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Rochester native uses satellite data as part of effort to find cause of Florida condo collapse

EO59, a Virginia-based company started by a Rochester native, uses satellite data to determine small changes in infrastructure that occur over time.

A company that uses satellite data to monitor the status of buildings and other infrastructure is involved in the effort to learn more about the cause of the condominium collapse in South Florida.

EO59 is a high-tech startup founded by Rochester native Carl Pucci last year; he is president and CEO of the firm.

EO59 is among the companies called in by officials in Surfside, Florida, to help provide information about what may have caused the collapse at the Champlain Towers.

Pucci said his Virginia-based company uses satellite radar to determine, with millimeter accuracy, movement involving structures and the ground beneath them.

Pucci emphasized that just about all buildings do shift or move over time; but that information is baked into their design.

"All buildings are in motion, the world around us is moving a tremendous amount, and more so every year as climate change is a reality," Pucci said. "So that is part of our normal life, and this is a great technique that people should use to be aware of just that extent of rate of change."

Pucci said that EO59 turns over its data to engineers and other experts who can help determine whether that movement is out of the norm, something that may or may not lead to damage or a collapse.

“We provide information on how much something has moved, and that insight is critical to an engineer who actually can make a determination as to what that means. Structures around the world are in motion, and that's something that we actually can see,” Pucci said.

Pucci said he can’t talk specifically about the investigation in Florida, but he said that his company has been hired to look over data for other buildings in Surfside as well. 

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.