Archive for the ‘mapping’ category

Nov 23, 2020

NASA Uses Powerful Supercomputers and AI to Map Earth’s Trees, Discovers Billions of Trees in West African Drylands

Posted by in categories: information science, mapping, robotics/AI, supercomputing

Scientists from NASA ’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and international collaborators demonstrated a new method for mapping the location and size of trees growing outside of forests, discovering billions of trees in arid and semi-arid regions and laying the groundwork for more accurate global measurement of carbon storage on land.

Using powerful supercomputers and machine learning algorithms, the team mapped the crown diameter – the width of a tree when viewed from above – of more than 1.8 billion trees across an area of more than 500,000 square miles, or 1,300,000 square kilometers. The team mapped how tree crown diameter, coverage, and density varied depending on rainfall and land use.

Continue reading “NASA Uses Powerful Supercomputers and AI to Map Earth’s Trees, Discovers Billions of Trees in West African Drylands” »

Nov 21, 2020

Meteor enters our atmosphere as a blazing ball of fire near Australia

Posted by in category: mapping

Researchers mapping the seafloor off the coast of Tasmania captured the moment a meteor flew through the atmosphere as a fireball and then disintegrated over the ocean.

Nov 11, 2020

Scientists create a chemical space mapping method and crack the mystery of Mendeleev number

Posted by in categories: chemistry, information science, mapping, particle physics

Scientists have long sought a system for predicting the properties of materials based on their chemical composition. In particular, they set sights on the concept of a chemical space that places materials in a reference frame such that neighboring chemical elements and compounds plotted along its axes have similar properties. This idea was first proposed in 1984 by the British physicist, David G. Pettifor, who assigned a Mendeleev number (MN) to each element. Yet the meaning and origin of MNs were unclear. Scientists from the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) puzzled out the physical meaning of the mysterious MNs and suggested calculating them based on the fundamental properties of atoms. They showed that both MNs and the chemical space built around them were more effective than empirical solutions proposed until then. Their research supported by a grant from the Russian Science Foundation’s (RSF) World-class Lab Research Presidential Program was presented in The Journal of Physical Chemistry C.

Systematizing the enormous variety of chemical , both known and hypothetical, and pinpointing those with a particularly interesting property is a tall order. Measuring the properties of all imaginable compounds in experiments or calculating them theoretically is downright impossible, which suggests that the search should be narrowed down to a smaller space.

David G. Pettifor put forward the idea of chemical space in the attempt to somehow organize the knowledge about material properties. The chemical space is basically a where elements are plotted along the axes in a certain sequence such that the neighboring elements, for instance, Na and K, have similar properties. The points within the space represent compounds, so that the neighbors, for example, NaCl and KCl, have similar properties, too. In this setting, one area is occupied by superhard materials and another by ultrasoft ones. Having the space at hand, one could create an algorithm for finding the best material among all possible compounds of all elements. To build their “smart” map, Skoltech scientists, Artem R. Oganov and Zahed Allahyari, came up with their own universal approach that boasts the highest predictive power as compared to the best-known methods.

Nov 9, 2020

The Craters on Earth: New Atlas Presents and Explains the Impact Sites of Meteorites and Asteroids Worldwide

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks, mapping, satellites

Prof. Dr. Thomas Kenkmann, geologist from the University of Freiburg’s Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, together with mineralogist Prof. Dr. Wolf Uwe Reimold from the University of Brasilia, Brazil, and Dr. Manfred Gottwald from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) published an atlas providing a comprehensive overview of all known impact craters on every continent. The authors present the more than 200 terrestrial impact sites in high-resolution topographic maps and satellite images, complete with detailed geological descriptions and photographs of the crater structures and their rocks. They also explain the essential details of each impact event.

The formation of craters by asteroid and comet impact has always been a fundamental process in the solar system, explains Kenkmann. As the planets developed along with their moons, these impacts played an important part in accreting planetary mass, shaping the surfaces of planetary bodies, and later also influencing their development. And larger meteorite impacts eventually affected the development of life on Earth.

Today, mapping of what can still be seen of the impact structures on the Earth’s surface can be done by satellites in low Earth orbit. From 2010 to 2016, the DLR successfully measured the Earth’s surface with the radar satellites of the TanDEM-X mission. The acquired data allowed, for the first time, to derive a worldwide terrain model with a height accuracy of up to one meter. From this global digital elevation model the authors have been able to produce this complete topographic atlas of 600 pages with information about all terrestrial impact craters known to date.

