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10/06/2022

COWVR and TEMPEST observe Hurricane Ian’s development and landfall(s).  The left panels show blended radiances from COWVR and TEMPEST.  The blue areas are generally clear air over the ocean.  The transition from white to green shows increasing liquid water content in the form of clouds and rain.  The most intense convective precipitation is illustrated by the yellow to red to black transition. Ian becomes more disorganized as it traversed Florida, but started to reform an eye after making it back into the Atlantic.  The radiance data from only TEMPEST are shown in the right panel giving a wider view during landfall on 9/28.  TEMPEST has a 1400km swath compared to COWVR’s 900km swath (which is depicted in the blended imagery). The right panel uses a different color scheme. Here, the dark red colors wrapping around the storm in the Gulf of Mexico show water vapor being pulled into the storm, whereas the most intense precipitation is denoted by the blue colors around the eye wall and just off the east coast of Florida. The green colors extending up the Eastern seaboard are from ice aloft in the outflow cloud field extending away from the storm.

The Joint Typhon Warning Center (JTWC) used live COWVR and TEMPEST data to generate a forecast advisory on 10/2/2022 for Tropical Storm “Roke” in the western Pacific.  JTWC forecaster stated, “Great stuff guys! First batch of "realtime" COWVR and TEMPEST data for a "live" storm in ATCF. It looks great and will certainly be a valuable addition to the analysis quiver going forward.”  The image below shows one of the COWVR images used by the forecasters.  In this image, COWVR data provide a fix on the storm circulation center which is used in the forecast for the future track of the storm, shown as the faint black line.

09/01/2022

The 2022 SoOpSAR/King Air mission was successful completed on Aug 26 with all objectives achieved: testing the performance of SoOpSAR instrument, understanding the radio frequency interference environment, and collecting quality science data with tight flight lines of 10 m spacing.

08/18/2022

The L-band radar aboard the AFRC C-20 jet (NASA802) embarked on the 2022 Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) campaign in Canada and Alaska on Friday, 12 August.  ABoVE is a large-scale study of environmental change and its implications for social-ecological systems and include multiple airborne and field teams during the campaign.  First stop for UAVSAR was Saskatoon, Canada, where we conducted a TomoSAR experiment over the Boreal Ecosystem Research and Monitoring Sites (BERMS) in northern Saskatchewan Province.  These TomoSAR flight lines were also extended by 20 km to cover the SMAPVEX sites in BERMS.   A quick look polarimetric color composite image over the BERMS TomoSAR site is attached, where it shows the complexity of the boreal forests of different species and status.

06/29/2022

The L-band radar began its Santa Barbara Oil Seep experiment aboard the AFRC jet (NASA802) on June 24, 2022, for observing natural seeps near Santa Barbara shoreline in coordination with the in-situ teams as well as satellite imagery from Radarsat-2, TerraSAR-X, and Worldview.  On June 24, surface team reported lots of different oil slick configurations with variant wind conditions, which were captured by UAVSAR successfully.  Attached is a UAVSAR onboard processor quicklook image showing the oil slicks and support boat across one of the thick slick, as well as the aerial photo of the same slick.

11/04/2021

The L-band radar aboard the AFRC C-20 jet successfully completed the Santa Barbara Oil Slick experiment (PI: Frank Monaldo) last week.  In coordination with NOAA, JPL, and the US Coast Guard, the experimenters are studying the use of L-band polarimetric SAR data to determine oil thickness, and practicing the workflow for disaster response.   We imaged the natural oil seepage in the Santa Barbara Channel 3 days in a row in coordination with a US Coast Guard ship collecting in-situ data and the L-band radar saw many oil slicks over the ocean surface, as shown in the image below.  


The dark areas in this VV polarization image are oil slicks.

09/30/2021

Delta-X officially concluded its fall campaign on Saturday, 25 September! Boston University’s Water Quality team took their last water sample on 24 September while AVIRIS-NG imaged the area for post Hurricane Ida assessment (as part of an R&D task). The JPL and UNC teams retrieved most of the water level gauges within the channels and a few located in the wetlands of the Atchafalaya river. The LSU team will retrieve a few more gauges located at the intensive sites during its regular (every ~6 months) soil accretion surveys that will continue over the next 2 years.

09/30/2021

The NASA Earth Venture Suborbital 2 Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) completed the sixth and final Airborne Oceanographic Survey in Greenland on 22 September.   A total of 350 temperature and salinity dropsondes were deployed on the continental shelf around Greenland from the JPL subcontracted DC3 Turbo Prop Aircraft from Kenn Borek Air, LTD of Calgary, Canada.  In addition to the dropsondes, a total of 18 robotic satellite based drifter and floats were deployed from the open door of the aircraft, and provide months to years of data of temperature and salinity.


Map showing all of the locations that dropsondes were deployed in green, and floats
and drifters in purple, and a few yellow locations were floats were planned but not deployed.

The final week of the OMG 2021 campaign was a coordinated outreach effort between NASA, the US State Department and the Greenlandic Government. There was a number of science outreach programs with the OMG team at local Greenland High Schools, including aircraft tours. Additionally, there was a number of VIP flights for the Greenlandic Government and Research community and the US State Department. The outreach effort by the OMG team was well received by the Greenland officials. 

09/23/2021

The L-band radar aboard the Armstrong C-20A jet successfully completed the Delta-X fall campaign on 7 September.  In all we conducted 7 flights, imaging Atchafalaya Basin, East and West Terrebonne Basin in high tide and receding tide.  We were co-flying with AirSWOT aboard the Dynamic Aviation B-200 based at Port Arthur, TX.  Data have already been returned to JPL and processing is well underway.

During the Delta-X deployment, we managed to acquire post-Hurricane Ida data over the City of New Orleans on 31 August and the severely affected area just east and south of Terrebonne Basin on several flights.  It was a great opportunity to leverage Delta-X campaign to support disaster response and management.  As it turns out the most useful data we were able to provide for this event were the oil slick images just south of Port Fourchon, where many oil rigs were damaged by the hurricane.   An example of UAVSAR’s oil slick detection is showcased in a JPL Press Release:

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/nasas-delta-x-helps-with-disaster-response-in-wake-of-hurricane-ida

In addition, we worked with NOAA Satellite and Information Service (NESDIS) to develop a protocol for generating Marine Pollution Surveillance Report (MPSR) for future oil spill response events.  

09/23/2021

The Delta-X JPL and UNC ADCP teams returned to the Mississippi Delta on Monday, 20 September to retrieve water level gauges. They plan to stay until Sunday, 26 September. The Boston University Water Quality team has been collecting data over the past week and plans to return on Friday, 24 September. Water Quality team members on an airboat operating a Portable SpectroRadiometer (PSR) that measures above-water surface reflectance, an in-situ field measurement analogous to the imagery that AVIRIS-NG produces.

09/23/2021

The QUAKES-I June 2021 imagery is being evaluated with the Linear Bundle Adjustment (LBA) algorithm. This algorithm is a linearized solution for Bundle Adjustment designed for efficient implementation. The steps of the algorithm:

  1. Generate a mosaic image using the QUAKES-I geometry.
  2. Find features in the mosaic and locate the features in subsequent frames.
  3. Perform LBA on the features to construct a pose graph for each mosaic.
  4. Use forward and aft mosaics of the same region to generate terrain (3D terrain map).

 

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