|*** OCTOBER 2007 ***|
|NASA REMOTELY PILOTED PLANE TO HELP BATTLE CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES|
|NASA pilots plan to remotely fly the Ikhana unmanned airplane and its instruments that can see through smoke over as many as seven of a dozen Southern California wildfires today... |
The Ikhana is expected to take off from NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
... to observe wildfires while flying south for a ten-hour mission. Plans call for the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to first observe the fires near Lake Arrrowhead and fly as far south as San Diego County near the Mexican border.
Reporters are invited to view some of the images today from noon to 2 p.m. PDT on a large screen at the Exploration Center, just outside the main gate of NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
NASA Ames researcher Matthew Fladeland will answer reporters' questions about how the imagery is being delivered to firefighters.
NASA Ames developed the Autonomous Modular Sensor-Wildfire to look through the smoke to see hot spots, flames and temperature
According to Jim Brass of NASA Ames, who flew to NASA Dryden to conduct the Ikhana's mission, the fire images are taken from the Ikhana aircraft and are processed on board. Pilots will remotely fly the UAV from NASA Dryden.
"After processing, the images are transmitted through a communications satellite to NASA Ames where the imagery is placed on an Ames Web site. Then the imagery is combined with Google Earth maps," Brass explained.
"We anticipated an event like the wildfire siege in Southern California occurring in October." said the project principal investigator, Vince Ambrosia of NASA Ames. "When the call came on Monday from the National Interagency Fire Center, the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services and colleagues within the Incident Command structure on the fires, we were ready to quickly deploy our teams and initiate a mission plan to over fly the fires and provide critical thermal infrared intelligence on the various wildfires," Ambrosia added...
|NASA SCIENTIST AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS ABOUT NEW JUPITER FINDINGS|
|New Horizons came within 1.4 million miles of Jupiter... using the planet's gravity to trim three years from the spacecraft's travel time to Pluto. For several weeks before and after this closest approach, the piano-sized robotic probe trained its seven cameras and sensors on Jupiter and its four largest moons, storing data from nearly 700 observations on digital recorders and gradually sending that information back to Earth. |
The flyby added 9,000 miles per hour to the spacecraft's speed, pushing New Horizons past 50,000 miles per hour and setting up a flight near Pluto in July 2015.
The number of observations at Jupiter was twice that of those planned for Pluto. New Horizons made most of the observations of Jupiter
during the spacecraft's closest approach to the planet. More than 40,000 separate commands from the onboard computer guided the spacecraft.
New Horizons is the first mission in NASA's New Frontiers Program of medium-class spacecraft exploration projects...