SARwAIS Project Empowers ACER Program with Basic AI and Radar RS

22 Sep 2023 4:50 PM

Quezon City, Ph – The Synthetic Aperture Radar and Automatic Identification System for Innovative Terrestrial Monitoring and Maritime Surveillance (SARwAIS) Project has recently completed a significant milestone in its mission to advance disaster management capabilities in the Philippines using earth observation data, especially those coming from Novasar-1 satellite.

In its final leg of the Basic Artificial Intelligence and Remote Sensing Training Series, the project targeted technical project officers of the Accelerated Earthquake Multi-hazards Mapping and Risk Assessment Program of the Philippines (ACER Program). The ACER Program is dedicated to filling critical gaps in earthquake hazard mapping, seeking to provide rapid and detailed hazard assessments for the nation.

From 11-15 September 2023, the training session served as a platform for capacitating technical experts involved in the ACER Program. It focused on imparting the knowledge and skills needed to effectively utilize SAR satellites, such as NovaSAR-1, for monitoring and assessing hazardous events using earth observation data. The training equipped participants with the tools required to interpret SAR data and translate it into actionable insights for hazard management.

This is not the first time that the SARwAIS Team has trained technical experts from DOST-PHIVOLCS as the project – together with DATOS (AI4Mapping) experts—conducted the same training last 19-22 July 2022.

The Philippines is no stranger to disasters, with its vulnerability to frequent and severe hazards, including earthquakes, floods, and typhoons. Accurate and timely hazard assessment is essential for minimizing the devastating impact of these events on lives, infrastructure, and the environment. Earth observation data, particularly from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites like NovaSAR-1, have emerged as a crucial tool in disaster monitoring and response.

The ACER Program recognizes the significance of harnessing SAR technology for hazard assessment. It aims to bridge the gap in earthquake hazard maps in the Philippines by developing innovative methodologies that enable rapid and detailed assessments using the tools and software developed by DOST-ASTI researchers. In this context, the recent training conducted by the SARwAIS Project aimed to complement and contribute to the pivotal role of DOST-PHIVOLCS experts in bolstering the nation's preparation against seismic threats and other hazards they monitor under their mandate.

The collaboration between the SARwAIS Project and the ACER Program represents a significant stride in enhancing hazard assessment capabilities in the Philippines. By equipping technical experts with the knowledge to leverage SAR satellites and fostering an Information Education Campaign, the nation is better prepared to address earthquake hazards and other disasters effectively. This holistic approach underscores the importance of technology proliferation and community engagement in building resilience and safeguarding lives and resources in a hazard-prone environment like the Philippines.



The significance of the Basic Artificial Intelligence and Radar Remote Sensing Training Series extends beyond technical expertise. Since its inception in 2020, the program has been dedicated to propagating the technology and knowledge amassed by the SARwAIS Project. This approach acknowledges that harnessing advanced technology for disaster management requires widespread adoption and understanding.

An Information Education Campaign is an integral part of this endeavor. It aims to disseminate the acquired expertise and encourage the broader community, including government agencies, local government units, and stakeholders, to embrace earth observation data and SAR technology. By raising awareness and building capacity at all levels, the IEC empowers a collective response to the nation's pressing hazard assessment needs.


The DOST-GIA program accelerated Earthquake Multi-hazards Mapping and Risk Assessment Program of the Philippines (ACER Program) aims to address these gaps in the availability of earthquake hazard maps in the Philippines by developing methodologies for rapid and detailed hazard assessment.

This will be accomplished with fast-tracked research and utilization of new high-resolution data and various emerging physical models and technologies for studies on active faults, ground shaking, liquefaction, earthquake-induced landslides, and tsunamis. Furthermore, the program also aims to calculate the impact of earthquake hazards on a generated spatial database of at-risk elements using GIS-based data analytics. When this information becomes available to stakeholders, the programs’ outputs are envisioned to assist LGUs in smarter decisions in disaster mitigation, planning, and response.