This research is to develop university cubesat, namely MySat to study ionosphere environment

Mysat-Malaysia is an initiative and space program under Space System Lab of School of Aerospace Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia that involved development of nano satellite. This nanosatellite, known as MYSat – Malaysia Youth Satellite will bring scientific mission which is to collect ionosphere data for earthquake and tsunami precursor research. The payload for this satellite is Langmuir probe, a sensor that will measure the electron density in the 400 km orbit. However, the foremost mission is to develop and sustain the capability of researchers and students to build our own satellite and then produce competent local expertise.
This satellite only size 10cm3 with weight 1 kg only and will take a year to develop. This satellite is expected to orbit the Earth within 6 months to a year, depends on space environment. The total cost consists of spacecraft bus, payload, launcher, ground station operation and satellite operator is RM 250 000. This project involved academician, researchers, assistant engineers, postgraduate student as well as undergraduate students from space system lab. This satellite will be transport to International Space Station by JAXA astronaut using Soyuz and then will be deployed to the orbit from KIBO deployer. Before launching, testing for satellite will be conducted on the ground with collaboration from ANGKASA. My role in this project is mission scientist and I will decide what the primary mission for this satellite is and choose appropriate sensor to make sure the mission success.


Introducing a globally consistent orbital-based localization system

Abstract: In spite of the good performance of space exploratory missions, open issues still await to be solved. In autonomous or composite semi-autonomous exploration of planetary land surfaces, rover localization is such an issue. The rovers of these missions (e.g., the MER and MSL) navigate relatively to their landing spot, ignoring their exact position on the coordinate system defined for the celestial body they explore. However, future advanced missions, like the Mars Sample Return, will require the localization of rovers on a global frame rather than the arbitrarily defined landing frame. In this paper we attempt to retrieve the absolute rover's location by identifying matching Regions of Interest (ROIs) between orbital and land images. In particular, we propose a system comprising two parts, an offline and an onboard one, which functions as follows: in advance of the mission a Global ROI Network (GN) is built offline by investigating the satellite images near the predicted touchdown ellipse, while during the mission a Local ROI Network (LN) is constructed counting on the images acquired by the vision system of the rover along its traverse. The last procedure relies on the accurate VO-based relative rover localization. The LN is then paired with the GN through a modified 2D DARCES algorithm. The system has been assessed on real data collected by the ESA at the Atacama desert. The results demonstrate the system's potential to perform absolute localization, on condition that the area includes discriminative ROIs. The main contribution of this work is the enablement of global localization performed on contemporary rovers without requiring any additional hardware, such as long range LIDARs.

Pub.: 28 Jul '17, Pinned: 31 Aug '17

Testing the potential of Sentinel-1A TOPS interferometry for the detection and monitoring of landslides at local scale (Veneto Region, Italy)

Abstract: Abstract The recent Sentinel-1 mission, started by the European Space Agency in April 2014, provides the scientific community with new capabilities for the monitoring of the Earth surface. In particular, the Terrain Observation by Progressive Scans imaging technique used in the Interferometric Wide swath acquisition mode permits to acquire data over very wide areas (250 km of swath extension) at 20-m spatial resolution, with 12-day revisit time, making it suitable for ground displacement monitoring applications. With more than 1 year of synthetic aperture radar images available, it is now possible to carry out monitoring activities of slow moving phenomena such as landslides at both regional and local scales. In this work, the potential of Sentinel-1A for the monitoring of shallow (from 2 to 6 m of depth) landslides occurring in the North-Eastern Italian Pre-Alps was tested. Two stacks of Sentinel-1A scenes acquired in both ascending and descending orbits were processed using the Permanent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI) technique. The results, analysed in terms of PS density and quality, were compared with the ERS-1/2 and ENVISAT PSI database available from the Italian National Cartographic Portal to assess the capabilities of Sentinel-1A in detecting and monitoring landslides in respect to the previous satellite missions. The results of this work show the great potential of Sentinel-1A in the continuous monitoring of landslide-prone territories even at local scale. The achievable results can provide information that is useful to delineate the spatial and temporal evolution of landslides and precisely assess their rates of deformation.

Pub.: 19 Jul '17, Pinned: 31 Aug '17

Mind your crossings: Mining GIS imagery for crosswalk localization.

Abstract: For blind travelers, finding crosswalks and remaining within their borders while traversing them is a crucial part of any trip involving street crossings. While standard Orientation & Mobility (O&M) techniques allow blind travelers to safely negotiate street crossings, additional information about crosswalks and other important features at intersections would be helpful in many situations, resulting in greater safety and/or comfort during independent travel. For instance, in planning a trip a blind pedestrian may wish to be informed of the presence of all marked crossings near a desired route. We have conducted a survey of several O&M experts from the United States and Italy to determine the role that crosswalks play in travel by blind pedestrians. The results show stark differences between survey respondents from the U.S. compared with Italy: the former group emphasized the importance of following standard O&M techniques at all legal crossings (marked or unmarked), while the latter group strongly recommended crossing at marked crossings whenever possible. These contrasting opinions reflect differences in the traffic regulations of the two countries and highlight the diversity of needs that travelers in different regions may have. To address the challenges faced by blind pedestrians in negotiating street crossings, we devised a computer vision-based technique that mines existing spatial image databases for discovery of zebra crosswalks in urban settings. Our algorithm first searches for zebra crosswalks in satellite images; all candidates thus found are validated against spatially registered Google Street View images. This cascaded approach enables fast and reliable discovery and localization of zebra crosswalks in large image datasets. While fully automatic, our algorithm can be improved by a final crowdsourcing validation. To this end, we developed a Pedestrian Crossing Human Validation (PCHV) web service, which supports crowdsourcing to rule out false positives and identify false negatives.

