Systems Engineering Seminar

Experimenting with Sensor Webs Using Earth Observing 1

Presented by:
Dan Mandl /584, Dr. Steve Chien /JPL, Sandra Grosvenor /SSAI, and Stuart Frye /Mitretek

March 2, 2004, 1:00 p.m.
Building 3 Auditorium

Experimenting with Sensor Webs Using Earth Observing 1

The New Millennium Program (NMP) Earth Observing 1 (EO-1) satellite was launched November 22, 2000 as a one year technology validation mission. After an almost flawless first year of operations, EO-1 continued to operate in a testbed mode to validate additional technologies and concepts that will be applicable to future sensor webs. A sensor web is a group of sensors, whether space-based, ground-based or air plane-based which act in a collaborative autonomous manner to produce more value than would otherwise result from the individual observations.

Interestingly, it seems that the trend at this time is to link a set of heterogeneous satellites and instruments together in an "ad hoc" constellation for a limited period of time to get new science products, in a sensor web configuration. In our experiments, we used the MODIS instruments on Aqua and Terra to locate terrestrial events such as forest fires and then to trigger a high-resolution image of the event with either the Advance Land Imager (ALI) or Hyperion on EO-1. To achieve this, we created a variety of software on the spacecraft and on the ground to coordinate the planning and triggering of these images. Furthermore, it became clear from the lessons learned that future sensor webs are going to need some key capabilities to enable progressive autonomy and sufficient reuse to make these constellation cost effective for science. This presentation describes the experiments, the lessons learned and the implications for future sensor webs.



Dan Mandl /584 is presently the EO-1 Mission Director and the Ground Systems Manager for ST-5. Mr. Mandl led EO-1 through a flawless first year of technology validation operations and spearheaded an effort to convert EO-1 to an on-orbit testbed after the first year. Due to all of the streamlining in operations which included setting up a partnership with USGS to sell EO-1 imagery after the first year and exceeding expected results through the use of EO-1 as a testbed, the EO-1 team was awarded the NASA Continuous Improvement Award. He is also the PI on a winning proposal to NASA Earth Science Technology Office(ESTO) to investigate techniques to create hybrid ground phased array antennas to lower the cost of antennas used to communicate to satellites and the PI on a recently completed investigation awarded by ESTO to demonstrate onboard cloud cover assessment using EO-1. Previously, he was the TRACE Ground System Development lead. His other jobs have included being the Small Explorer Control Center Systems Manager, a developer on other various missions such as COBE, GRO, UARS and EUVE. He has a BSEE from Univ. of Md and a Master's of Engineering Management from George Washington University

Dr. Steve Chien/JPL is Technical Group Supervisor of the Artificial Intelligence Group and Principal Computer Scientist in the Exploration Systems Autonomy Section at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology . Dr. Chien is also an Adjunct Associate Professor with the Department of Computer Science of the University of Southern California. He holds a B.S. with Highest Honors in Computer Science, with minors in Mathematics and Economics, M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science, all from the University of Illinois.

Dr. Chien was a recipient of the 1995 Lew Allen Award for Excellence, JPLs highest award recognizing outstanding technical achievements by JPL personnel in the early years of their careers. In 1997, he received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal for his work in research and development of planning and scheduling systems for NASA. He is the Team Lead for the ASPEN Planning System, which received Honorable Mention in the 1999 Software of the Year Competition and he was a contributor to the Remote Agent System which was a co-winner in the same 1999 competition. In 2000, he received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal for service and leadership in research and deployment of planning and scheduling systems for NASA. Dr. Chien has authored over 200 technical publications and received over 50 NASA Technical Innovation Awards.

Dr. Chien is the principal investigator for the Autonomous Scienceraft Experiment, currently flying on the Earth Observing One spacecraft.

Sandra Grosvenor is a Senior Staff Computer Scientist for Science Systems and Applications, Inc (SSAI). She has been responsible for the design and development for much of the internal architecture in the Science Goal Monitor (SGM) and Scientist's Expert Assistant (SEA). Ms. Grosvenor has over 24 years experience in software development with an emphasis on end-user applications. For the last seven years, she has been working full time with Goddard Space Flight Center's Advanced Architectures and Automations group developing and evaluating applications of new software technologies for NASA missions. She is the co-author of over 10 papers on either SEA or uses of graphical end-user software for helping manage NASA missions.

She received the NASA Software of the Year Award, Honorable Mention 2001, for the Scientist's Expert Assistant software prototype that provides interactive tools for proposal development. She has her Master of Science in Computer Systems Management from University of Maryland, and Bachelor of Arts in Economics and High Honors in Mathematics from Smith College.

Stuart Frye/Mitretek is the Mission Systems Engineer for the EO-1 satellite. Mr Frye's responsibilities in the sensor web work includes experiment concept definition, design, test, implementation, and post-demonstration analysis. He is the primary working-level point of contact for the various technology development, flight software, spacecraft subsystem engineering, and flight operations personnel needed to conduct these demonstrations.

He is co-author and co-investigator with Dan Mandl on several technology proposals that have been awarded to fund the sensor web work on EO-1. He is also the lead author on the inter-agency agreements NASA has instituted with the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that fund the EO-1 extended mission operations and science work.

Before EO-1, Mr. Frye provided system engineering support at GSFC to the EOS Program, Landsat-7, the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, and the Space Telescope projects. Mr. Frye also worked on Space Shuttle Processing engineering systems at KSC and JSC. He has a bachelors degree from the University of California in Mathematics and a Master's in Science from the George Washington University in Operations Research.



Return to SE Seminars Home


Systems Engineering Seminar Contacts