Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA To Provide Sharper Underground View Of World Trade Center Area

Date:
August 30, 2002
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
NASA will apply its image-processing expertise to enhance underground radar images of the area around the World Trade Center, providing a clearer picture of what's beneath the surface.

NASA will apply its image-processing expertise to enhance underground radar images of the area around the World Trade Center, providing a clearer picture of what's beneath the surface.

"Our image processing techniques will provide the first enhanced subsurface images of the area around ground zero," said Dr. Amir Fijany, principal scientist and supervisor for the Ultracomputing Technology Research Group at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "Our goal is to pinpoint utility lines and improve the overall sharpness of the images."

Witten Technologies, Inc., of Boston, will supply JPL with underground images from lower Manhattan created with ground-penetrating imaging radar in surveys done for Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (Con Edison) in August 2001 and January 2002.

Witten used a new technique called underground "radar tomography," which resembles satellite radar but rides on the back of a truck directly over the site, producing a 3-D picture of what's below the surface to depths of about 1.8 meters (6 feet). Those images have already proved valuable in helping reduce the amount of digging needed to maintain dense underground utility networks.

JPL would add another dimension to the images already collected by Witten by pinpointing linear features such as gas and electrical lines. "We have a continuous underground image below about 8 acres of streets in lower Manhattan, including several streets surveyed before and after 9/11," said Dr. Michael Oristaglio, chief scientist of Witten Technologies. "But some of the most important features are fuzzy; they're at the limit of resolution of the radar. We are hoping that JPL's expertise in advanced radar image analysis can bring these features into sharp focus."

This partnership is possible through JPL's Technology Affiliates Program that allows large and small businesses to work with JPL technologists. It is one of several JPL technology transfer programs designed to bring the benefits of the space program to American industry.

Witten is providing JPL with data from around the World Trade Center area before and after September 11. "Comparing these two sets of radar images taken from the same area may enable the team to detect underground changes and assess the extent of damage," said Fijany.

JPL will apply its image-processing and feature-extraction techniques to these images. The primary goal will be to pinpoint semi-continuous linear features that could correspond to buried utility lines such as phone lines, gas lines, pipes or other infrastructure. A secondary goal is to improve the overall sharpness and appearance of the raw image by reducing clutter and enhancing linear features. This initial phase is expected to take six months.

Additionally, JPL will conduct tests on three other sets of images with increasing level of complexity from other sites in Manhattan taken in February and July 2001.

JPL has been conducting remote sensing and image processing of Earth and other planets for many decades. Fijany led a similar assignment in subsurface imaging to detect unexploded ordnance for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. During this assignment, radar data collected by high-altitude airborne ground-penetrating Synthetic Aperture Radar was used for subsurface imaging. Advanced image processing techniques, including novel clutter reduction and feature extraction algorithms, were then applied to the radar images.

The results from that work showed that this type of remote sensing technology could detect very small features below the surface. Similar sub-surface imaging technology will be applied to the images collected by Witten in order to enhance their overall quality.

The regional government of Vasterbottens in Sweden, where the ground-penetrating radar technology is manufactured, provided its support to Witten for the additional surveys that were done in January 2002. Additionally, Con Edison is providing Witten additional support for the project through a grant to the Urban Utility Center of Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA To Provide Sharper Underground View Of World Trade Center Area." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 August 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020830072237.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2002, August 30). NASA To Provide Sharper Underground View Of World Trade Center Area. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020830072237.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA To Provide Sharper Underground View Of World Trade Center Area." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020830072237.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins