Siti Harwani Md Yusoff, PhD student (Theoretical Physics) in Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia


Development of electromagnetic wave propagated in ionosphere over the Sumatra-Malaysia region

My study is to develop a model of localize ionosphere between 90 km to 120 km in altitude using Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) method to study electromagnetic wave propagated in ionosphere during quiet and perturbed condition. This model is taking into consideration most of the ionosphere parameter such as electron density, collision frequency of plasma and Earth magnetic field. I try to understand how the output of this model which are the electric field and the magnetic field behavior during the quiet and perturbed condition and its relationship with seismic activity from the underground of the Earth. The main parameter in this model, electron density profile was collected from CHAMP satellite database for a week before the event of the earthquake and data comparison has been performed with IRI 2012 database for ionosphere. The profile for quiet condition and perturbation is observed and analysed. The comparison in between CHAMP satellite data and IRI 2012 were discussed. As an extension of this study, another source of the ionospheric parameter that influences the behavior of electromagnetic wave propagation in ionosphere such as from ground borne sensor and space borne sensor, is applied to develop the reliable database for earthquake precursor. In addition, I am actively involved in university Nano-sat development program where the main mission of the satellite is to measure electron density data in the ionosphere. The data from this mission will be used to verify the model developed previously. This satellite is planning to be launched on 2018. In International Astronautical Congress, I will present my paper entitled "Feasibility Study on Earthquake Monitoring and Precursor Research in South-East Asia using Space Technology" and data from the modeling, ground borne sensor as well as space borne sensor will be demonstrated.


Establishment of a Site-Specific Tropospheric Model Based on Ground Meteorological Parameters over the China Region.

Abstract: China is a country of vast territory with complicated geographical environment and climate conditions. With the rapid progress of the Chinese BeiDou satellite navigation system (BDS); more accurate tropospheric models must be applied to improve the accuracy of navigation and positioning. Based on the formula of the Saastamoinen and Callahan models; this study develops two single-site tropospheric models (named SAAS_S and CH_S models) for the Chinese region using radiosonde data from 2005 to 2012. We assess the two single-site tropospheric models with radiosonde data for 2013 and zenith tropospheric delay (ZTD) data from four International GNSS Service (IGS) stations and compare them to the results of the Saastamoinen and Callahan models. The experimental results show that: the mean accuracy of the SAAS_S model (bias: 0.19 cm; RMS: 3.19 cm) at all radiosonde stations is superior to those of the Saastamoinen (bias: 0.62 cm; RMS: 3.62 cm) and CH_S (bias: -0.05 cm; RMS: 3.38 cm) models. In most Chinese regions; the RMS values of the SAAS_S and CH_S models are about 0.51~2.12 cm smaller than those of their corresponding source models. The SAAS_S model exhibits a clear improvement in the accuracy over the Saastamoinen model in low latitude regions. When the SAAS_S model is replaced by the SAAS model in the positioning of GNSS; the mean accuracy of vertical direction in the China region can be improved by 1.12~1.55 cm and the accuracy of vertical direction in low latitude areas can be improved by 1.33~7.63 cm. The residuals of the SAAS_S model are closer to a normal distribution compared to those of the Saastamoinen model. Single-site tropospheric models based on the short period of the most recent data (for example 2 years) can also achieve a satisfactory accuracy. The average performance of the SAAS_S model (bias: 0.83 cm; RMS: 3.24 cm) at four IGS stations is superior to that of the Saastamoinen (bias: -0.86 cm; RMS: 3.59 cm) and CH_S (bias: 0.45 cm; RMS: 3.38 cm) models.

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

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

Inferring electromagnetic ion cyclotron wave intensity from low altitude POES proton flux measurements: A detailed case study with conjugate Van Allen Probes observations

Abstract: Electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves play an important role in the magnetospheric particle dynamics and can lead to resonant pitch-angle scattering and ultimate precipitation of ring current protons. Commonly, the statistics of in situ EMIC wave measurements is adopted for quantitative investigation of wave-particle interaction processes, which however becomes questionable for detailed case studies especially during geomagnetic storms and substorms. Here we establish a novel technique to infer EMIC wave amplitudes from low-altitude proton measurements onboard the Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES). The detailed procedure is elaborated regarding how to infer the EMIC wave intensity for one specific time point. We then test the technique with a case study comparing the inferred root-mean-square (RMS) EMIC wave amplitude with the conjugate Van Allen Probes EMFISIS wave measurements. Our results suggest that the developed technique can reasonably estimate EMIC wave intensities from low-altitude POES proton flux data, thereby providing a useful tool to construct a data-based, near-real-time, dynamic model of the global distribution of EMIC waves once the proton flux measurements from multiple POES satellites are available for any specific time period.

Pub.: 31 Dec '16, Pinned: 31 Aug '17

Rapid local acceleration of relativistic radiation-belt electrons by magnetospheric chorus.

Abstract: Recent analysis of satellite data obtained during the 9 October 2012 geomagnetic storm identified the development of peaks in electron phase space density, which are compelling evidence for local electron acceleration in the heart of the outer radiation belt, but are inconsistent with acceleration by inward radial diffusive transport. However, the precise physical mechanism responsible for the acceleration on 9 October was not identified. Previous modelling has indicated that a magnetospheric electromagnetic emission known as chorus could be a potential candidate for local electron acceleration, but a definitive resolution of the importance of chorus for radiation-belt acceleration was not possible because of limitations in the energy range and resolution of previous electron observations and the lack of a dynamic global wave model. Here we report high-resolution electron observations obtained during the 9 October storm and demonstrate, using a two-dimensional simulation performed with a recently developed time-varying data-driven model, that chorus scattering explains the temporal evolution of both the energy and angular distribution of the observed relativistic electron flux increase. Our detailed modelling demonstrates the remarkable efficiency of wave acceleration in the Earth's outer radiation belt, and the results presented have potential application to Jupiter, Saturn and other magnetized astrophysical objects.

Pub.: 20 Dec '13, Pinned: 31 Aug '17