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Nov 9, 2020

Sony launches Airpeak drone business to support ‘video creators’

Posted by in categories: business, drones, energy, mapping

Sony wants a bigger piece of the drone market. Today, the Japanese giant unveiled a project called Airpeak, which will “support the creativity of video creators to the fullest extent possible,” according to a cryptic press release. That makes it sound like Sony wants to take on consumer-focused drone makers such as DJI, Parrot and Skydio. Which makes a lot of sense, given Sony’s expertise in the compact and full-frame mirrorless camera markets. If you’re a vlogger or independent filmmaker that already uses Sony gear, you might be tempted by a drone with similar technology. If nothing else, it would make it easier to color correct and combine footage.

In the press release, though, Sony notes how drones have led to “workflow efficiency and energy savings in the industrial sector.” It adds: “Sony has assigned the ‘Airpeak’ brand to reflect its aspiration to contribute to the further evolvement and the creation of the unprecedented value through its imaging and sensing technology as well as 3R technologies (Reality, Real-time and Remote) in the drone area.” So it a consumer or enterprise play? We’re hoping its the former. The company already has Aerosense — a business-focused drone collaboration with ZMP — which specializes in surveying, capturing live events and creating maps from drone imagery.

Nov 8, 2020

Automated Technology Allows Unparalleled Space Exploration from Moon, to Asteroids, and Beyond

Posted by in categories: mapping, security, space

When landing Apollo 11 in 1969, astronauts looked out the window for distinguishing features that they recognized from maps of the Moon and were able to steer the lander to avoid a disastrous touchdown on top of a rocky area. Now, 50 years later, the process can be automated. Distinguishing features, like known craters, boulders, or other unique surface characteristics, provide insight into surface hazards to help avoid them while landing.

NASA scientists and engineers are maturing technology for navigating and landing on planetary bodies by analyzing images during descent – a process called terrain relative navigation (TRN). This optical navigation technology is included on NASA’s newest Mars rover, Perseverance, which will test TRN when it lands on the Red Planet in 2021, paving the way for future crewed missions to the Moon and beyond. TRN was also being used during NASA’s recent Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resources Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission Touch-and-Go (TAG) event to collect samples of the asteroid Bennu in order to better understand the characteristics and movement of asteroids.

Since reaching Bennu in 2018, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has mapped and studied its surface, including its topography and lighting conditions, in preparation for TAG. Nightingale crater was chosen from four candidate sites based on its great amount of sampleable material and accessibility for the spacecraft.

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Nov 6, 2020

Scientists work to shed light on Standard Model of particle physics

Posted by in categories: mapping, particle physics

As scientists await the highly anticipated initial results of the Muon g-2 experiment at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, collaborating scientists from DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory continue to employ and maintain the unique system that maps the magnetic field in the experiment with unprecedented precision.

Argonne scientists upgraded the , which uses an advanced communication scheme and new magnetic field probes and electronics to map the field throughout the 45-meter circumference ring in which the experiment takes place.

The experiment, which began in 2017 and continues today, could be of great consequence to the field of particle physics. As a follow-up to a past experiment at DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, it has the power to affirm or discount the previous results, which could shed light on the validity of parts of the reigning Standard Model of particle physics.

Oct 28, 2020

Recreating Historical Streetscapes Using Deep Learning and Crowdsourcing

Posted by in categories: mapping, robotics/AI

For many, gazing at an old photo of a city can evoke feelings of both nostalgia and wonder — what was it like to walk through Manhattan in the 1940s? How much has the street one grew up on changed? While Google Street View allows people to see what an area looks like in the present day, what if you want to explore how places looked in the past?

Oct 26, 2020

Scientists Send Boston Dynamics Robodog Into Chernobyl

Posted by in categories: mapping, robotics/AI

The robodog is now going to places where humans and real dogs cannot.

The robot helped create 3D maps of radioactivity.

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Oct 26, 2020

In New Milestone, Physicists Store And Transport Light Using Quantum Memory

Posted by in categories: computing, internet, mapping, particle physics, quantum physics, security

We stored the light by putting it in a suitcase so to speak, only that in our case the suitcase was made of a cloud of cold atoms,” says physicist Patrick Windpassinger from Mainz University in Germany. “We moved this suitcase over a short distance and then took the light out again.

The storage and transfer of information is a fundamental part of any computing system, and quantum computing systems are no different – if we’re going to benefit from the speed and security of quantum computers and a quantum internet, then we need to figure out how to shift quantum data around.

One of the ways scientists are approaching this is through optical quantum memory, or using light to store data as maps of particle states, and a new study reports on what researchers are calling a milestone in the field: the successful storage and transfer of light using quantum memory.

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