1,056 research outputs found

    A Dynamic Earth: 50 Years of Observations from Space

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    Observations of the surface of the Earth began more than a half century ago with the earliest space missions. The global geopolitical environment at the beginning of the space age fueled advances in rocketry and human exploration, but also advances in remote sensing. At the same time that space-based Earth Observations were developing, global investments in infrastructure that were initiated after World War II accelerated large projects such as the construction of highways, the expansion of cities and suburbs, the damming of rivers, and the growth of big agriculture. These developments have transformed the Earth s surface at unprecedented rates. Today, we have a remarkable library of 50 years of observations of the Earth taken by satellite-based sensors and astronauts, and these images and observations provide insight into the workings of the Earth as a system. In addition, these observations record the footprints of human activities around the world, and illustrate how our activities contribute to the changing face of the Earth. Starting with the iconic "Blue Marble" image of the whole Earth taken by Apollo astronauts, we will review a timeline of observations of our planet as viewed from space

    International Space Station Data Collection for Disaster Response

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    Remotely sensed data acquired by orbital sensor systems has emerged as a vital tool to identify the extent of damage resulting from a natural disaster, as well as providing near-real time mapping support to response efforts on the ground and humanitarian aid efforts. The International Space Station (ISS) is a unique terrestrial remote sensing platform for acquiring disaster response imagery. Unlike automated remote-sensing platforms it has a human crew; is equipped with both internal and externally-mounted remote sensing instruments; and has an inclined, low-Earth orbit that provides variable views and lighting (day and night) over 95 percent of the inhabited surface of the Earth. As such, it provides a useful complement to autonomous sensor systems in higher altitude polar orbits. NASA remote sensing assets on the station began collecting International Disaster Charter (IDC) response data in May 2012. The initial NASA ISS sensor systems responding to IDC activations included the ISS Agricultural Camera (ISSAC), mounted in the Window Observational Research Facility (WORF); the Crew Earth Observations (CEO) Facility, where the crew collects imagery using off-the-shelf handheld digital cameras; and the Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO), a visible to near-infrared system mounted externally on the Japan Experiment Module Exposed Facility. The ISSAC completed its primary mission in January 2013. It was replaced by the very high resolution ISS SERVIR Environmental Research and Visualization System (ISERV) Pathfinder, a visible-wavelength digital camera, telescope, and pointing system. Since the start of IDC response in 2012 there have been 108 IDC activations; NASA sensor systems have collected data for thirty-two of these events. Of the successful data collections, eight involved two or more ISS sensor systems responding to the same event. Data has also been collected by International Partners in response to natural disasters, most notably JAXA and Roscosmos/Energia through the Urugan program

    The International Space Station: A Unique Platform For Terrestrial Remote Sensing

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    The International Space Station (ISS) became operational in November of 2000, and until recently remote sensing activities and operations have focused on handheld astronaut photography of the Earth. This effort builds from earlier NASA and Russian space programs (e.g. Evans et al. 2000; Glazovskiy and Dessinov 2000). To date, astronauts have taken more than 600,000 images of the Earth s land surface, oceans, and atmospheric phenomena from orbit using film and digital cameras as part two payloads: NASA s Crew Earth Observations experiment (http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/) and Russia s Uragan experiment (Stefanov et al. 2012). Many of these images have unique attributes - varying look angles, ground resolutions, and illumination - that are not available from other remote sensing platforms. Despite this large volume of imagery and clear capability for Earth remote sensing, the ISS historically has not been perceived as an Earth observations platform by many remote sensing scientists. With the recent installation of new facilities and sophisticated sensor systems, and additional systems manifested and in development, that perception is changing to take advantage of the unique capabilities and viewing opportunities offered by the ISS

    The International Space Station: A Unique Platform for Remote Sensing of Natural Disasters

