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Dawn Framing Camera Q&A, Ask your questions to the Framing Camera Operations Team
pablogm1024
post Jun 29 2011, 09:02 PM
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Dear all,
We are amazed, and a bit flattered, by the interest that the Dawn mission has awaken throughout the internet and particularly in this forum, and we would like to thank you for it.

Space imagery is frequently subject of discussion and even re-work in these pages, but the field of space operations does not seem to be covered very often. That is why we have decided to offer you all the posibility to ask your questions to the team, that we will gladly reply within the limitations provided by our working agreements with JPL/NASA and the Dawn Science Team.

We would like to request in advance your understanding if we do not reply promptly (or not at all) to some of your questions. We are in a busy and exciting time, and we intend to share this excitement with you as much as we can.

Thank you all for making a great site out of UMSF and for your participation in this topic.

Regards,

Pablo Gutiérrez-Marqués
Framing Camera Operations Manager


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elakdawalla
post Jun 29 2011, 10:28 PM
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Welcome, Pablo, we're absolutely delighted to have you here.

It's clear that the images of Vesta that you have posted so far have been enlarged, and I am sure they have been processed in other ways. Can you tell us a bit about how you are processing your images before sharing them with the public?


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Bunker9603
post Jun 29 2011, 11:06 PM
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Good question as I was wondering the same thing.

Rick
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pablogm1024
post Jun 29 2011, 11:08 PM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Jun 29 2011, 11:28 PM) *
It's clear that the images of Vesta that you have posted so far have been enlarged, and I am sure they have been processed in other ways. Can you tell us a bit about how you are processing your images before sharing them with the public?

It is a well-known fact in this forum that heavily-pixelated images do not do great magazine covers. So in order to save the public the effort of squinting and turning the images around, we at MPS ( http://dawn.mpg.mpg.de ) applied an oversampling filter (like Lanczos) that removed most of the pixelation and provided more roundish features, like the ones might expect at Vesta.
Concerning the brightness, we have simply tried different stretching functions until we found one that showed the features that we intended to show.
However, the images released so far are not only the workings of the Framing Camera Team but also of the greater Dawn Team and some of them might have undergone a slightly different process.


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Fran Ontanaya
post Jun 30 2011, 12:57 AM
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Hola, Pablo. Will you attempt to use superresolution on interesting targets?


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nprev
post Jun 30 2011, 01:28 AM
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Pablo, no question, but MANY thanks for choosing to do so here on UMSF! smile.gif This is the sort of outreach that really works, and I think you'll find our reaction quite morale-boosting for the entire Dawn team. wink.gif


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Juramike
post Jun 30 2011, 02:41 AM
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Hi Pablo! Thank again for posting here. Will your team be specifically planning images so that 3D anaglyphs are possible?


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pablogm1024
post Jun 30 2011, 05:56 AM
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QUOTE (Juramike @ Jun 30 2011, 03:41 AM) *
Hi Pablo! Thank again for posting here. Will your team be specifically planning images so that 3D anaglyphs are possible?

One of the primary scientific goals of the mission (see http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/journal_09_27_10.asp ) is to create topographic maps. To this end, the Framing Camera will be pointing not only to nadir (downwards), but also at an angle so that a given spot is observed from different locations, providing stereo pairs (or triplets).
We do not know the particulars of when these topographic maps will be released, but I have no doubt that 3D anaglyphs will be part of them.


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hendric
post Jun 30 2011, 07:11 AM
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Are there any plans for long-exposure imaging to find moons or rings?

Also, how does it feel to be "better than Hubble"? smile.gif


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pablogm1024
post Jun 30 2011, 03:35 PM
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QUOTE (hendric @ Jun 30 2011, 07:11 AM) *
Are there any plans for long-exposure imaging to find moons or rings?

Also, how does it feel to be "better than Hubble"? smile.gif

The presence of a moon around Vesta would have implications not only for science, but also for the safety of the mission. That is why a number of activities have been planned to detect moons if they exist.
With respect with the feeling of discovery, the sheer sight of an increasing number of pixels taking shape, revealing features that start to be familiar, is overwhelming, amazing, bewildering. It is a new OMG every occasion.
One day I was looking at the newly arrived images and, when my office mate asked me if he should fetch the rest of the team, all I could say was: "Give me just one minute to enjoy the images alone, and then you can get the team".


