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Best Goddard Videos of 2011: Space Technology

December 13, 2011 Leave a comment

On Friday this week, NASA/Goddard filmmakers, writers, and animators will screen what they consider their best work of 2011. It’s called the Best of Goddard Film Festival, and it’s held every year about this time for Goddard employees. (For employees, the festival will run from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm in the Goett Auditorium, Building 3.)

Even if you are “outside the Center,” you can still watch and enjoy the entries to the festival that are available on YouTube on the NASA Explorer channel. They’ll run in groups this week on the blog.

Yesterday’s post featured NASA scientific discoveries from 2011. Today, let’s look at videos about space and satellite technology.


Intro to LIDAR

  • Animators: Walt Feimer (HTSI) (Lead) Chris Smith (HTSI)
  • Video Editor: Chris Smith (HTSI)
  • Producer: Chris Smith (HTSI)
  • Scientist: Gregory Neumann (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Videographer: Rob Andreoli (AIMM)
  • Writer: Chris Smith (HTSI)




LEND: The Lunar Neutron Counter

  • Animator: Chris Smith (HTSI)
  • Video Editor: Chris Smith (HTSI)
  • Narrator: Chris Smith (HTSI)
  • Producer: Chris Smith (HTSI)
  • Scientists: Richard Vondrak (NASA/GSFC); John Keller (NASA/GSFC)
  • Writer: Chris Smith (HTSI)




So, You Want To Build a Satellite?

  • Animator: Chris Smith (HTSI) (Lead)
  • Video Editor: Chris Smith (HTSI)
  • Narrator: Chris Smith (HTSI)
  • Producer: Chris Smith (HTSI)
  • Scientist: Bruce Jakosky (LASP)
  • Writer:Chris Smith (HTSI)

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OH AND DID I MENTION? All opinions and opinionlike objects in this blog are mine alone and NOT those of NASA or Goddard Space Flight Center. And while we’re at it, links to websites posted on this blog do not imply endorsement of those websites by NASA.


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Star mapping and whale tracking (and polar bears, ocean sunfish, and giant Eurasian trout)

October 14, 2011 Leave a comment
Have you seen these polar bears before? Space technology has the answer.

Do all polar bears look the same? Now star-mapping technology can help conservationists track individual bears based on speckly spots.

When people who support the space program talk about its value to society, often the issue of “spin offs” comes up. Spin offs are what might be called the unintended but happy consequences of aerospace technology development.

Space tech can have unexpected uses — like tracking endangered species. On Wednesday this week, Goddard astrophysicist Zaven Arzoumanian explained a “citizen science” project that he helped make happen. Conservationists are now using mathematical tools developed to match and compare astronomical images based on star patterns to identify and track endangered animals based on speckly patterns on their bodies. Both scientists and non-scientists collect the wildlife photos used for this purpose.

Arzoumanian has worked at Goddard’s X-ray Astrophysics Laboratory since 1999. He is also a founding Board member and the current President of ECOCEAN USA, a charity that promotes wildlife conservation through technology, research, and public engagement.

As a NASA summary of Zaven’s talk explains:

The project was initially developed to help biologists identify individual whale sharks through their unique spot pattern. The resulting ECOCEAN Whale Shark Photo-identification Library now contains images of over 1,600 whale sharks, providing a continuing data span that is helping researchers to learn more about the life histories and migration patterns of the elusive fish, as well as the status of the whale shark’s threatened population. The [technique] is now being used to track polar bears, ocean sunfish, and giant Eurasian trout.

If you want to read all the technical details, see this in-depth article by the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist.

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OH AND DID I MENTION? All opinions and opinionlike objects in this blog are mine alone and NOT those of NASA or Goddard Space Flight Center. And while we’re at it, links to websites posted on this blog do not imply endorsement of those websites by NASA.

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