Imaging

NASA Vision Workbench (VWB) v3

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California VWB is a modular, extensible computer vision framework that supports tasks including automated science and engineering analysis, large satellite image processing, and 2D/3D environment reconstruction. The framework provides a rapid C++ development environment as well as a flexible, multi-platform system to deploy computer vision applications. The module interface allows new capabilities to be rapidly integrated, and a dataflow architecture allows image processing pipelines to be quickly developed and reconfigured.

Posted in: Briefs, Imaging

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Flight Proving a Heliophysics Soft X-Ray Imager

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland The interaction between the solar wind and the Earth’s magneto - sphere results in “space weather.” To determine the true nature of the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction, scientists require global measurements of processes occurring at the bow shock, in the magnetosheath, and at the magnetopause. Such observations can only be obtained from imaging this interaction globally. This will produce a paradigm shift similar to how satellite imaging revolutionized terrestrial weather forecasting.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Imaging

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Intensity Interferometry Image Recovery

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California This software extends the well-known error-reduction Gerchberg-Saxton method to imaging of dark objects, assuming that such an object partially shadows a well-characterized thermal light source, while the shadow cannot be used for inferring the object’s shape. These assumptions are reasonable for a wide class of astronomic objects of interest, such as exoplanets, asteroids, neutron stars, dust clouds, black holes, dark matter, etc.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Imaging

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Cameras for All-Sky Meteor Surveillance (CAMS) Version 1.3

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland The CAMS system comprises a deployment of multiple narrow-field, low-light video cameras that completely covers the sky in a mosaic pattern from 30° elevation and above. Two or three such camera batteries separated by many kilometers allow for large atmospheric volume coverage, high spatial resolution, and the high probability of viewing a meteor from more than one site for triangulation and thus atmospheric path reconstruction.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Imaging

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Normalized Cross Correlation FPGA Implementation

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A safe and precise landing system for Mars will match features seen in descent imagery against a map constructed from orbital imagery. The spacecraft attitude and altitude are known, but lateral position is known only poorly. From attitude and altitude, one can generate a mapping (homography) that allows the descent image to be warped into the orthonormal viewpoint of the map. Since there now will be two images from the same viewpoint, normalized cross correlation can be used to locate in image 2 the positions of features seen in image 1. These are well-known techniques, but this process must be performed ten times a second using relatively slow space-qualified hardware.

Posted in: Briefs, Imaging

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Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis for Monitoring Hazards (ARIA-MH)

Geodetic imaging capabilities may be brought to a level that will enable NASA scientists and technologists to support local, national, and international hazard response communities. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Space-based geodetic measurement techniques such as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) and Continuous Global Positioning System (CGPS) are now critical elements in the toolset for monitoring earthquake-generating faults, volcanic eruptions, landslides, glacial ablation, reservoir subsidence, and other natural and man-made hazards. Geodetic imaging’s unique ability to capture surface deformation with high spatial and temporal resolution has revolutionized both earthquake science and volcanology. Continuous monitoring of surface deformation and surface change before, during, and after natural hazards allows for better forecasts, increased situational awareness, and more informed recovery. Combining high-spatial-resolution InSAR products with high-temporal-resolution GPS products, and automating this data preparation and processing across global-scale areas of interest, is an untapped science and monitoring opportunity.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Imaging

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Next-Generation Integrated Camera (NIC)

Design and fabrication of a modern, compact, highly modular, and extreme-environment-capable replacement have been proposed for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) camera. This next-generation camera is based on a CMOS (complementary metal-oxidesemiconductor) imager rather than a CCD (charge-coupled device) imager, and will provide similar image quality to the MER cameras. At the same time, the NIC will enjoy a higher readout speed, operate over a wider temperature range (–135 °C to 125 °C), and cost less to fabricate while seeing a 10× reduction in mass, size, component count, and power consumption of the camera.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Imaging

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Homography Warp Image FPGA Implementation

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A landing system for Mars matches features seen in descent imagery against a map constructed from orbital imagery. The spacecraft attitude and altitude are known, but lateral position is known only poorly. From attitude and altitude, one can generate a mapping (homography) that allows the descent image to be warped into the orthonormal viewpoint of the map. The homography maps any pixel in the map image to the corresponding pixel in the descent image.

Posted in: Briefs, Imaging

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Improved Hall Thrusters Fed by Solid Phase Propellant

Mg is more abundant than Xe and provides a much higher specific impulse. John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio Hall thrusters normally use Xe propellant, which is expensive and scarce in the solar system. The weight of Xe is such that typical Hall thrusters are limited in specific impulse to approximately 3,000 s. The objective of this program was to improve and demonstrate Mg Hall thruster systems. Mg is abundant in the solar system and has an atomic mass approximately one-fifth that of Xe, which means much higher specific impulse is achieved than with Xe at typical thruster operating conditions (power, voltage).

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Aerospace, Imaging

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Mikrotron Cameras Bring Accuracy, High Performance, and Flexibility to 3D Trajectory Reconstruction

Static two-dimensional images have proven to be of great analytical value, but analysis in more dynamic environments depends upon accurate and continuous imaging of three-dimensional volumes. Fluid motion often presents that type of dynamic environment. For example, turbulent fluid flow through irregular media — such as water flow along a gravel streambed — is almost impossible to represent with a closed-form mathematical model. To study such situations, researchers turn to a technique called 3D particle tracking velocimetry, or 3D-PTV. Mikrotron cameras have proven to be invaluable elements of high-performance 3D-PTV systems.

Posted in: White Papers, Imaging

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