NovaSol System Utilized In Hurricane Relief Efforts


A remote sensing device originally developed as a tool to aid in aerial search and rescue missions is being used to analyze damages from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

A Hawaii high-tech company, NovaSol, helped build the Airborne, Real-Time Cueing Hyperspectral Enhanced Reconnaissance (ARCHER) for the Civil Air Patrol (CAP).

As part of their Katrina and Rita relief effort, The Civil Air Patrol flew five ARCHER missions over Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. NovaSol learned from CAP that the ARCHER system worked well, and the data collected is being analyzed by the Army Corps of Engineers.

NovaSol officials said the spectral signature of the contaminant can be detected by ARCHER, and this gives the Corps the ability to identify potentially harmful contaminants.

NovaSol’s contract is to deliver 17 ARCHER systems to the Civil Air Patrol. They are deployed across the United States.

During a technology demonstration in March, the Civil Air Patrol rolled out ARCHER by showing how it applies sophisticated detection algorithms, developed to spectral image data in real time. This allows it to locate objects such as aircraft wreckage in a search and rescue mission.

“We have fielded this technology to give us a better set of eyeballs in order to help us perform our missions faster, more effectively ,” said Col. Drew Alexa, Director of CAP’s Advanced Technology Group and ARCHER Program Manager.

During the March demonstration, U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye also pointed to the importance of the dual use, and said he was impressed with the ARCHER system.

“This joint effort by NovaSol and the Civil Air Patrol is an excellent example of successful partnerships between the public and private sector and is a direct result of the strong technology base in Hawaii,” Inouye said.

NovaSol is a high technology research and development company based in Hawaii with a branch office in San Diego, California. It specializes in electro-optical systems for reconnaissance, optical communications, and bio-chemical detection systems for military, homeland security, and commercial applications. In 2004, NovaSol was identified as one of the nation’s fastest-growing companies by Inc. Magazine. That marked the first time in fifteen years a Hawaii-based firm joined the elite list of 500 companies. NovaSol was established in 1998.

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