2013 RID Awards

PROJECT: A Feasibility Study for Processing of Thermal Infrared Images on a CubeSat Payload

PI: Dejan Raskovic, Associate Professor, UAF

Volcanoes can erupt at any time and produce effusive lava flows, pyroclastic/lahar flows and
explosive eruption columns. From the explosive eruption columns, volcanic plumes and then drifting ash
clouds can form. Many volcanoes, especially in the North Pacific, have little ground measurements and
given their remote location, satellite remote sensing has become the tool for monitoring their activity.
This project is focused on evaluating embedded computer systems for a CubeSat nanosatellite to
identify those with sufficient computational power and storage capacity for on‐board processing of IR
images using the algorithms required to extract information on the ash plume structure prior to
transmitting the data to the ground. Hybrid embedded systems, consisting of an FPGA or a low‐power
microprocessor, aided by an ultra‐low‐power microcontroller will be considered in order to reduce the
power consumption.

PROJECT: Developing a strategy to evaluate and monitor outburst floods, Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska

PI: Jason Amundson, Assistant Professor, UAS

Mendenhall Glacier, located near Juneau, Alaska, experienced outburst floods in 2011 and 2012 that threatened local infrastructure, including several rods and homes located along Mendenhall Lake and the Mendenhall River. This project aims to assess the recent and current changes that are occurring at Mendenall Glacier, and to relate those changes to the outburst floods that have occurred during the previous two years and that are anticipated to occur in the coming years.

PROJECT: Development of a Tagging Method for Dusky Dolphins to Understand the Effects of Climate, Ecosystem, and Anthropogenic Changes

PI: Heidi Pearson, Assistant Professor, UAS

Top marine predators are early indicators and sentinels of ecosystem and climate change, as changes in their abundance, distribution, and behavior may reflect broader earth system processes. The goal of this study is to develop a short-term, non-invasive suction-cup tagging method for collecting high resolution data on dusky dolphins foraging and ranging behavior that can be integrated with climate and oceanographic data derived from NASA satellite sensors.

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