NASA Technical Reports Server

    Effect of GOES-R Image Navigation and Registration Errors on Atmospheric Motion Vectors

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    High temporal frequency imagery from geostationary satellites allows for the continuous monitoring of rapidly changing atmospheric constituents such as smoke, dust, water vapor and clouds. The image sequences are often used to quantify the displacement of image features such as water vapor and clouds to produce atmospheric motion vectors (AMVs) which are used as diagnostic tools and also assimilated into numerical weather forecast models. The basic principle behind the determination of AMVs is the calculation of the physical displacement of features from one image (time) to the next. This process assumes that the features being tracked do not change as a function of time, usually requiring the use of short time interval imagery to minimize substantial change in size and shape of the features being tracked. High spatial resolution imagery also is required for reliable feature identification. While these image resolution and temporal sampling requirements often provide major drivers for space-based instrument design requirements, accurate image navigation and registration, INn (between a sequence of images), is also critical to the derivation of useful AMVs. In this paper and poster to be presented at the conference, the image navigation and registration (INR) accuracy expected for the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) on the GOES-R series of satellites will be discussed in light of its impact on AMV accuracy. Significant satellite platform and modeling enhancements are planned which should significantly improve INn performance of the GOES-R instruments. Some of these improvements have been demonstrated for the GOES-13 satellite which was launched in summer of 2006. An analysis of GOES-13 INR data, from the special satellite check out period, will be used in the assessment

    The Experimental Probe of Inflationary Cosmology: A Mission Concept Study for NASA's Einstein Inflation Probe

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    When we began our study we sought to answer five fundamental implementation questions: 1) can foregrounds be measured and subtracted to a sufficiently low level?; 2) can systematic errors be controlled?; 3) can we develop optics with sufficiently large throughput, low polarization, and frequency coverage from 30 to 300 GHz?; 4) is there a technical path to realizing the sensitivity and systematic error requirements?; and 5) what are the specific mission architecture parameters, including cost? Detailed answers to these questions are contained in this report

    In-Vacuum Photogrammetry of a Ten-Meter Square Solar Sail

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    Solar sailing is a promising, future in-space propulsion method that uses the small force of reflecting sunlight to accelerate a large, reflective membrane without expendable propellants. One of two solar sail configurations under development by NASA is a striped net approach by L'Garde, Inc. This design uses four inflatably deployed, lightweight booms supporting a network of thin strings onto which four quadrants of ultrathin aluminized membranes are attached. The NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) provided both experimental and analytical support to L'Garde for validating the structural characteristics of this unique, ultralightweight spacecraft concept. One of LaRC's responsibilities was to develop and apply photogrammetric methods to measure sail shape. The deployed shape provides important information for validating the accuracy of finite-element modeling techniques. Photogrammetry is the science and art of calculating 3D coordinates of targets or other distinguishing features on structures using images. A minimum of two camera views of each target is required for 3D determination, but having four or more camera views is preferable for improved reliability and accuracy. Using retroreflective circular targets typically provides the highest measurement accuracy and automation. References 3 and 4 provide details of photogrammetry technology, and reference 5 discusses previous experiences with photogrammetry for measuring gossamer spacecraft structures such as solar sails. This paper discusses the experimental techniques used to measure a L Garde 10-m solar sail test in vacuum with photogrammetry. The test was conducted at the NASA-Glenn Space Power Facility (SPF) located at Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio. The SPF is the largest vacuum chamber in the United States, measuring 30 m in diameter by 37 m in height. High vacuum levels (10(exp -6) torr) can be maintained inside the chamber, and cold environments (-195 C) are possible using variable-geometry cryogenic cold walls. This test used a vacuum level of approximately 1 torr (sufficient for structural static/dynamic characterization) and instead of using the cryogenic cold walls, used local LN2 cold plates underneath each of the four cold-rigidizable solar sail booms instead

    Mitigating Aviation Communication and Satellite Orbit Operations Surprises from Adverse Space Weather

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    Adverse space weather affects operational activities in aviation and satellite systems. For example, large solar flares create highly variable enhanced neutral atmosphere and ionosphere electron density regions. These regions impact aviation communication frequencies as well as precision orbit determination. The natural space environment, with its dynamic space weather variability, is additionally changed by human activity. The increase in orbital debris in low Earth orbit (LEO), combined with lower atmosphere CO2 that rises into the lower thermosphere and causes increased cooling that results in increased debris lifetime, adds to the environmental hazards of navigating in near-Earth space. This is at a time when commercial space endeavors are posed to begin more missions to LEO during the rise of the solar activity cycle toward the next maximum (2012). For satellite and aviation operators, adverse space weather results in greater expenses for orbit management, more communication outages or aviation and ground-based high frequency radio used, and an inability to effectively plan missions or service customers with space-based communication, imagery, and data transferal during time-critical activities. Examples of some revenue-impacting conditions and solutions for mitigating adverse space weather are offered