Pub.: 02 Aug '17, Pinned: 31 Aug '17

Practical Considerations before Installing Ground-Based Geodetic Infrastructure for Integrated InSAR and cGNSS Monitoring of Vertical Land Motion.

Abstract: Continuously operating Global Navigation Satellite Systems (cGNSS) can be used to convert relative values of vertical land motion (VLM) derived from Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) to absolute values in a global or regional reference frame. Artificial trihedral corner reflectors (CRs) provide high-intensity and temporally stable reflections in SAR time series imagery, more so than naturally occurring permanent scatterers. Therefore, it is logical to co-locate CRs with cGNSS as ground-based geodetic infrastructure for the integrated monitoring of VLM. We describe the practical considerations for such co-locations using four case-study examples from Perth, Australia. After basic initial considerations such as land access, sky visibility and security, temporary test deployments of co-located CRs with cGNSS should be analysed together to determine site suitability. Signal to clutter ratios from SAR imagery are used to determine potential sites for placement of the CR. A significant concern is whether the co-location of a deliberately designed reflecting object generates unwanted multipath (reflected signals) in the cGNSS data. To mitigate against this, we located CRs >30 m from the cGNSS with no inter-visibility. Daily RMS values of the zero-difference ionosphere-free carrier-phase residuals, and ellipsoidal heights from static precise point positioning GNSS processing at each co-located site were then used to ascertain that the CR did not generate unwanted cGNSS multipath. These steps form a set of recommendations for the installation of such geodetic ground-infrastructure, which may be of use to others wishing to establish integrated InSAR-cGNSS monitoring of VLM elsewhere.

Pub.: 02 Aug '17, Pinned: 31 Aug '17

Skill of global raw and postprocessed ensemble predictions of rainfall over northern tropical Africa

Abstract: Accumulated precipitation forecasts are of high socioeconomic importance for agriculturally dominated societies in northern tropical Africa. In this study, we analyze the performance of nine operational global ensemble prediction systems (EPSs) relative to climatology-based forecasts for 1 to 5-day accumulated precipitation based on the monsoon seasons 2007-2014 for three regions within northern tropical Africa. To assess the full potential of raw ensemble forecasts across spatial scales, we apply state-of-the-art statistical postprocessing methods in form of Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA) and Ensemble Model Output Statistics (EMOS), and verify against station and spatially aggregated, satellite-based gridded observations. Raw ensemble forecasts are uncalibrated, unreliable, and underperform relative to climatology, independently of region, accumulation time, monsoon season, and ensemble. Differences between raw ensemble and climatological forecasts are large, and partly stem from poor prediction for low precipitation amounts. BMA and EMOS postprocessed forecasts are calibrated, reliable, and strongly improve on the raw ensembles, but - somewhat disappointingly - typically do not outperform climatology. Most EPSs exhibit slight improvements over the period 2007-2014, but overall have little added value compared to climatology. We suspect that the parametrization of convection is a potential cause for the sobering lack of ensemble forecast skill in a region dominated by mesoscale convective systems.

Pub.: 15 Aug '17, Pinned: 31 Aug '17

Bringing Fault-Tolerant GigaHertz-Computing to Space: A Multi-Stage Software-Side Fault-Tolerance Approach for Miniaturized Spacecraft

Abstract: Modern embedded technology is a driving factor in satellite miniaturization, contributing to a massive boom in satellite launches and a rapidly evolving new space industry. Miniaturized satellites, however, suffer from low reliability, as traditional hardware-based fault-tolerance (FT) concepts are ineffective for on-board computers (OBCs) utilizing modern systems-on-a-chip (SoC). Therefore, larger satellites continue to rely on proven processors with large feature sizes. Software-based concepts have largely been ignored by the space industry as they were researched only in theory, and have not yet reached the level of maturity necessary for implementation. We present the first integral, real-world solution to enable fault-tolerant general-purpose computing with modern multiprocessor-SoCs (MPSoCs) for spaceflight, thereby enabling their use in future high-priority space missions. The presented multi-stage approach consists of three FT stages, combining coarse-grained thread-level distributed self-validation, FPGA reconfiguration, and mixed criticality to assure long-term FT and excellent scalability for both resource constrained and critical high-priority space missions. Early benchmark results indicate a drastic performance increase over state-of-the-art radiation-hard OBC designs and considerably lower software- and hardware development costs. This approach was developed for a 4-year European Space Agency (ESA) project, and we are implementing a tiled MPSoC prototype jointly with two industrial partners.