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    Assembly of the International Space Station (ISS) was completed in 2012, and the station is now fully operational as a platform for remote sensing instruments tasked with collecting scientific data about the Earth system. Remote sensing systems are mounted inside the ISS, primarily in the U.S. Destiny Module's Window Observational Research Facility (WORF), or are located on the outside of the ISS on any of several attachment points. While NASA and other space agencies have had remote sensing systems orbiting Earth and collecting publicly available data since the early 1970s, these sensors are carried onboard free-flying, unmanned satellites. These satellites are traditionally placed into Sun-synchronous polar orbits that allow imaging of the entire surface of the Earth to be repeated with approximately the same Sun illumination (typically local solar noon) over specific areas, with set revisit times that allow uniform data to be taken over long time periods and enable straightforward analysis of change over time. In contrast, the ISS has an inclined, Sun-asynchronous orbit (the solar illumination for data collections over any location changes as the orbit precesses) that carries it over locations on the Earth between approximately 52degnorth and 52deg south latitudes (figure 1). The ISS is also unique among NASA orbital platforms in that it has a human crew. The presence of a crew provides options not available to robotic sensors and platforms, such as the ability to collect unscheduled data of an unfolding event using handheld digital cameras as part of the Crew Earth Observations (CEO) facility and on-the-fly assessment of environmental conditions, such as cloud cover, to determine whether conditions are favorable for data collection. The crew can also swap out internal sensor systems installed in the WORF as needed. The ISS orbit covers more than 90 percent of the inhabited surface of the Earth, allowing the ISS to pass over the same ground locations at different times of the day and night. This is important for two reasons: 1) certain surface processes (i.e., development of coastal fog banks) occur at times other than local solar noon, making it difficult to collect relevant data from traditional satellite platforms, and 2) it provides opportunities for the ISS to collect data for short-duration events, such as natural disasters, that polar-orbiting satellites may miss due to their orbital dynamics - in essence, the ISS can be "in the right place at the right time" to collect data. An immediate application of ISS remote sensing data collection is that the data can be used to provide information for humanitarian aid after a natural disaster. This activity contributes directly to the station's Benefits to Humanity mission. The International Charter, Space and Major Disasters (also known as the International Disaster Charter, or IDC) is an agreement between agencies of several countries to provide - on a best-effort basis - remotely sensed data related to natural disasters to requesting countries in support of disaster response. In the United States, the lead agency for interaction with the IDC is the United States Geological Survey (USGS); when an IDC request, or activation, is received, the USGS notifies the science teams for NASA instruments with targeting information for data collection. In the case of the ISS, Earth scientists in the JSC ARES Directorate, in association with the ISS Program Science Office, coordinate targeting and data collection with the USGS. If data is collected, it is passed back to the USGS for posting on its Hazards Data Distribution System and made available for download. The ISS was added to the USGS's list of NASA remote sensing assets that could respond to IDC activations in May 2012. Initially, the NASA ISS sensor systems available to respond to IDC activations included the ISS Agricultural Camera (ISSAC), an internal multispectral visible-near infrared wavelength system mounted in the WORF; CEO, a project that collects imagery through the ISS windows using off-the-shelf handheld digital visible-wavelength cameras; and the Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Oceans (HICO), a visible to near-infrared system mounted externally on the Japanese Experiment Module - Exposed Facility. Since May 2012, there have been 37 IDC activations; ISS sensor systems have collected data for 10 of these events

    The International Space Station Supports International Polar Year (IPY)

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    Every day, ISS astronauts photograph designated sites and dynamic events on the Earth's surface using digital cameras equipped with a variety of lenses. Depending on observation parameters, astronauts can collect high resolution (4-6 m pixel size) or synoptic views (lower resolution but covering very large areas) digital data in 3 (red-green-blue) color bands. ISS crews have daily opportunities to document a variety of high-latitude phenomena. Although lighting conditions, ground track and other viewing parameters change with orbital precessions and season, the 51.6o orbital inclination and 400 km altitude of the ISS provide the crew an unique vantage point for collecting image-based data of polar phenomena, including surface observations to roughly 65o latitude, and upper atmospheric observations that reach nearly to the poles. During the 2007-2009 timeframe of the IPY, polar observations will become a scientific focus for the CEO experiment; the experiment is designated ISS-IPY. We solicit requests from scientists for observations from the ISS that are coordinated with or complement ground-based polar studies. The CEO imagery website for ISS-IPY provides an on-line form that allows IPY investigators to interact with CEO scientists and define their imagery requests. This information is integrated into daily communications with the ISS astronauts about their Earth Observations targets. All data collected are cataloged and posted on the website for downloading and assimilation into IPY projects. Examples of imagery and detailed information about scientific observations from the ISS can also be downloaded from the ISS-IPY web site

