Science Seminars

Filling in the Gaps : Getting the Most from Your Instruments

Speaker: Russell Stoneback (University of Texas at Dallas)
Date: Thursday, Oct 04, 2018
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: SPSC W120

Seminar Abstract:

The wider scientific community and NASA have developed and launched a great many orbital resources to measure the near Earth space environment. While these instruments have resulted in significant discoveries the full impact of these data sets has yet to be realized. Differences in data format and other particulars generally makes integrating multiple instruments into a single analysis a challenge. Further, when judged against complete maps over the Earth on a daily basis, many instruments have low data coverage, particularly in-situ instrumentation. To meet these challenges we will present our generalized data processing system that can integrate a multitude of instruments measuring different parameters into a cohesive whole, even when the input data sets are largely missing data.

I will provide an overview of the Python Satellite Data Analysis Toolkit (pysat), an open source framework that implements the generalized process of space science, as well as Data Interpolating Orthogonal Functions (DINEOFs), a generalized data based process for exploiting data. Pysat was born from my experiences working with the NASA funded Ion Velocity Meter (IVM) on the Communications/Navigation Outage Forecast System (C/NOFS). The heritage distilled into pysat provides a foundational framework for the IVM processing I developed for the upcoming NASA Ionospheric Connections (ICON) Explorer mission, as well as the 6 IVMs on the upcoming COSMIC-2 constellation.

I will also cover applications of DINEOFs to ionospheric data sets with an eye towards the upcoming COSMIC-2 mission. C/NOFS IVM ion drifts and COSMIC-1 electron density profiles were combined using pysat and DINEOFs to provide a significantly more complete picture of the ionosphere than was directly measured. These results confirm the unexpected downward ion velocities during local afternoon observed by the C/NOFS IVM during the 2008/9 solar minimum. The additional ion drift and electron density profile measurements expected from COSMIC-2 suggest a significant increase in our ability to specify the ionosphere on a daily basis.

The rise of CubeSats, small, inexpensive spacecraft, offers the potential for a transformative increase in the number and variety of near Earth measurements. I will cover pysat support for CubeSats, the CubeSat IVMs that will be featured on the upcoming NASA SORTIE and NASA/INPE SPORT missions, as well as a pair of CubeSat neutral wind instruments that can measure density, temperature, composition, and winds along three dimensions.