7,745 research outputs found

    Probabilistic models of planetary contamination

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    Likely fundamental inadequacies in the model of planetary contamination advanced by Sagan and Coleman are discussed. It is shown that a relatively minor modification of the basic Sagan-Coleman formula yields approximations that are generally adequate with data in the range of interest. This approximation formula differs from the original Sagan-Coleman version only through an initial conditioning on landing outcome. It always yields an upper (conservative) bound for the total probability of contamination, this appealing feature is lost if the conditioning on landing outcome is deleted

    Stochastic Perturbations of Periodic Orbits with Sliding

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    Vector fields that are discontinuous on codimension-one surfaces are known as Filippov systems and can have attracting periodic orbits involving segments that are contained on a discontinuity surface of the vector field. In this paper we consider the addition of small noise to a general Filippov system and study the resulting stochastic dynamics near such a periodic orbit. Since a straight-forward asymptotic expansion in terms of the noise amplitude is not possible due to the presence of discontinuity surfaces, in order to quantitatively determine the basic statistical properties of the dynamics, we treat different parts of the periodic orbit separately. Dynamics distant from discontinuity surfaces is analyzed by the use of a series expansion of the transitional probability density function. Stochastically perturbed sliding motion is analyzed through stochastic averaging methods. The influence of noise on points at which the periodic orbit escapes a discontinuity surface is determined by zooming into the transition point. We combine the results to quantitatively determine the effect of noise on the oscillation time for a three-dimensional canonical model of relay control. For some parameter values of this model, small noise induces a significantly large reduction in the average oscillation time. By interpreting our results geometrically, we are able to identify four features of the relay control system that contribute to this phenomenon.Comment: 44 pages, 9 figures, submitted to: J Nonlin. Sc

    New methodology for assessing the probability of contaminating Mars

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    Methodology is proposed to assess the probability that the planet Mars will be contaminated by terrestrial microorganisms aboard a spacecraft. The present NASA methods are extended to permit utilization of detailed information on microbial characteristics, the lethality of release and transport mechanisms, and of other information about the Martian environment. Different types of microbial release are distinguished, and for each release mechanism a probability of growth is computed. Using this new methodology, an assessment was carried out for the 1975 Viking landings on Mars. The resulting probability of contamination for each Viking lander is 6 x 10 to the -6 power, and is amenable to revision as additional information becomes available

    Assessment of the probability of contaminating Mars

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    New methodology is proposed to assess the probability that the planet Mars will by biologically contaminated by terrestrial microorganisms aboard a spacecraft. Present NASA methods are based on the Sagan-Coleman formula, which states that the probability of contamination is the product of the expected microbial release and a probability of growth. The proposed new methodology extends the Sagan-Coleman approach to permit utilization of detailed information on microbial characteristics, the lethality of release and transport mechanisms, and of other information about the Martian environment. Three different types of microbial release are distinguished in the model for assessing the probability of contamination. The number of viable microbes released by each mechanism depends on the bio-burden in various locations on the spacecraft and on whether the spacecraft landing is accomplished according to plan. For each of the three release mechanisms a probability of growth is computed, using a model for transport into an environment suited to microbial growth

    Geographic analysis of multiple sensor data from the NASA/USGS earth resources program

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    Qualitative and quantitative analyses were made of multi-sensor data acquired during aircraft missions. While the principal analysis effort was concentrated on imagery taken over test sites in Southern California, data were also studied from records acquired on missions over test sites at Phoenix, Chicago, Asheville, and New Orleans. The objectives of the analyses were: (1) to determine the capabilities of ten remote sensors in identifying the elements of information necessary in conducting geographic investigations in land use analysis, urban problems, surface energy budget, and soil moisture; (2) to determine the feasibility of using these sensors for these purposes at orbital altitudes; and (3) to collate and analyze ground and air data previously collected and assemble it in a format useful in the accomplishment of cost effectiveness studies

    Historical-institutionalist perspectives on the development of the EU budget system

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    The EU budget has only recently started to feature in theories of European integration. Studies typically adopt a historical-institutionalist framework, exploring notions such as path dependency. They have, however, generally been rather aggregated, or coarse-grained, in their approach. The EU budget has thus been treated as a single entity rather than a series of inter-linked institutions. This paper seeks to address these lacunae by adopting a fine-grained approach. This enables us to emphasize the connections that exist between EU budgetary institutions, in both time and space. We show that the initial set of budgetary institutions was unable, over time, to achieve consistently their treaty-based objectives. In response, rather than reform these institutions at potentially high political cost, additional institutions were layered on top of the extant structures. We thus demonstrate how some EU budgetary institutions have remained unchanged, whilst others have been added or changed over time

    Performance Metrics for Street and Park Trees in Urban Forests

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    Analysis of multiply spliced transcripts in lymphoid tissue reservoirs of rhesus macaques infected with RT-SHIV during HAART.

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    Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) can reduce levels of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) to undetectable levels in infected individuals, but the virus is not eradicated. The mechanisms of viral persistence during HAART are poorly defined, but some reservoirs have been identified, such as latently infected resting memory CD4⁺ T cells. During latency, in addition to blocks at the initiation and elongation steps of viral transcription, there is a block in the export of viral RNA (vRNA), leading to the accumulation of multiply-spliced transcripts in the nucleus. Two of the genes encoded by the multiply-spliced transcripts are Tat and Rev, which are essential early in the viral replication cycle and might indicate the state of infection in a given population of cells. Here, the levels of multiply-spliced transcripts were compared to the levels of gag-containing RNA in tissue samples from RT-SHIV-infected rhesus macaques treated with HAART. Splice site sequence variation was identified during development of a TaqMan PCR assay. Multiply-spliced transcripts were detected in gastrointestinal and lymphatic tissues, but not the thymus. Levels of multiply-spliced transcripts were lower than levels of gag RNA, and both correlated with plasma virus loads. The ratio of multiply-spliced to gag RNA was greatest in the gastrointestinal samples from macaques with plasma virus loads <50 vRNA copies per mL at necropsy. Levels of gag RNA and multiply-spliced mRNA in tissues from RT-SHIV-infected macaques correlate with plasma virus load

    An illustrative analysis of technological alternatives for satellite communications

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    The demand for satellite communications services in the domestic market is discussed. Two approaches to increasing system capacity are the expansion of service into frequencies presently allocated but not used for satellite communications, and the development of technologies that provide a greater level of service within the currently used frequency bands. The development of economic models and analytic techniques for evaluating capacity expansion alternatives such as these are presented. The satellite orbit spectrum problem, and also outlines of some suitable analytic approaches are examined. Illustrative analysis of domestic communications satellite technology options for providing increased levels of service are also examined. The analysis illustrates the use of probabilities and decision trees in analyzing alternatives, and provides insight into the important aspects of the orbit spectrum problem that would warrant inclusion in a larger scale analysis