    International Space Station Data Collection for Disaster Response

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    Natural disasters - including such events as tropical storms, earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, and wildfires -effect hundreds of millions of people worldwide, and also cause billions of dollars (USD) in damage to the global economy. Remotely sensed data acquired by orbital sensor systems has emerged as a vital tool to identify the extent of damage resulting from a natural disaster, as well as providing near-real time mapping support to response efforts on the ground and humanitarian aid efforts. The International Space Station (ISS) is a unique terrestrial remote sensing platform for acquiring disaster response imagery. Unlike automated remote-sensing platforms it has a human crew; is equipped with both internal and externally-mounted remote sensing instruments; and has an inclined, low-Earth orbit that provides variable views and lighting (day and night) over 95 percent of the inhabited surface of the Earth. As such, it provides a useful complement to free-flyer based, sun-synchronous sensor systems in higher altitude polar orbits. While several nations have well-developed terrestrial remote sensing programs and assets for data collection, many developing nations do not have ready access to such resources. The International Charter, Space and Major Disasters (also known as the "International Disaster Charter", or IDC; http://www.disasterscharter.org/home) addresses this disparity. It is an agreement between agencies of several countries to provide - on a best-effort basis - remotely sensed data of natural disasters to requesting countries in support of disaster response. The lead US agency for interaction with the IDC is the United States Geological Survey (USGS); when an IDC request or "activation" is received, the USGS notifies the science teams for NASA instruments with targeting information for data collection. In the case of the ISS, the Earth Sciences and Remote Sensing (ESRS) Unit, part of the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Directorate and supporting the ISS Program Science Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center, receives notification from the USGS and coordinates targeting and data collection with the NASA ISS sensor teams. If data is collected, it is passed back to the USGS for posting on their Hazards Data Distribution System and made available for download. The ISS International Partners (CSA, ESA, JAXA, Roscosmos/Energia) have their own procedures for independently supporting IDC activations using their assets on ISS, and there is currently no joint coordination with NASA ISS sensor teams. Following completion of ISS assembly, NASA remote sensing assets began collecting IDC response data in May 2012. The initial NASA ISS sensor systems available to respond to IDC activations included the ISS Agricultural Camera (ISSAC), an internal multispectral visible-near infrared wavelength system mounted in the Window Observational Research Facility, or WORF; the Crew Earth Observations (CEO) Facility, where the crew collects imagery through Station windows using off-the-shelf handheld digital visible-wavelength cameras; and the Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Oceans (HICO), a visible to near-infrared system mounted externally on the Japan Experiment Module Exposed Facility. The ISSAC completed its primary mission and was removed from the WORF in January 2013. It was replaced by the very high resolution ISS SERVIR Environmental Research and Visualization System (ISERV) Pathfinder, a visible-wavelength digital camera, telescope, and pointing system. Since the start of IDC response by NASA sensors on the ISS in May 2012 and as of this report, there have been eighty IDC activations; NASA sensor systems have collected data for twenty-three of these events. Of the twenty-three successful data collections, five involved 2 or more ISS sensor systems responding to the same event. Data has also been collected by International Partners in response to natural disasters, most notably JAXA and Roscosmos/Energia through the Urugan program. Data collected in response to IDC activations is delivered by the ISS sensor teams to the ESRS for quality review and transfer to the USGS, where it is ingested into the Hazards Data Distribution System, or HDDS (https://hdds.usgs.gov/hdds2/; figure 1). This system allows the local agencies that issued the IDC activation request to review and download data. The data is then used to develop secondary products useful for humanitarian response such as flood maps. As of this report, approximately 1000 images collected by NASA ISS sensor systems have been downloaded from the HDDS, indicating that the ISS has assumed a valuable role in disaster response efforts. The ISS is also a unique platform in that it will have multiple users over its lifetime, and that no single remote sensing system has a permanent internal or external berth. This scheduled turnover provides for development of new remote sensing capabilities relevant to disaster response -as well as both research and applied science-and represents a significant contribution to continuance and enhancement of the NASA mission to investigate changes on our home planet

