Branch Seminar Series: Robert Fatland

Vexcel-Microsoft
In the early to mid 1990s the ERS SAR satellites were at times maintained in very short repeat interval orbits permitting some excellent (correlated) interferometric data acquisitions of temperate glaciers, particularly in Alaska and Canada. This represented a significant part of the remote-sensing revolution in geophysics. Results, implications, and limitations of InSAR will be described in the context of a spectrum of cryosphere and other geophysics problems. Casting remote sensing as the tent canopy I argue that tent poles—in situ ground sensors—are due for a commensurate technological revolution, one that is in fact in progress. The Vexcel Microserver (VuS) is a case in point, a generalized field computer recently developed for extended data acquisition, storage, processing and retrieval from remote harsh environments.  VuS development has focused on addressing the power-cost-data challenge ("pick any two"), and further ground sensor system goals include autonomy, mobility and system intelligence as visualized in NASA’s sensor web paradigm.  I will describe relevant elements of a sensor web instantiation project: SEAMONSTER, a research program centered at the University of Alaska Southeast (Juneau) that is “casting sensor tentacles” across the Juneau Icefield and down catchment basins to the coastal marine environment of the Alexander Archipelago. The project is currently in its second year and is producing both scientific results and a wealth of experience in near-real-time data recovery.