jump directly to section navigation jump directly to site level navigation jump directly to content top jump directly to footer information
NASA's EO1 Satellite. Click here for NASA Home Goddard Space Flight Center GSFC
NASA
> Earth Sciences Enterprise > New Millenium Program > GSFC > EO-1
+ NASA Portal
+Search NASA Portal

eo1 extended mission main menu eo1 general main menu eo1 baseline mission menu eo1 intranet search the EO1 site eo1 mission home page



SectionNav
SiteNav
PageTop
ContentTop
Footer

goto EO-1 Home Page

Nasa News, April 04, 06  
Related

READ MORE >>
Read and download the full EO-1 Validation Report.

Related Sites
USGS/EO-1 website at
http://eo1.usgs.gov

Contact
Questions and comments related to this document should be directed to:

Michael Flick
EO-1 Technology Transfer Manager
EO-1 Mission Office
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771
Phone: 301-286-8146
Fax: 301-286-1736
E-Mail: Michael Flick

New Software On NASA Spacecraft Monitors Active Volcano

 Gretchen Cook-Anderson
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-0836)

Natalie Godwin
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
(Phone: 818/354-0850)

Software on a NASA spacecraft recently made a scientific observation on its own without human interaction. The Space Technology 6 Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment captured images of Antarctica's Mount Erebus and detected volcanic activity.

The software, developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif., controls the Earth Observing-1 spacecraft. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, Md, manages the satellite. The software examines pictures from the Hyperion spectrometer, an instrument highly sensitive to heat released from molten lava.

After taking an image of Erebus, the software detected heat from the lava lake at the summit of the volcano and reprogrammed the camera to take more pictures. News of the detection was rapidly transmitted to scientists, where typically, it could take months to learn a remote volcano was active. Scientists normally would need to take measurements at the volcano to detect the same type of event. Researchers at JPL and GSFC will test the Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment on Erebus and other volcanoes for the next several months.

"Autonomous Sciencecraft is a giant leap toward a thinking spacecraft," said Dr. Steve Chien, JPL senior technologist for the software. "The software is the first use of autonomy allowing the spacecraft to make decisions without waiting for commands from scientists. It can capture short-lived science events that otherwise would have been missed," Chien added.

"With this software we can monitor many more volcanoes, since it knows how to only look at the active sites," said Dr. Ashley Davies, JPL lead scientist for the experiment. "This software can be used to track natural disasters that pose danger to populated areas, such as flooding and fires," said Rob Sherwood, JPL experiment manager.

Future versions of the software also may be used to track dust storms on Mars, search for ice volcanoes on Europa, and track activity on Jupiter's volcanically active moon Io.

NASA's New Millennium Program developed both the satellite and the software. The Program is responsible for testing new technologies in space.

For more information on the Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment on the Internet, visit:

http://ase.jpl.nasa.gov

For information about the Earth Observing-1 spacecraft on the Internet, visit:

http://eo1.gsfc.nasa.gov

For information about NASA and agency programs on the Internet, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/

SectionNav | SiteNav | PageTop | ContentTop | Footer

 

NASA Official: Dan Mandl
Curator: Lisa Kane
Webmaster/Design: Steve Sabia
Development: Team List
Security, Privacy, Notices
SectionNav | SiteNav | PageTop | ContentTop