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Preparation, Planning, and Concept Demo of a Technique to Find ≈7-to-10-m Near Earth Asteroids

A paper describes a new technique designed to increase significantly the sensitivity for finding and tracking small, dim, and fast-moving near Earth asteroids (NEAs). The technique relies on a combined use of a novel data processing approach and a new generation of high-speed CCD cameras. These new cameras have very low readout noise (≈le–) and allow taking short exposures of moving objects at high frame rates, effectively “freezing” their motion on the CCD. A long-exposure image is synthetically created as if the telescope were tracking the object with a significantly higher SNR — an approach called “synthetic tracking.” By changing the shift/add vector, multiple dim objects moving in different directions can be detected in the same data set.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs, TSP

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Implementation of a Terrain Radiometric Correction for UAVSAR

A paper discusses a calibration method suited to correct variations of UAVSAR (unmanned aerial vehicle synthetic aperture radar) backscatter with topography. To use radar backscatter to estimate forest biomass on terrain with slopes, it is necessary to remove the effect of topography. The remaining signal should be related to biomass. The hybrid approach uses the radar line of sight to project an oversampled version of the Digital Elevation Model into radar coordinates for summation. Terrain topography has a major impact on the radar backscatter. Slopes facing the radar appear very bright while slopes facing away appear darker.

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

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Picoradian Staring Astrometry Using a Simple Staring Telescope

A document describes solutions to problems of astrometry at the microarc-second (picoradian) level using a simple staring telescope. The problems include field-dependent beam-walk on the telescope’s mirrors, pixel position irregularity and distortion over time, non-flat intra-pixel quantum efficiency, and systematic errors inherent in the most common image centroiding algorithms (imperfect knowledge of the point spread function).

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

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Missing Value Imputation in Astronomical Time-Series Data

A document describes a solution to missing flux values in time-domain optical and radio astronomical survey data that form “light curves.” The technique incorporates a priori astronomical knowledge into a missing value imputation technique. It is assumed that missing values in astronomical time series are either Missing At Random (MAR), or missing due to the flux of the source falling below the instrument’s sensitivity threshold, termed Threshold Removed Observations (TRO).

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

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Plant Pillows Keep Veggies Growing on Space Station

A plant growth chamber on the International Space Station could help expand in-orbit food production capabilities, and offer astronauts something they don’t take for granted: fresh food.

Posted in: UpFront

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Inspection Robots Keep Buildings Safe

Buildings, industrial plants, and bridges have to bear heavy loads and are exposed to wind and weather. Many buildings in Germany were built in the postwar years and now show damage due to aging. To inspect their condition and prevent hazards to people, much effort still has to be devoted to buildings that are difficult to access.

Posted in: UpFront

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Product of the Month: August 2014

Hewlett-Packard, Palo Alto, CA, has announced the HP DL380z Virtual Workstation that provides secure, remote access to workstation-class applications from a variety of devices, including thin clients, notebooks, and tablets. The workstation combines HP’s server technology, NVIDIA® virtualization technology, and Citrix® virtualization technology. The workstation uses the industry-standard 2U form factor, and supports up to eight users on one workstation. It transmits encrypted pixel data over LAN or WAN to remote users, and offers a choice of pass-through GPU and virtual GPU modes that can be configured according to usage needs. The workstation also supports HP Remote Graphics Software (RGS) that enables remote access to graphics-rich applications, and the ability to host collaboration sessions from multiple devices and multiple operating systems including Linux.

Posted in: Products

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