search abandoned due to subject’s lack of gear, sub- zero temps, high winds, low probability of survival Search abandoned due to subject’s lack of gear, sub- zero temps, high winds, low probability of survival No clues found No clues found E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A

6 The Search Search primarily by air Search primarily by air also ground searching from 14,200’ camp with spotting scopes, interviewing other climbers, and limited ground search. also ground searching from 14,200’ camp with spotting scopes, interviewing other climbers, and limited ground search. Focused on either possibility of a fall/blown off ridge, crevasses, possible ski down wrong route, death due to exposure or High Altitude sickness. Focused on either possibility of a fall/blown off ridge, crevasses, possible ski down wrong route, death due to exposure or High Altitude sickness. Ski option greatly expanded search area Ski option greatly expanded search area E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A

7 Flightlines

8 Methods Five Aircraft Five Aircraft A-Star High Altitude Helicopter - Contract A-Star High Altitude Helicopter - Contract 2 Chinooks – U.S. Army 2 Chinooks – U.S. Army Cessna 441 Conquest (pressurized) - Contract Cessna 441 Conquest (pressurized) - Contract FBA-2C2 Found - NPS FBA-2C2 Found - NPS Garmin GPS Map 76csx (2 per aircraft) Garmin GPS Map 76csx (2 per aircraft) Variety of SLR digital cameras (2 per aircraft) Variety of SLR digital cameras (2 per aircraft) 2 photographers per aircraft, other visual observers depending on capacity 2 photographers per aircraft, other visual observers depending on capacity E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A

9 Use of Photography High resolution photography blanketed the search area High resolution photography blanketed the search area Allowed much closer examination of areas of interest than in fast-moving aircraft Allowed much closer examination of areas of interest than in fast-moving aircraft Geotagging photos allowed relocation of areas of interest on featureless snowfields Geotagging photos allowed relocation of areas of interest on featureless snowfields Helped illustrate to family members and public degree of search effort Helped illustrate to family members and public degree of search effort E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A

10 Field Methods Two Garmin GPS units collecting tracklogs Two Garmin GPS units collecting tracklogs 1 – second recording interval 1 – second recording interval Tracks logged to data card Tracks logged to data card “unlimited” number of track points “unlimited” number of track points Wrap when full Wrap when full Two DSLR cameras Two DSLR cameras Aperture priority Aperture priority ISO 500 ISO 500 f5.6 f5.6 Manual focus Manual focus E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A

11 Field Methods Camera operators continuously took photos of the search area Camera operators continuously took photos of the search area Other observers concentrated on visual search Other observers concentrated on visual search Aircraft flew grids over the search segments Aircraft flew grids over the search segments Chinooks were limited in how close they could approach the mountain due to turbulence Chinooks were limited in how close they could approach the mountain due to turbulence Chinook photos of limited value due to distance from subject Chinook photos of limited value due to distance from subject E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A

12 Back at the Ranch Upon return to Talkeetna storage cards from camera and SD cards from GPS were exchanged with GIS Specialist Upon return to Talkeetna storage cards from camera and SD cards from GPS were exchanged with GIS Specialist E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A

13 Software Used GPSUtility – Open GPX file and convert to Shapefile (www.gpsu.co.uk) $60 GPSUtility – Open GPX file and convert to Shapefile (www.gpsu.co.uk) $60 ArcMap – Mapping, viewing tracks, importing into Geodatabase ArcMap – Mapping, viewing tracks, importing into Geodatabase YourDir – lists directory structure YourDir – lists directory structure Google Picasa – Photo viewer and editor (picasa.google.com) Google Picasa – Photo viewer and editor (picasa.google.com) Adobe Photoshop/Bridge Adobe Photoshop/Bridge Geosetter – GeoTagging application (www.geosetter.de/en) Geosetter – GeoTagging application (www.geosetter.de/en) GPS-Photolink (www.geospatialexperts.com) GPS-Photolink (www.geospatialexperts.com)www.geospatialexperts.com E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A

14 Steps Download photos using Bridge and USB cable from camera to PC – or put camera photo card in card reader and copy to PC Download photos using Bridge and USB cable from camera to PC – or put camera photo card in card reader and copy to PC Temporarily store photos on local drive in folder called Originals\Aircraft\CameraModel Temporarily store photos on local drive in folder called Originals\Aircraft\CameraModel Download current tracklog GPX file from GPS datacard. (Menu Menu, Setup, Interface, USB Mass Storage. GPS will appear as a drive letter on the PC. Copy most recent GPS file). Download current tracklog GPX file from GPS datacard. (Menu Menu, Setup, Interface, USB Mass Storage. GPS will appear as a drive letter on the PC. Copy most recent GPS file). Store tracks in same folder as photos Store tracks in same folder as photos Geotag original files using Geosetter Geotag original files using Geosetter E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A

