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Highlights Archive
Earth Science Division Highlights for week ending September 12, 2007

SG staff in the news .
Earth Science Division folks appeared in the news on KGO TV in the past week:

(POC: Warren Gore, , 4-5533)


WRAP completes third mission; provides imagery of Lick Fire .
The WRAP project completed the third Western States UAV Fire Imaging Mission, flying from 6:00 PM Sept. 7 through Sept. 8 at 2:00 PM. The 20-hour mission, led by an Ames Research Team, covered 11 fires in California, Oregon, and Washington. Three of the major fires were supported in the field by project members assisting the Fire Incident Command Teams in data integration from the sensor on the Ikhana UAV flying overhead. PI Vince Ambrosia (CSUMB) led the mission from the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. Steve Wegener (BAER Inst.) and Steve Dunagan (SGE) led the mission team at NASA-DFRC. An ARC team, led by Jim Brass, collaborated with the Lick Fire Incident Command Center in Gilroy, CA. Another team led by Tom Zajkowski (USFS) deployed to the GW Fire in Oregon and helped with data integration from the Ikhana. The team in Boise also supported the Incident Command on the Moonlight Fire in Plumas County, CA, with data integration and real-time analysis of fire behavior during critical expansion of that fire.

Press coverage, both local and national continued to inundate the WRAP project team. One NASA HQ PAO official said it was the most coverage they had seen, other than a Shuttle Mission Launch.

The fourth Western States UAV Fire Mission is currently scheduled for take-off on Sept. 20 at 6:00 PM with a landing the following day. (POC: Vince Ambrosia, , 4-6565)


SG scientist attends space based solar power meeting .
The U.S. Air Force is exploring ways to power Air Force Bases and even aircraft as fossil fuel resources decline. One option is to build large satellites in geosynchronous orbit to collect solar energy and beam the energy to Earth in the form of microwaves or lasers. A space based solar power conference, "Charting a Course for Sustainable Energy", was held Sept. 6 and 7 in Breckenridge, CO. The USAF Academy Eisenhower Center for Space and Defence Studies and the National Security Space Office sponsored the conference. Dr. Jay Skiles (SGE) chaired the panel discussion, "Environmental Considerations: Space Debris Management, System Security, and Terrestrial Safety Issues". Topics under discussion included issues of on-orbit accidents, rocket exhaust plumes, effects of mining on ecosystems, and security of orbiting satellites. Other conferences will be held in the next several years. Skiles has been studying plant response to microwaves at the frequencies and intensities expected at the edge of the receiving antennas. He has one proceedings paper and one published paper from this work. (POC: J. Skiles,, 4-3614)


Chris Potter gives invited presentation .
Christopher Potter (SGE) gave an invited presentation on NASA carbon cycle research at the Fourth Annual California Climate Change Conference Science for Managing Climate Change in California: Vulnerability, Mitigation, and Adaptation, September 10-12, 2007 in Sacramento, CA. The conference sponsors were the California Energy Commission and the California Environmental Protection Agency. Conference presentations were intended to share technical information with policy makers, managers, and climate change researchers on regional climate change issues. (POC: Chris Potter, , 4-6164)


BP reps visit Ames to develop test plan .
Represents from British Petroleum North American Pipeline and North American Gas supported a meeting with SG staff for the Sensor Enabled Nextgen Technology for RoW Inspection & Leak Detection (SENTRI-LD) Project, Sept. 5-6 at ARC. The meetings resulted in the development of a test plan and schedule for gas leak detection activities utilizing hyperspectral vegitation stress maping as a potential technology for identifying subterranean leaks. (POC: Randy Berthold, , 4-3408)


Bubenheim and Potter visit USDA Lab .
Drs. David Bubenheim and Chris Potter (SGE) visited the USDA Laboratory in Temple, Texas, Sept. 6 and 7. The group focused on defining plans for including NASA Earth Science inputs to the developing Western Rangeland Assessment Project within the Natural Resources Conservation Program of USDA. (POC: David Bubenheim,, 4-3209)


Ecological Forecasting Group presents poster at state climate conference .
Researchers at the Ecocast Lab presented the poster, “Ecological Nowcasts and Forecasts for California,” at the 2007 California Climate Change Conference, held in Sacramento, CA, Sept. 10-13. Rama Nemani, Hiro Hashimoto, Forrest Melton, Andy Michaelis, Cristina Milesi, Petr Votava, and W. Wang authored the poster. The California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission sponsored the conference. (POC: Forrest Melton, , 4-2787)

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