Monday, 10 January 2005: 11:15 AM
Autonomous Rapid Response to Monitor Transient Science Events
To better understand how physical phenomena, such as volcanic eruptions, evolve over time, multiple sensor observations over the duration of the event are required. Using sensor web approaches that integrate original detections by it-situ sensors and global-coverage, lower-resolution, on-orbit assets with automated rapid response observations from high resolution sensors, more observations of significant events can be made with increased temporal, spatial, and spectral resolution. Repeat observations of events in remote locations can be made even before news of the event reaches human cognizance. Autonomous detection capabilities that identify thermal, flood, and other boundary condition anomalies and track their location can be used to autonomously re-trigger follow-up observations by the high resolution platforms and then to broadcast those detection results to other sensor platforms for additional observation coverage without human intervention. These experiments are being conducted now by a team of researchers and scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory in collaboration with numerous universities and other government agencies under the mantle of the Volcano Sensor Web experiment. This activity provides a true end-to-end approach for developing the "system of systems" needed for global Earth observations as well as for lunar/planetary exploration strategies.