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Pioneer Data, In search of digital data...
tedstryk
post Oct 31 2005, 12:34 AM
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Tomorrow I will be stopping by our library. Some material has come in, but I am not sure what it consists of. To make a long story short, it appears that, although the Saturn part seems to be listed in the NSSDC catalogue, other than the three Pionner ring images (one red/blue set and one red image alonge) and the Io set, the digital data is lost, save any scraps that can be recovered from various places. This material may contain some more images...tomorrow I will know. The good news is that after looking at the available digital sets, there isn't much if anything that can be pulled out of them that can't be saved by just cleaning up the prints of the other images.


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tedstryk
post Nov 8 2005, 01:28 AM
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Sadly, I have reached the end of the line, so to speak. I found a bit of digital data that, merged with analogue versions of the Pioneer 10 Ganymede image, I can make a "semi-digital" image. And I have the components to put three images (one r-b set, one lone red image) together. And, of course, I have the Pioneer 11 Io image. However, after inquiring to the NSSDC, PDS, and everywhere else I can think of, it seems that the Pioneer dataset was only preserved in print format. Fortunately, the prints are top notch - computing was limited then, but the Pioneer IPP was so limited that such computers did really well, based on comparing the digital sets I do have to print versions. But it is sad to see that there is no digital set. It is worse noting that Mariner 6-10 and other early data had to be rescued from decaying tapes, and Surveyor data transmission tapes were lost. Basically, in the 60s and early 70s, digital data (and even analogue data in its original form was considered an annoyance that would be done away with when film return and film-scanning spacecraft could be used).


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mike
post Nov 8 2005, 02:30 AM
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That is unfortunate.. if it's any consolation, data is lasting longer and longer as time passes. Perhaps we've even reached the point where data can last undamaged into infinity (or until the universe ends, whichever comes first).
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tedstryk
post Nov 9 2005, 02:31 PM
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QUOTE (mike @ Nov 8 2005, 02:30 AM)
That is unfortunate.. if it's any consolation, data is lasting longer and longer as time passes.  Perhaps we've even reached the point where data can last undamaged into infinity (or until the universe ends, whichever comes first).
*


Well, the digital advantage is that perfect copies can be made. With analog, with each copy came more degradation.


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Phil Stooke
post Nov 9 2005, 06:51 PM
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Good points about digital data. There are negatives, though. Having suitable hardware and software to read it is one - it's already difficult to track down hardware for reading some old tape formats. And media degradation is another. I back up on CDs now, but how long will they be readable? We are going to be committed in the long run to the constant migration of data from format to format, to keep it readable and safe. I can put my CDs on a DVD, or on a little flash drive... but think of having to migrate the entire content of PDS every ten years or so. The difficulties we are having trying to recover old Soviet data are another example. In general, digital archiving is a real headache.

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mike
post Nov 9 2005, 07:52 PM
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I think that the lossless aspect of digital data makes it preferable even if logical and physical formats keep changing. It's not that hard to just build a tape reader that can read whatever format you need - tape technology has been around for quite a while, and I believe that information on the exact specifications of whatever format you're trying to read will persist for quite some time as well. And I would think that usually you wouldn't have to build a reading device from scratch - electronic components tend to last quite a while, and even if they don't, they are basically the same as they've always been since they were invented.
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Guest_PhilCo126_*
post Jan 3 2006, 10:27 PM
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Best and cheapest way to back-up and archive nowadays is an external Hard Drive, USB plugable ( 200 Giga for Euro 100.00 ) mellow.gif
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ljk4-1
post Mar 18 2006, 06:19 AM
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Engineering blueprints of Pioneer 10 and 11:

http://www.ninfinger.org/~sven/models/vaul...6/pioneerbp.zip

Diagrams of a Pioneer Outer Planets Orbiter - POPO?

http://www.ninfinger.org/~sven/models/vaul...iter/index.html


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Bjorn Jonsson
post Mar 25 2006, 08:57 PM
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http://www.planetary.org/programs/projects/pioneer_anomaly/ describes the Planetary Society's Pioneer Anomaly project. Lots of old data has been recovered and converted to a format that can be used/read by modern computers.

Apparently this includes all of the science data (see http://www.planetary.org/programs/projects...ate_200601.html ). If so it would be possible (but hardly easy) to reconstruct the Pioneer images. Although the imaging data is of very low quality compared to something like Cassini advances in computing make it fairly certain that it would be possible to get significantly better-looking images than the images publicly released in the 1970s.

This would IMHO be interesting, this data is of high historical interest. At least I would love to get my hands on Pioneer images in digital format instead of images on paper.
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edstrick
post Mar 26 2006, 08:19 AM
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The highest resolution Pioneer image was never published except in raw form in the Journal of Geophysical Research Pioneer report issue. Granted, it needed work.....gain on the red and blue channels changed a few times due to radiation hits causing circuit state changes or something, and there was distinct periodic noise "herringbone" patterns not seen nearly as bad away from periapsis. It had some amazing resolution like 60 or 20 km/pixel, though
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GregM
post Mar 28 2006, 02:21 AM
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..
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ljk4-1
post May 5 2006, 12:11 PM
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Ricardo Nunes has a section of raw Pioneer images of Jupiter at
his Web site here:

http://www.astrosurf.com/nunes/explor/explor_pioneer.htm


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"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard,
and coarse. But the longest intercourse with Nature, though in her rudest moods, does
not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

- Henry David Thoreau, November 15, 1853

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tedstryk
post May 5 2006, 06:27 PM
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QUOTE (ljk4-1 @ May 5 2006, 12:11 PM) *
Ricardo Nunes has a section of raw Pioneer images of Jupiter at
his Web site here:

http://www.astrosurf.com/nunes/explor/explor_pioneer.htm


Yes, I think he posted those in another thread. However, those represent his best attempts to reconstruct the raw data from scans, not true raw data.


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4th rock from th...
post May 5 2006, 07:42 PM
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That is true, those are an atempt to "recover" the original data from several sources avaliable on the net.
Processing is minimal but the images are far from raw.

Notice that I haven't put any explanation on the page, because this is still work in progress. In the future I'll update it with all the information and post it here :-)


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