Natural Hazards Reconnaissance With the NHERI RAPID Facility


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 September 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.



natural hazards, reconnaissance, field data collection, research instrumentation, lidar