    Research on the International Space Station - An Overview

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    The International Space Station (ISS) celebrates ten years of operations in 2008. While the station did not support permanent human crews during the first two years of operations November 1998 to November 2000 it hosted a few early science experiments months before the first international crew took up residence. Since that time and simultaneous with the complicated task of ISS construction and overcoming impacts from the tragic Columbia accident science returns from the ISS have been growing at a steady pace. As of this writing, over 162 experiments have been operated on the ISS, supporting research for hundreds of ground-based investigators from the U.S. and international partners. This report summarizes the experimental results collected to date. Today, NASA's priorities for research aboard the ISS center on understanding human health during long-duration missions, researching effective countermeasures for long-duration crewmembers, and researching and testing new technologies that can be used for future exploration crews and spacecraft. Through the U.S. National Laboratory designation, the ISS is also a platform available to other government agencies. Research on ISS supports new understandings, methods or applications relevant to life on Earth, such as understanding effective protocols to protect against loss of bone density or better methods for producing stronger metal alloys. Experiment results have already been used in applications as diverse as the manufacture of solar cell and insulation materials for new spacecraft and the verification of complex numerical models for behavior of fluids in fuel tanks. A synoptic publication of these results will be forthcoming in 2009. At the 10-year point, the scientific returns from ISS should increase at a rapid pace. During the 2008 calendar year, the laboratory space and research facilities were tripled with the addition of ESA's Columbus and JAXA's Kibo scientific modules joining NASA's Destiny Laboratory. All three laboratories, together with external payload accommodations, support a wide variety of research racks and science and technology experiments. In 2009, the number of crewmembers will increase from three to six, greatly increasing the time available for research. The realization of the international scientific partnership provides new opportunities for scientific collaboration and broadens the research potential on the ISS. Engineers and scientists from around the world are working together to refine their operational relationships and build from their experiences conducting early science to ensure maximum utilization of the expanded capabilities aboard ISS. This paper will summarize science results and accomplishments, and discuss how the early science utilization provides the foundation for continuing research campaigns aboard the ISS that will benefit future exploration programs

    The Astromaterials X-Ray Computed Tomography Laboratory at Johnson Space Center

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    The Astromaterials Acquisition and Cura-tion Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center (hereafter JSC curation) is the past, present, and future home of all of NASA's astromaterials sample collections. JSC curation currently houses all or part of nine different sample collections. Our primary goals are to maintain the long-term integrity of the samples and ensure that the samples are distributed for scientific study in a fair, timely, and responsible manner, thus maximizing the return on each sample. Part of the curation process is planning for the future, thus we also perform funda-mental research in advanced curation initiatives. Ad-vanced Curation is tasked with developing procedures, technology, and data sets necessary for curating new types of sample collections, or getting new results from existing sample collections [1]. As part of these ad-vanced curation efforts we are augmenting our analyti-cal facilities

    A Preliminary Study Interrogating the Cataloging and Classification Schemes of a K-12 Book Discovery Platform through a Critical Race Theory Lens

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    This article presents the results of a preliminary study to examine the cataloging and classification schemes and ideological factors that play out in book discovery platforms for children’s and young adult books. Using Critical Race Theory and a Rapid Contextual Design approach to exploring the curatorial behaviors of school librarians when searching for diverse books, the study offers design ideas for retooling discovery platforms in ways that bridge the cultural disconnect that young adults from historically marginalized racial backgrounds experience in their libraries. The article concludes that in order for school librarians to find, recommend and teach about books that reflect race, equity and inclusion themes, they need more sophisticated and user-centered features that reflect critical race and multicultural analytic frameworks. This includes the need for a common vocabulary around issues of race, equity and inclusion that can simultaneously cut through the ambiguity of social tagging and yet subvert the status quo of entrenched liberalism and/or racially biased ideologies embedded in traditional classification schemes and hierarchies, such as those used in Library of Congress subject headings. The findings further suggest that school librarians would benefit from enhanced education and training in the intersections of cataloging, classification and critical race scholarship

    Evolution of far-from-equilibrium nanostructures on Ag(100) surfaces: Protrusions and indentations at extended step edges

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    Scanning tunneling microscopy is used to monitor the formation and relaxation of nanoprotrusions and nanoindentations at extended step edges following submonolayer deposition of Ag on Ag(100). Deposition of up to about 1/4 ML Ag produces isolated two-dimensional (2D) Ag clusters, which subsequently diffuse, collide, and coalesce with extended step edges, thus forming protrusions. Deposition of larger submonolayer amounts of Ag causes existing step edges to advance across terraces, incorporating 2D islands. The resulting irregular step structure rapidly straightens after terminating deposition, except for a few larger indentations. Relaxation of these far-from-equilibrium step-edge nanoconfigurations is monitored to determine rates for restructuring versus local geometry and feature size. This behavior is analyzed utilizing kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of an atomistic lattice-gas model for relaxation of step-edge nanostructures. In this model, mass transport is mediated by diffusion along the step edge (i.e., “periphery diffusion”). The model consistently fits observed behavior, and allows a detailed characterization of the relaxation process, including assessment of key activation energies
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