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MEX VMC - Back on, and online!
Tman
post Aug 26 2008, 07:16 PM
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The VMC public gallery has opened http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/VMC/SEM3FR0SAKF_mg_1.html


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Stu
post Aug 27 2008, 04:13 PM
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In advance of him joining UMSF I've been asked to pass on greetings and a couple of messages from Thomas Orsmton, who is the "VMC team coordinator from the technical side on the Mars Express Flight Control Team":

"...all of us here on Mars Express have been very impressed with the work being done by members on the forum and we've been downloading and playing with ugordons' colour extraction application too. "

... and...


"...I would be very grateful if you could pass on the message on the forum that all of us on Mars Express are really pleased with what people on the forum are doing and would strongly urge them to send their results to us at vmc@esa.int, with the details at the bottom of this page: http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/VMC/SEMANKXIPIF_0.html. "

So there you go! Nice to know all of your efforts are appreciated, you Imagemages out there, and keep up the good work! smile.gif


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ormstont
post Aug 27 2008, 07:18 PM
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Thanks to Stu for passing on the message, I'm registered now and can pass on my thanks to you all once more for the wonderful work you've been doing with our VMC images. I hope that through this forum I can keep in touch with you all as the VMC project continues, with this instrument we're just the tool, you'll be making the discoveries! Especially the users here on Unmanned Spaceflight forum have given one of the warmest welcomes to this new initiative so it's great to be in touch with you directly.

As Stu passed on, I'd really urge you to send in your results to vmc@esa.int - Daniel runs our website at ESOC and we'd love to publish your VMC results along with the routine updates as we get them from the spacecraft. With him looking after the website I look after the camera (as much as I can - my 'day job' is power and comms on the spacecraft) so if you've got any suggestions on what we should do with it that might help us too (although we are heavily limited by operational constraints - with the wonderful results we get from our science instruments the science mission must come first!).

I'm open to questions on the e-mail or here on the forum - if we keep the images coming you can help keep VMC fresh with new processing techniques, image analysis and ideas for the future. VMC is meant to be everyone's camera, I hope that despite our somewhat basic images we can still get some wonderful results.


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imipak
post Aug 27 2008, 09:10 PM
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I'm only an "armchair UMSFer", with no image manipulation skills, but as such I'm delighted to see images flowing from ESA, and I'm equally delighted to see your post. Welcome aboard, ormstont!


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Juramike
post Aug 28 2008, 04:57 AM
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Here is an GIF animation I made from a sequence of MEX VMC images taken on July 31, 2008. (here).

I think it shows a cloud near the terminator under the changing lighting conditions of sunrise:

Attached Image


(Anybody recognize the location? I couldn't figure it out!)

-Mike

[EDIT 9/16/2008 00:04 EDT: OK I think this cloud is over the highlands near Kepler Crater at [-47S, 220W] in Terra Cimmeria]


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Paolo Amoroso
post Aug 28 2008, 11:29 AM
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QUOTE (ormstont @ Aug 27 2008, 09:18 PM) *
I'm open to questions on the e-mail or here on the forum - if we keep the images coming you can help keep VMC fresh with new processing techniques, image analysis and ideas for the future.

Speaking of ideas, are there any operational constraints that prevent imaging Phobos or Deimos with VMC?

Thanks to you and the MEX team for the great images and opportunities.


Paolo Amoroso


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ormstont
post Aug 28 2008, 02:15 PM
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Phobos and Deimos would both be fun targets, the biggest problem is the distance between them and the spacecraft (and the relatively low resolution of VMC). Even with our high-altitude pericentre (~10,000 km) we'd have issues imaging Deimos (as it's quite a bit further out). We do come pretty close to Phobos at times but on those opportunities we usually use our primary science instruments to observe (see some results of the recent campaign here: http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Mars_Express/SEM5H48N9JF_0.html) and VMC is not allowed to be ON with other instruments. That said I'll keep my eyes out for any encounters where we could try something with VMC.

Maybe someone on the forum would like to do a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation to see at what range we'd start to be able to resolve the moons. This would of course rely on working out the resolution of VMC from Martian features, which again might be a fun job for someone if anyone fancies it!


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chiron
post Aug 29 2008, 11:07 AM
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Hi everybody

I worked the last days on a program for automatic conversion of the VMC images.

The version i provieded on my website at http://www.bernd-leitenberger.de/download/vmc.zip

The Help is missing but will added in the next update.

Whats working is:

- Demosaiking of the bayer mask
- Removing of Hot Pixels

What must be made better is :

- Correction of the color and saturation
- Better debayer Filter (still big differences between near pixels)

I recommend to process the files (multiply can be selected in the open dialog) by it and then use a image processing tool to adjust saturation and to do an unsharp mask.

When someone has more experience with image processing i would be glad if he can provide me with an better debayer algorithm

The program runs under Windows XP , i think also under other Windows version from 98 up.
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tedstryk
post Aug 29 2008, 02:03 PM
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I had a go at the July 29, 2008 dataset. Man, this is some tough stuff to work with!

Attached Image


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ormstont
post Aug 29 2008, 05:41 PM
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Tough stuff to work with indeed wink.gif makes it all the more impressive when you produce something like that image - it's going up on the wall in the control room for sure! Great work there Ted, I'll ask Daniel to put it on the website as soon as we can (although with Rosetta's Steins flyby next week he's pretty busy!).

Got two observations from last week that we've just downlinked from the spacecraft too, and there should be 4 (I believe) more over the weekend...but I'm taking a brief holiday Monday and Tuesday so they might have to wait til Wednesday I'm afraid! Keep up the good work!


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tedstryk
post Aug 29 2008, 06:42 PM
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Thanks! I am headed out on vacation, but I will try some more images when I get back on Monday.

Ted


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Juramike
post Aug 30 2008, 02:24 AM
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Assembled mosaic from June 22, 2008 series of images (specifically image 3, 6, 9, and 12):

Attached Image


Argyre Planitia above the south pole.
[EDIT 20080916 00:14 EDT: This is an image of Huygens Crater at center[-15S, 305W] above the bright Hellas Basin (lowest point) and the Terra Sabaea is to the right, and the dark zone to the NE of Huygens Crater is Syrtis Major.]

-Mike


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Juramike
post Aug 30 2008, 03:56 AM
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Handy little guide and detailed explanation of the outreach plan for the MEX VMC:

http://esamultimedia.esa.int/multimedia/esoc/Mars_Webcam.pdf

-Mike


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JTN
post Aug 30 2008, 04:15 PM
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QUOTE (Juramike @ Aug 30 2008, 04:56 AM) *

"the latency makes this camera the most recent available view of Mars from any spacecraft"

"It is also possible to add files containing the raw pixel values from VMC, as part of the future website developments [...]"

They slew the spacecraft specially for us VMC obs (albeit at times when the other instruments can't observe) -- that seems quite generous!

QUOTE (PDP8E @ Aug 22 2008, 04:24 PM) *
Note to spacecraft all designers: this non-science type of camera (MEX-VMC) is worth putting on all future space craft.

"The [VMC] design has flown on several ESA missions to date, including Ariane 502, Cluster-II, XMM-Newton and INTEGRAL. VMC cameras are currently also scheduled to fly on the Herschel-Planck ESA astronomy missions."
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Paolo Amoroso
post Aug 31 2008, 01:49 PM
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It would be useful for the VMC site to have an RSS feed for announcing new image releases.


Paolo Amoroso


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