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Automatic Lunar Rock Detection and Mapping

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Safe spacecraft landing on planetary and small body surfaces is of primary concern. Estimation of landing risk is a critical task when evaluating and certifying potential landing sites. Such analyses require the detection and mapping of all potential landing hazards such as rocks and boulders, craters, slopes, and terrain roughness.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Electronics & Computers, Imaging, Briefs

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Technique for Finding the Center of an Image of a Rising or Setting Sun Based on Simulated Images

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A new JPL project requires that the center of the images of a rising or setting Sun be determined with certain accuracy — for example, within 1 km — when the Sun is observed from the International Space Station (ISS). This center-finding technique can be used in applications such as a Sun-Tracker. To meet such needs, a simulation tool was developed for the generation of Sun images observed either on the ground or from space. The new technique enables one to find the center of a Sun image based on simulated images. The technique does not rely on ellipse-fitting to the boundary of a Sun image or other calibration techniques, so the accuracy is not affected by the distortion of Sun images.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Electronics & Computers, Imaging, Briefs, TSP

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Modeling Lunar Surface Systems Concepts of Operations

The plans that are generated can be optimized for a specific set of goals, such as maximizing science data or minimizing power consumption. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California The goal of this work was to model lunar surface systems using a declarative planning system (ASPEN — Activity Scheduling/Planning Environment), provide a parameterizable Excel document to aid in the model generation, and deliver both Mac and PC versions. An adaptation of Microsoft Excel and ASPEN for Lunar Surface System concepts of operations was used. The goal of the system is to enable searching through several concepts of operations. A concept of operations consists of a proposed schedule of high-level activities and parameterization of resources (e.g., power, communications, oxygen, water, etc.) where three distinct phases of development occurred: (1) initial system development for Lunar, (2) planning system development for Lunar, and (3) planning system development for NASA’s 13th Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) live trial.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Electronics & Computers, Briefs, TSP

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Portable Distributed Scripts (PoDS)

A Python application enables a user to execute a series of independent tasks on multicore clusters. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland “Portable Distributed Scripts” (PoDS) is a Python application that allows users to execute serial independent tasks concurrently across nodes on multicore clusters. The package consists of a set of scripts working together through a simple text-based interface. A user only needs to provide minimal information to perform the desired tasks.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Electronics & Computers, Briefs, TSP

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Slot-Sampled Optical PPM Demodulation

Algorithms enable a post-processing receiver architecture that uses a fixed-rate ADC sample capture technology as an alternative to real-time receiver architecture. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California In order to demodulate an optical PPM signal, the receiver must align its slot clock to that of the received waveform to count the number of arrivals within each slot. The large bandwidth expansion factor of PPM, M/log2(M) requires a prohibitively large sample rate when a fixed sample clock N times greater than the slot frequency is used to provide a slot timing resolution of 1/Nth of a slot period. Alternative techniques that achieve slot alignment resolution through adjustment of the phase of the sample clock to align with the slot boundary require custom hardware and are not compatible with post-processing receiver architectures that use fixed-rate analog-to-digital (ADC) sample capture technology.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Electronics & Computers, Briefs

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Small-Object Detection via Fast Discrete Curvelet Transform

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California The detection of distant objects in an image is relevant to applications in defense, security, and robotics. Successfully detecting objects of interest has been a common problem with respect to intelligent computer vision. Automatic target recognition (ATR) systems have been formulated and employed in numerous ways to tackle the difficulty of unsupervised targeting.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Electronics & Computers, Briefs

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Detecting an Extreme Minority Class in Hyperspectral Data Using Machine Learning

Automated classifiers can detect surface sulfur in orbital remote sensing observations. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Orbital remote sensing provides a powerful way to efficiently survey targets for features of interest in inaccessible regions of the Earth as well as on other planets. One such feature of astrobiological relevance is the presence of surface sulfur deposits, which may be present on icy moons such as Europa. All hyperspectral instruments face the difficult task of spectral feature selection (finding the spectral bands that matter), especially those that operate in previously unstudied arenas encountered in planetary missions. This software demonstrates how manually annotated labels can enable automated feature discovery that boosts science return.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Data Acquisition, Briefs

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