Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Software Learns To Recognize Spring Thaw

Date:
August 26, 2005
Source:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Summary:
Spring thaw in the Northern Hemisphere was monitored by a new set of eyes this year -- an Earth-orbiting NASA spacecraft carrying a new version of software trained to recognize and distinguish snow, ice, and water from space.

On the left, Resolute Bay seen by the Hyperion instrument aboard Earth Observing-1. On the right, a visual representation of the analysis done by JPL's new software.
Credit: NASA/JPL

Spring thaw in the Northern Hemisphere was monitored by a new set ofeyes this year -- an Earth-orbiting NASA spacecraft carrying a newversion of software trained to recognize and distinguish snow, ice, andwater from space.

Using this software, the Space Technology 6 Autonomous SciencecraftExperiment autonomously tracked changes in the cryosphere, the sectionof Earth that is frozen, and relayed the information and images back toscientists.

The software, developed by engineers at NASA's Jet PropulsionLaboratory, Pasadena, Calif., controls the Earth Observing-1spacecraft. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md, managesthe satellite. The software has taken more than 1,500 images of frozenlakes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Quebec, Tibet and the Italian Alps,along with sea ice in Arctic and Antarctic bays.

While other spacecraft only capture images when they receiveexplicit commands to do so, for the last year Earth Observing-1 hasbeen making its own decisions. Based on general guidelines fromscientists, the spacecraft automatically tracks events such as volcanoeruptions, floods and ice formation. The most recent software upgradeallows the spacecraft to accurately recognize cryosphere changes suchas ice melting.

Previously, scientists spent several months developing software forEarth Observing-1 to detect changes in snow, water and ice. The newsoftware is capable of learning by itself, and it took only a few hoursfor scientists to train it to recognize cryosphere changes. In fact,the new software has learned to classify the images so well thatscientists plan to use it for the remainder of the mission.

"This new software is capable of a rudimentary form of learning,much the way a child learns the names of new objects," said DominicMazzoni, the JPL computer scientist who developed the software."Instead of programming the software using a complicated series ofcommands and mathematical equations, scientists play the role of ateacher, repeatedly showing the computer different images and givingfeedback until it has correctly learned to tell them apart."

On Earth Observing-1, the software searches for specific cryosphericevents and reprograms the spacecraft to capture additional images ofthe event.

"The software has exceeded all of our expectations," said Dr. SteveChien, JPL principal investigator for the Autonomous SciencecraftExperiment. "We have demonstrated that a spacecraft can operateautonomously, and the software has taken literally hundreds of imageswithout ground intervention."

Similar software has been used to distinguish between differenttypes of clouds in images captured by JPL's Multi-angle ImagingSpectroRadiometer, an instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft.Automatically identifying types of clouds from space will helpscientists better understand Earth's global energy balance and predictfuture climate trends.

Future versions of the software also might be used to track duststorms on Mars, search for ice volcanoes on Jupiter’s moon Europa, andmonitor activity on Jupiter's volcanically active moon Io. NASA's NewMillennium Program developed both the satellite and the software. Theprogram 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 more information on the New Millennium Program on the Internet, visit: http://nmp.jpl.nasa.gov'.

For information about the Earth Observing-1 spacecraft on the Internet, visit: http://eo1.gsfc.nasa.gov.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "Software Learns To Recognize Spring Thaw." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050819093826.htm>.
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. (2005, August 26). Software Learns To Recognize Spring Thaw. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050819093826.htm
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "Software Learns To Recognize Spring Thaw." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050819093826.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Apple Releases 'Shellshock' Fix Despite Few Affected Users

Apple Releases 'Shellshock' Fix Despite Few Affected Users

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Apple released a security fix for the "Shellshock" vulnerability Monday, though it says only "advanced UNIX users" of OS X need it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Facebook Ad Platform Goes Where You Go On The Web

New Facebook Ad Platform Goes Where You Go On The Web

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Called Atlas, the platform allows advertisers to place ads based on Facebook info on sites outside of Facebook. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Tightens Requirements For Android Manufacturers

Google Tightens Requirements For Android Manufacturers

Newsy (Sep. 27, 2014) Phonemakers who want to use Google’s software in their devices will have to stick to more stringent requirements. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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