Pub.: 23 Aug '17, Pinned: 31 Aug '17

Short-term variability and mass loss in Be stars III. BRITE and SMEI satellite photometry of 28 Cygni

Abstract: The BRITE Constellation of nanosatellites obtained mmag photometry of 28 Cygni for 11 months in 2014-2016. Observations with the Solar Mass Ejection Imager in 2003-2010 and 118 H$\alpha$ line profiles were added. For decades, 28 Cyg has exhibited four large-amplitude frequencies: two closely spaced frequencies of spectroscopically confirmed $g$ modes near 1.5 c/d, one slightly lower exophotospheric (Stefl) frequency, and at 0.05 c/d the difference frequency between the two g modes. This top-level framework is indistinguishable from eta Cen (Paper I), which is also very similar in spectral type, rotation rate, and viewing angle. The Stefl frequency is the only one that does not seem to be affected by the difference frequency. The amplitude of the latter undergoes large variations; around maximum the amount of near-circumstellar matter is increased, and the amplitude of the Stefl frequency grows by some factor. During such brightenings dozens of transient spikes appear in the frequency spectrum, concentrated in three groups. Only eleven frequencies were common to all years of BRITE observations. Be stars seem to be controlled by several coupled clocks, most of which are not very regular on timescales of weeks to months but function for decades. The combination of g modes to the low difference frequency and/or the atmospheric response to it appears significantly nonlinear. Like in eta Cen, the difference-frequency variability seems the main responsible for the modulation of the star-to-disc mass transfer in 28 Cyg. A hierarchical set of difference frequencies may reach the longest timescales known of the Be phenomenon.

Pub.: 24 Aug '17, Pinned: 31 Aug '17

On the Radio Detectability of Circumplanetary Discs

Abstract: Discs around young planets, so-called circumplanetary discs (CPDs), are essential for planet growth, satellite formation, and planet detection. We study the millimetre and centimetre emission from accreting CPDs by using the simple $\alpha$ disc model. We find that it is easier to detect CPDs at shorter radio wavelengths (e.g. $\lambda\lesssim$ 1 mm). For example, if the system is 140 pc away from us, deep observations (e.g. 5 hours) at ALMA Band 7 (0.87 mm) are sensitive to as small as 0.03 lunar mass of dust in CPDs. If the CPD is around a Jupiter mass planet 20 AU away from the host star and has $\alpha\lesssim 0.001$, ALMA can detect this disc when it accretes faster than $10^{-10} M_{\odot}/yr$. ALMA can also detect the "minimum mass sub-nebulae" disc if such a disc exists around a young planet in YSOs. However, to distinguish the embedded compact CPD from the circumstellar disc material, we should observe circumstellar discs with large gaps/cavities using the highest resolution possible. We also calculate the CPD fluxes at VLA bands, and discuss the possibility of detecting radio emission from jets/winds launched in CPDs. Finally we argue that, if the radial drift of dust particles is considered, the drifting timescale for millimetre dust in CPDs can be extremely short. It only takes 10$^2$-10$^{3}$ years for CPDs to lose millimetre dust. Thus, for CPDs to be detectable at radio wavelengths, mm-sized dust in CPDs needs to be replenished continuously, or the disc has a significant fraction of micron-sized dust or a high gas surface density so that the particle drifting timescale is long, or the radial drift is prevented by other means (e.g. pressure traps).

Pub.: 24 Aug '17, Pinned: 31 Aug '17

The host dark matter halos of [OII] emitters at 0.5< z< 1.5

Abstract: Emission line galaxies (ELGs) are used in several ongoing and upcoming surveys as tracers of the dark matter distribution. Using a new galaxy formation model, we explore the characteristics of [OII] emitters, which dominate optical ELG selections at $z\simeq 1$. Model [OII] emitters at $0.5<z<1.5$ are selected to mimic the DEEP2, VVDS, eBOSS and DESI surveys. The luminosity functions of model [OII] emitters are in reasonable agreement with observations. The selected [OII] emitters are hosted by haloes with $M_{\rm halo}\geq 10^{10.5}h^{-1}{\rm M}_{\odot}$, with $\sim 90$% of them being central star-forming galaxies. The predicted mean halo occupation distributions of [OII] emitters has a shape typical of that inferred for star-forming galaxies, with the contribution from central galaxies, $<N>_{[OII],cen}$, being far from the canonical step function. The $<N>_{[OII],cen}$ can be described as the sum of an asymmetric Gaussian for disks and a step function for spheroids, which plateaus below unity. The model [OII] emitters have a clustering bias close to unity, which is below the expectations for eBOSS and DESI ELGs. At $z\sim 1$, a comparison with observed g-band selected galaxy, which are expected to be dominated by [OII] emitters, indicates that our model produces too few [OII] emitters that are satellite galaxies. This suggests the need to revise our modelling of hot gas stripping in satellite galaxies.

Pub.: 25 Aug '17, Pinned: 31 Aug '17