    Assessment of the NASA Astrobiology Institute

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    Astrobiology is a scientific discipline devoted to the study of life in the universe--its origins, evolution, distribution, and future. It brings together the physical and biological sciences to address some of the most fundamental questions of the natural world: How do living systems emerge? How do habitable worlds form and how do they evolve? Does life exist on worlds other than Earth? As an endeavor of tremendous breadth and depth, astrobiology requires interdisciplinary investigation in order to be fully appreciated and examined. As part of a concerted effort to undertake such a challenge, the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) was established in 1998 as an innovative way to develop the field of astrobiology and provide a scientific framework for flight missions. Now that the NAI has been in existence for almost a decade, the time is ripe to assess its achievements. At the request of NASA's Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate (SMD), the Committee on the Review of the NASA Astrobiology Institute undertook the assignment to determine the progress made by the NAI in developing the field of astrobiology. It must be emphasized that the purpose of this study was not to undertake a review of the scientific accomplishments of NASA's Astrobiology program, in general, or of the NAI, in particular. Rather, the objective of the study is to evaluate the success of the NAI in achieving its stated goals of: 1. Conducting, supporting, and catalyzing collaborative interdisciplinary research; 2. Training the next generation of astrobiology researchers; 3. Providing scientific and technical leadership on astrobiology investigations for current and future space missions; 4. Exploring new approaches, using modern information technology, to conduct interdisciplinary and collaborative research among widely distributed investigators; and 5. Supporting outreach by providing scientific content for use in K-12 education programs, teaching undergraduate classes, and communicating directly with the public. The committee s assessment of the NAI's progress in these five areas is presented in Chapters 2 to 6, respectively

    Multi-Sensor Testing for Automated Rendezvous and Docking Sensor Testing at the Flight Robotics Laboratory

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    The Exploration Systems Architecture defines missions that require rendezvous, proximity operations, and docking (RPOD) of two spacecraft both in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and in Low Lunar Orbit (LLO). Uncrewed spacecraft must perform automated and/or autonomous rendezvous, proximity operations and docking operations (commonly known as AR&D). The crewed missions may also perform rendezvous and docking operations and may require different levels of automation and/or autonomy, and must provide the crew with relative navigation information for manual piloting. The capabilities of the RPOD sensors are critical to the success of the Exploration Program. NASA has the responsibility to determine whether the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) contractor proposed relative navigation sensor suite will meet the requirements. The relatively low technology readiness level of AR&D relative navigation sensors has been carried as one of the CEV Project's top risks. The AR&D Sensor Technology Project seeks to reduce the risk by the testing and analysis of selected relative navigation sensor technologies through hardware-in-the-loop testing and simulation. These activities will provide the CEV Project information to assess the relative navigation sensors maturity as well as demonstrate test methods and capabilities. The first year of this project focused on a series of"pathfinder" testing tasks to develop the test plans, test facility requirements, trajectories, math model architecture, simulation platform, and processes that will be used to evaluate the Contractor-proposed sensors. Four candidate sensors were used in the first phase of the testing. The second phase of testing used four sensors simultaneously: two Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Advanced Video Guidance Sensors (AVGS), a laser-based video sensor that uses retroreflectors attached to the target vehicle, and two commercial laser range finders. The multi-sensor testing was conducted at MSFC's Flight Robotics Laboratory (FRL) using the FRL's 6-DOF gantry system, called the Dynamic Overhead Target System (DOTS). The target vehicle for "docking" in the laboratory was a mockup that was representative of the proposed CEV docking system, with added retroreflectors for the AVGS. The multi-sensor test configuration used 35 open-loop test trajectories covering three major objectives: (1) sensor characterization trajectories designed to test a wide range of performance parameters; (2) CEV-specific trajectories designed to test performance during CEV-like approach and departure profiles; and (3) sensor characterization tests designed for evaluating sensor performance under more extreme conditions as might be induced during a spacecraft failure or during contingency situations. This paper describes the test development, test facility, test preparations, test execution, and test results of the multi-sensor series of trajectories

