NOAA Uses Thermal Imaging to Troubleshoot Earthquake Damage

December 2011

After a recent 5.8 magnitude earthquake in Maryland, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Satellite Operations Facility (NSOF) in Suitland, MD noticed some structural damage. In order to fully assess the damage, as well as determine any other possible existing problem areas, the General Services Administration decided to employ thermal imaging on the facility.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In December, Mike Spaulding, Level II certified thermographer with Four Seasons Environmental, Inc., visited NOAA NSOF to provide a complete thermal imaging assessment on all of the electrical and mechanical assets in the building, as well as the building envelope and roofing areas to inspect for heat loss, air infiltration, moisture infiltration and any other structural damages.

"The great thing about thermal imaging is that it can be used for routine inspections to ensure all building components are working appropriately, but it can also be used as part of the repair process following facility distress," says Mike. "While some damage was clearly visible to the administration, through thermal imaging, the administration is able to ensure that even damage not detectable by the naked eye is found and repaired, guaranteeing the entire NSOF facility is back in peak condition in a reasonable time frame."

To learn more about the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Satellite Operations Facility, please visit