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Stereo-Derived Topography for the Last Frontier and the Final Frontier University of Alaska, Fairbanks/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Science Mission Directorate

Stereo-derived topography of a volcanic inflation feature on Mars that was generated at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Photogrammetry Lab.

Dr. Robert Herrick, Science PI, Research Professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Geophysical Institute

Dr. Lori Glaze, NASA Technical Monitor, Planetary Studies

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NASA EPSCoR Stimuli 2014 -15

Research goals of our CAN include developing the infrastructure to effectively generate topography from aerial photographs and integrating this capability into the research of local entities. We also have a goal of integrating these methods into the higher education of Alaskan geoscientists, particularly those from underserved populations. In summer, 2015, we provided two internships to undergraduates in the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program. The internships are assisting a program for rural Alaskan high school students that trains them to collect images for local environmental research projects (e.g., students from one coastal village are examining the rate of shoreline erosion). The interns are doing proof-of-concept studies to show how the images can be used to derive valuable high-resolution topography. Below, a test site of a local soccer field was imaged using a UAV, and cm-scale topography was derived using “structure-from-motion� software. Structure-from-motion is a technique that uses ray-tracing algorithms to derive shape from multiple images of the same object acquired from different perspectives. The topography was generated at the UAF Photogrammetry Lab that was created through this NASA EPSCoR CAN.

3D rendering of soccer field generated using structurefrom-motion software and images collected from a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Left inset shows Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program intern Scott Taylor with UAV and right inset shows the flight plan for image collection.

EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15  

NASA Office of Education’s Aerospace Research & Career Development (ARCD) is pleased to release NASA EPSCoR Stimuli, a collection of univers...

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