15 Steps (cont’d) Use Bridge to copy the originals to the network\Working folder – use batch rename while copy feature. Or use another file renaming program. Don’t make any changes to the Original files. Use Bridge to copy the originals to the network\Working folder – use batch rename while copy feature. Or use another file renaming program. Don’t make any changes to the Original files. Copy Originals to network/originals folder Copy Originals to network/originals folder Use GPSUtility to convert GPX file to Shapefile Use GPSUtility to convert GPX file to Shapefile Use ArcCatalog to define the coordinate system of the Shapefile (WGS84) Use ArcCatalog to define the coordinate system of the Shapefile (WGS84) Use ArcCatalog to import the Shapefile into the flightlines geodatabase Use ArcCatalog to import the Shapefile into the flightlines geodatabase E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A

16 Photo Analysis Photos of search area allowed for detailed viewing for any clues not possible from fast-moving aircraft Photos of search area allowed for detailed viewing for any clues not possible from fast-moving aircraft Basic image viewing software (Picasa) was used Basic image viewing software (Picasa) was used “I Feel Lucky” button would often boost contrast in snow fields to highlight features “I Feel Lucky” button would often boost contrast in snow fields to highlight features No clues leading to the lost subject were found however remains from a previous incident the year before were located No clues leading to the lost subject were found however remains from a previous incident the year before were located E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A

17 Observations Multiple cameras on the aircraft, especially high-end models such as Canon 5D or Nikon D3 models quickly produce many, large (11mb) images. Do as much initial file manipulating on a local drive as possible. Network connections are too slow. Multiple cameras on the aircraft, especially high-end models such as Canon 5D or Nikon D3 models quickly produce many, large (11mb) images. Do as much initial file manipulating on a local drive as possible. Network connections are too slow. Have at least two data cards for each Camera and GPS. That way you can swap cards and give the units back to the user and download the data off the cards later. Have at least two data cards for each Camera and GPS. That way you can swap cards and give the units back to the user and download the data off the cards later. E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A

18 Observations (cont’d.) GPS-Photolink is too slow for this application with large amounts of data. It also generates a proliferation of files that may not be necessary. For example one 5-day search produced approximately 17,000 images. With GPS-Photolink each image would have additional xml, tagged images, and thumbprint files. The process to generate these files can take 1-2 hours with a large set of photos which would keep people waiting too long. GPS-Photolink is too slow for this application with large amounts of data. It also generates a proliferation of files that may not be necessary. For example one 5-day search produced approximately 17,000 images. With GPS-Photolink each image would have additional xml, tagged images, and thumbprint files. The process to generate these files can take 1-2 hours with a large set of photos which would keep people waiting too long. E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A

19 Observations (cont’d) Geosetter worked well for geo-tagging the images after downloading them from the camera. The application reads RAW camera files, GPX files from the Garmins and embeds the coordinates in the image EXIF header. If watermarking is desired later on a smaller subset, GPS-Photolink will read the EXIF information and generate watermarked images. Geosetter worked well for geo-tagging the images after downloading them from the camera. The application reads RAW camera files, GPX files from the Garmins and embeds the coordinates in the image EXIF header. If watermarking is desired later on a smaller subset, GPS-Photolink will read the EXIF information and generate watermarked images. GPS-Photolink can also be used to just generate KML files for viewing in Google Earth without creating watermarked photo or shapefiles. Select only the items you want to output in the last screen in the application before clicking OK. GPS-Photolink can also be used to just generate KML files for viewing in Google Earth without creating watermarked photo or shapefiles. Select only the items you want to output in the last screen in the application before clicking OK. E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A

20 Observations (cont’d) Google Picasa is an excellent choice for rapid viewing and simple image editing. The “I Feel Lucky” tool is great for boosting contrast of snow fields. Google Picasa is an excellent choice for rapid viewing and simple image editing. The “I Feel Lucky” tool is great for boosting contrast of snow fields. Save all Garmin tracklogs to the data card if you can. Save all Garmin tracklogs to the data card if you can. Garmin 76CSx models have an internal Altimeter. The unit defaults to using this in lieu of the GPS-derived elevations. This doesn’t work well in aircraft with pressurized cabins. Garmin 76CSx models have an internal Altimeter. The unit defaults to using this in lieu of the GPS-derived elevations. This doesn’t work well in aircraft with pressurized cabins. E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A

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23 Observations (cont’d) A fast shutter speed is critical to getting good images from aircraft. Select higher ISO values to get the fastest speed possible while minimizing noise in the images. Use Aperture-Priority setting to also maintain a higher f-stop which will keep more in focus. Use manual focus only. A fast shutter speed is critical to getting good images from aircraft. Select higher ISO values to get the fastest speed possible while minimizing noise in the images. Use Aperture-Priority setting to also maintain a higher f-stop which will keep more in focus. Use manual focus only. E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A

24 Jon Paynter GIS Specialist Denali National Park and Preserve National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior


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