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Jennifer Ward

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  1. A new batch of data has been added to the Earth-based S-band Lunar Radar dataset available on the PDS Geosciences Node web site at http://pds-geosciences.wustl.edu/missions/sband/index.htm. This data set contains dual-polarization backscatter maps of the lunar nearside collected at a wavelength of 12.6 cm (S-band), using the 305 m Radio Telescope at Arecibo to transmit and the NRAO's 105 m Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope to receive. The data were provided by Bruce Campbell of the Smithsonian Institution's Center for Earth and Planetary Studies and archived by the PDS Geosciences Node.

  2. The Virtual Astronaut (VA) is an interactive 3D environment created using multi-source and multi-instrument data from orbital and landed missions. The VA allows you to explore and view the Martian landscape as an astronaut cooperatively working with a rover, and to better understand and visualize the geomorphic and geologic contexts of Mars.


    As a 3D visualization tool, the VA supports navigation through the virtual environment with a mouse, keyboard shortcuts, or a gamepad. A virtual astronaut can walk across the Martian surface or control a rover driving along a path taken by Opportunity. The scene is created with multiple image mosaics overlain on a digital elevation model. You may adjust the contrast of the scene, change the terrain, make measurements, and visit targets where Opportunity performed in-situ measurements.


    The first release of the Virtual Astronaut is a prototype study of Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity's Santa Maria campaign. Santa Maria is an impact crater on Mars that is about 90 meters in diameter and is located at 2.172° S, 5.445° W in Meridiani Planum. The crater sits northwest of the larger Endeavour Crater. Before resuming its long-term trek toward Endeavour, Opportunity investigated Santa Maria from December 16, 2010 to March 22, 2011 (Martian days, sols 2451-2545). The VA for Cape York, a small rocky island sitting on the northwest rim of Endeavour Crater, is also under development.


    The Virtual Astronaut runs within web browsers on Windows and Mac OS X computers with at least 2 GB of RAM, preferably with dedicated video memory. The Unity Web Player plug-in is required (freely available online). Additional information on recommended system specifications is in the User's Manual.


    The VA was developed at the Geosciences Node of NASA's Planetary Data System (PDS) and can be accessed at: http://va.rsl.wustl.edu

  3. The MER Analyst's Notebook has been updated with data from release 32, containing data from sols 2701 to 2790 for the Opportunity rover.


    New Features:

    1. Target Search. Search for targets by name, sol, or site and position, and plot them on locator frames. Targets can be found in the Sol Summaries as well as under the "Search" tab. Note that targets have only been released through sol 2654. The target list has been minimally processed and may contain errors.

    2. Integrated Mosaics. Mosaics are now integrated with data and documents in the Sol Summaries.

  4. A new earth-based lunar radar altimetry map is now available: http://pds-geosciences.wustl.edu/missions/lram/index.htm


    This dataset contains digital elevation models (DEMs) of the lunar south pole. Elevation data at 200 pixels per degree of latitude (~150 m spatial resolution) were obtained with radar interferometry from the Goldstone Solar System Radar and calibrated with Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter laser altimetry data.


    The data were provided by Michael Busch and Jean-Luc Margot of the University of California, Los Angeles, and archived by the PDS Geosciences Node.

  5. The 2012 MRO/CRISM Data Users' Workshop will be held in association with the 43rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference on Sunday, March 18th, 2012 from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM in Waterway 2-3 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center, The Woodlands, Texas.


    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) has been in operation since late 2006 and has acquired over 20,000 high spatial and spectral resolution targeted observations of the Martian surface. The 2009 CRISM Data Users' Workshop introduced the data set to the community, described data products in detail, and trained attendees on using CRISM-specific software to analyze the data.


    At this second workshop, CRISM team members will review significant updates to PDS-delivered CRISM data products including an update to the radiometric calibration of both visible and near-infrared (VNIR) and infrared (IR) observations, and the implementation of a data filtering procedure that addresses systematic and stochastic instrument noise. In addition, a new family of highly derived CRISM data products - the Map Projected Targeted Reduced Data Record (MTRDR) product set - will be detailed and the utility of this product suite for scientific investigations will be demonstrated. The MTRDR product set represents a major advance in the accessibility of CRISM-derived spectral information and is expected to become the CRISM product set of preference for a large portion of the scientific community.


    All attendees are requested to REGISTER ONLINE for this event.


    Please see the following webpage for additional details: http://crism.jhuapl.edu/CRISM_workshop_2012/

    Contact: CRISM_Workshop_Web@jhuapl.edu.

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