    Proceedings of the 2004 High Spatial Resolution Commercial Imagery Workshop

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    Topics covered include: NASA Applied Sciences Program; USGS Land Remote Sensing: Overview; QuickBird System Status and Product Overview; ORBIMAGE Overview; IKONOS 2004 Calibration and Validation Status; OrbView-3 Spatial Characterization; On-Orbit Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) Measurement of QuickBird; Spatial Resolution Characterization for QuickBird Image Products 2003-2004 Season; Image Quality Evaluation of QuickBird Super Resolution and Revisit of IKONOS: Civil and Commercial Application Project (CCAP); On-Orbit System MTF Measurement; QuickBird Post Launch Geopositional Characterization Update; OrbView-3 Geometric Calibration and Geopositional Accuracy; Geopositional Statistical Methods; QuickBird and OrbView-3 Geopositional Accuracy Assessment; Initial On-Orbit Spatial Resolution Characterization of OrbView-3 Panchromatic Images; Laboratory Measurement of Bidirectional Reflectance of Radiometric Tarps; Stennis Space Center Verification and Validation Capabilities; Joint Agency Commercial Imagery Evaluation (JACIE) Team; Adjacency Effects in High Resolution Imagery; Effect of Pulse Width vs. GSD on MTF Estimation; Camera and Sensor Calibration at the USGS; QuickBird Geometric Verification; Comparison of MODTRAN to Heritage-based Results in Vicarious Calibration at University of Arizona; Using Remotely Sensed Imagery to Determine Impervious Surface in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Estimating Sub-Pixel Proportions of Sagebrush with a Regression Tree; How Do YOU Use the National Land Cover Dataset?; The National Map Hazards Data Distribution System; Recording a Troubled World; What Does This-Have to Do with This?; When Can a Picture Save a Thousand Homes?; InSAR Studies of Alaska Volcanoes; Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) Data Products; Improving Access to the USGS Aerial Film Collections: High Resolution Scanners; Improving Access to the USGS Aerial Film Collections: Phoenix Digitizing System Product Distribution; System and Product Characterization: Issues Approach; Innovative Approaches to Analysis of Lidar Data for the National Map; Changes in Imperviousness near Military Installations; Geopositional Accuracy Evaluations of QuickBird and OrbView-3: Civil and Commercial Applications Project (CCAP); Geometric Accuracy Assessment: OrbView ORTHO Products; QuickBird Radiometric Calibration Update; OrbView-3 Radiometric Calibration; QuickBird Radiometric Characterization; NASA Radiometric Characterization; Establishing and Verifying the Traceability of Remote-Sensing Measurements to International Standards; QuickBird Applications; Airport Mapping and Perpetual Monitoring Using IKONOS; OrbView-3 Relative Accuracy Results and Impacts on Exploitation and Accuracy Improvement; Using Remotely Sensed Imagery to Determine Impervious Surface in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Applying High-Resolution Satellite Imagery and Remotely Sensed Data to Local Government Applications: Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Automatic Co-Registration of QuickBird Data for Change Detection Applications; Developing Coastal Surface Roughness Maps Using ASTER and QuickBird Data Sources; Automated, Near-Real Time Cloud and Cloud Shadow Detection in High Resolution VNIR Imagery; Science Applications of High Resolution Imagery at the USGS EROS Data Center; Draft Plan for Characterizing Commercial Data Products in Support of Earth Science Research; Atmospheric Correction Prototype Algorithm for High Spatial Resolution Multispectral Earth Observing Imaging Systems; Determining Regional Arctic Tundra Carbon Exchange: A Bottom-Up Approach; Using IKONOS Imagery to Assess Impervious Surface Area, Riparian Buffers and Stream Health in the Mid-Atlantic Region; Commercial Remote Sensing Space Policy Civil Implementation Update; USGS Commercial Remote Sensing Data Contracts (CRSDC); and Commercial Remote Sensing Space Policy (CRSSP): Civil Near-Term Requirements Collection Update

    Adaptive Nulling for the Terrestrial Planet Finder Interferometer

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    Deep, stable starlight nulls are needed for the direct detection of Earth-like planets and require careful control of the intensity and phases of the beams that are being combined. We are testing a novel compensator based on a deformable mirror to correct the intensity and phase at each wavelength and polarization across the nulling bandwidth. We have successfully demonstrated intensity and phase control using a deformable mirror across a 100nm wide band in the near-IR, and are in the process of conducting experiments in the mid-IR wavelengths. This paper covers the current results and in the mid-IR

    Automating System Assembly of Aerospace Systems

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    One of the major challenges in modern aerospace designs is the integration and assembly of independently developed components. We have formalized this as the system assembly problem: from a sea of available components, which should be selected and how should they be connected, integrated, and assembled so that the overall system requirements are satisfied in a certifiable way? We present a powerful framework for automatically solving the system assembly problem directly from system requirements by using formal verification technology. We also present a case study where we applied our work to large-scale industrial examples from the Boeing Dreamliner

    CIRA: Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere Newsletter, Volume 28, Fall 2007

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    The articles in this issue of the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) Newsletter are: "Unmanned Aerial Systems: An Overview of NOAA's Unmanned Aircraft System Program," "International Activities: Weather Briefings and Training Via the Internet," "Cloudsat's One-Year Anniversary: An Abundance of Exciting New Cloud Observations," and "The Migration of NCAR'S Auto-Nowcaster into NWS AWIPS.
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