Center for Medical Disaster Management (CMDM)


The CMDM has the goal of focusing on the use of Earth observations to improve prediction of, preparation for, response to, and recovery from medical and natural disasters.

With regard to medical disasters, recognizing that traditional space (satellite) technology for medical applications is almost entirely dedicated to telemedicine and communication, requiring elaborate ground facilities (e.g. on-site X-ray machines and sophisticated upload and downlink electronics that are generally not available within “disaster zones”), it is critical to examine the possible roles of alternative mechanisms for medical response and recovery. Small satellites, including “drones” or “space doves” may offer effective, dedicated medical monitoring, for example. While this may require further development in medical sensors, data management, and appropriate software, they have clear benefits and advantages over traditional Earth observation and environmental tracking and monitoring for medical disasters.

Other projects will seek to enhance management practices and disaster reduction across natural disaster types — land-based floods, drought, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes, sink-holes, landslides, avalanches, and severe weather, and ocean-based typhoons and tsunamis. Research on natural hazards will support emergency preparedness leaders in developing mitigation approaches (such as early warning systems) and in providing information and maps to disaster response and recovery teams. For example, skilled weather forecasting, now limited by data sets and gaps in global coverage, could reduce or mitigate severe weather disasters, if improved and timely global data sets could be provided, such as by sophisticated hyper-spectra remote sensors from a constellation of SmallSats or geosats.

CMDM Chair

Alexander N. M. Choudry, M.D.

CMDM Technical Advisory Council (TAC):

Lida Kourita, M.D., M.B.A. Candidate