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Friday Seminar Series

Spring 2020

January 31, 2020

Marcos Diaz Quezeda: Potentialities of nano-satellites of Cubesat type: The case of the SUCHAI space program

Nano-satellites are tiny spacecrafts with masses between 1 kg to 10 kg, where the Cubesat standard should be highlighted as the most relevant type of this miniaturized vehicles. The Cubesat was introduced to the field as an educational tool. The main features of the standard are the low cost (comparatively speaking) and the fast development cycle. Approaching the 20 years from its conception the platform has started to gain momentum also due to a more dynamic environment in the space sector, which is making more accessible the space for these type of vehicles. Sophisticated scientific missions are being proposed and developed in many universities and space agencies around the world. The private sector is also taking advantage of the standard to proposed new applications from space. In this presentation is discussed the current limitations and trends of this technology, the path followed in Chile by the SUCHAI program at the beginning, how the team in the Space and Planetary Exploration Laboratory at the University of Chile has been using the platform for space science and how these missions are developing knowledge toward the production, operation, maintenance and disposal of mega-constellations for science and various applications. Finally, we discuss why Chile might be a relevant partner in this sector.

Marcos Díaz Quezada is currently assistant professor in the Electrical Engineering Department at University of Chile, Santiago, Chile. He received his Electrical Engineering degree in 2001 from University of Chile, his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering in 2004 and 2009, respectively from Boston University, USA. His research interests are related to the study of ionospheric turbulent plasma, incoherent scatter radar techniques, low-frequency-radio-astronomy/space instrumentation and nano-satellite technologies. Previously he has served as research assistant at Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, MIT Haystack Observatory and Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Boston University. He is the responsible of the Space and Planetary Exploration Laboratory, a multidisciplinary Laboratory located in the Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences at University of Chile, where the University´s nanosatellite-based space program is being developed.

February 7, 2020

SeungWoo Son AD2: Improving Quality of IoT Data through Compressive Anomaly Detection

With recent technological advances in sensor nodes, IoT (Internet of Things) enabled applications have great potential in many domains. However, sensing data may be inaccurate due to not only faults or failures in the sensor and network but also the limited resources and transmission capability available in sensor nodes. In this work, we first model streams of IoT data as a handful of sampled data in the transformed domain while assuming the information attained by those sampled data reveal different sparsity profiles between normal and abnormal. We then present a novel approach called AD2 (Anomaly Detection using Approximated Data) that applies a transformation on the original data, samples top k-dominant components, and detects data anomalies based on the disparity in k values. To demonstrate the effectiveness of AD2, we use IoT datasets (temperature, humidity, and CO) collected from real-world wireless sensor nodes deployed in farms and cities. Our experimental evaluation demonstrates that AD2 can approximate and successfully detect 64%–94% of anomalies using only 1.9% of the original data and minimize false-positive rates, which would otherwise require the entire dataset to achieve the same level of accuracy.

Seung Woo Son received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer engineering from Yeungnam University, South Korea, and the Ph.D. degree in computer science and engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. Before starting the Ph.D. program at Penn State, he was with ETRI (Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute), South Korea, working on the embedded real-time operating systems and development tools for Internet devices. In 2014, he joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Massachusetts Lowell. Prior to UMass Lowell, he was a postdoctoral researcher in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at Northwestern University and the Math and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award (2018) and the ECE Teaching Excellence Award (2019). His research interests include high performance computing with an emphasis on parallel I/O and storage systems; computer architecture; compilers; embedded systems; and most recently data compression for various datasets including HPC and IoT datasets, and systems and machine learning.

February 21, 2020

Carl Schmidt:Observing the Exospheres of Mercury and the Moon

Mercury and Earth’s Moon possess thin atmospheres, or more specifically, atomic, collisionless, surface-bound exospheres. Thanks to bright resonance scattering, sodium and potassium emissions are useful tools to study these exospheres remotely. This talk will summarize the wealth of information that this technique has taught us and describe how observations have shaped our understanding of the sources and sinks sustaining each exosphere’s overall budget. Although these worlds are by most accounts geologically dead, their exospheres each exhibit an active dynamic balance that is influenced by planetary magnetospheres, meteor influx, UV sunlight and atmospheric escape.

Carl Schmidt is a planetary scientist specializing in tenuous atmospheres, also known as exospheres, and their interactions with the surrounding space environment. He is currently a research scientist at the Boston University Center for Space Physics. Prior, he was a post-doc at CNRS/LATMOS, where he maintains a joint appointment, and a post-doc at University of Virginia.

February 28, 2020

William Kammerer: CubeSat Laser Infrared CrosslinK Mission Development Status

To enable coordinated and distributed observations, a nanosatellite swarm requires high rate crosslinks, downlinks, and precision ranging capability. The CubeSat Laser Infrared CrosslinK (CLICK) mission’s goal is to demonstrate low-cost miniaturized transceivers capable of full-duplex high rate optical communications and high precision ranging between two 3U CubeSats. CLICK is jointly developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Florida (UF), and the NASA Ames Research Center. The mission is composed of two flights: CLICK-A, and CLICK-BC.

William Kammerer is currently a Master's student in the AeroAstro department at MIT working in the STAR (Space Telecommunications, Astronomy, and Radiation) Lab under the guidance of Kerri Cahoy. He graduated from UMass Lowell in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. Will's primary task is the thermal and structural modeling as well as the assembly of the CLICK payloads.

March 20, 2020

Caroline Nowlan: Monitoring Air Quality from Space: Observations from Global to Urban Scales

Remote sensing from satellite instruments has enabled global measurements of trace gases and aerosols in the Earth’s atmosphere. These observations allow us to examine the global distribution of trace gases relevant to air quality and climate, estimate emissions from natural and anthropogenic sources and study the transport of atmospheric pollution. Satellite instruments measuring backscattered ultraviolet and visible radiation are particularly sensitive to the atmosphere near the Earth’s surface, and are used to detect several trace gases of importance to air quality, including ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and formaldehyde. These observations are currently made by a suite of  sun-synchronous satellite instruments, which typically measure a location once per day with a spatial resolution of tens of kilometers. The next generation of air quality missions are scheduled to launch within the next three years into geostationary orbit, and will provide hourly observations with spatial resolutions on the order of 2×4 km2. Our group at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory leads the development of the North American component of this global air quality satellite constellation, which will make measurements of air quality over Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Cuba. In this talk, I will discuss the techniques we use to retrieve trace gas observations from satellite instruments, and will present results from current satellite and airborne remote sensing measurements.

To see seminars we've held previously please visit our Past Seminars page.