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paxdan
post Jun 30 2011, 04:03 PM
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Do you have any special Kodak moments planned?
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Stu
post Jun 30 2011, 05:59 PM
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QUOTE (pablogm1024 @ Jun 30 2011, 04:35 PM) *
One day I was looking at the newly arrived images and, when my office mate asked me if he should fetch the rest of the team, all I could say was: "Give me just one minute to enjoy the images alone, and then you can get the team".


I grinned from ear to ear when I read that. You are One of Us, no doubt about it. Welcome home! smile.gif

My initial questions:

1) Do you have any unofficial "working names" for the features you have seen on the images so far?

2) Has the team enjoyed how amateurs, like members of UMSF, have taken the raw images and turned them into animations, enhancing them, etc?

And thanks again for allowing us to grill you like this, it's a great idea and very good of you to take the time. smile.gif


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Greg Hullender
post Jul 1 2011, 01:21 AM
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Yes, thank you very much!

Could you describe the team a bit? How many of you are there? What's a typical day's work like? No need for enormous detail (unless you feel like it) :-) but enough to let us frame our questions.

Thanks again!

--Greg
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pablogm1024
post Jul 1 2011, 09:44 AM
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QUOTE (Stu @ Jun 30 2011, 05:59 PM) *
1) Do you have any unofficial "working names" for the features you have seen on the images so far?

2) Has the team enjoyed how amateurs, like members of UMSF, have taken the raw images and turned them into animations, enhancing them, etc?

Hi Stu,
Thank you for your welcome. You also made me grin from ear to ear with your own post.

The naming assignment policy is very strict even within the Dawn Science Team. The 'C' word has been proscribed since we saw the first images of Vesta, but this will change soon. Of course, there are informal names that we have adopted with the Framing Camera team, but I'd rather post them here once the official ones have been published.

Concerning the work of the amateurs, we are simply amazed at the dedication you put into this hobby, and indeed we are considering getting in touch with some of the contributor to evaluate possible collaborations.


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pablogm1024
post Jul 1 2011, 10:36 AM
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QUOTE (Greg Hullender @ Jul 1 2011, 01:21 AM) *
Could you describe the team a bit? How many of you are there? What's a typical day's work like? No need for enormous detail (unless you feel like it) :-) but enough to let us frame our questions.

Hi Greg,
Thanks for your question.

The team has changed a lot during the project, from the time of conception to the present flight and data exploitation phase, even if we have tried to re-use the team members as much as possible. The team, which you can see in http://www.dawn.mps.mpg.de/index.php?id=2&L=1 , is divided basically in 5 groups:
- engineers, who worked in the project mostly during the hardware phase and are "in the back burner" in case we see hardware problems
- scientists, who determine what has to be observed, particularly timing, filter selection and exposure time, and do the science with the images
- operators, who take the scientists requests, turn them into flight commands, send them to JPL, get the image data when it is available and turn them into images for the scientists
- developers, who provide tools for the operators and scientists to do their work
- quality dept, who just cover our back, ensuring that, whatever we do, we leave a track that can be followed in case something goes wrong.

The daily work in this high phase currently involves 12 people approximately on the FC team alone.

There is not a typical day as such, because they vary a lot depending on the level of planning and flight activities, but I can briefly describe the workflow. It all starts with the greater Dawn Science Team laying out a general observation plan for a phase. The breakdown of the mission into phases and the scientific goals of each phase were agreed long time ago. With the observation plan and the operational allocations, the scientists pick a number of observations. Then the operators turn them into sequences that are tested first on the spare cameras, then on a spacecraft testbed, before they are sent for flight operations.
On the down-link side, the raw packets are received and stored at the Dawn Science Center (UCLA) and then forwarded to us for reconstruction of the uncalibrated and calibrated images. After that, it is all either science or PR, way beyond the understanding of this humble operations team.
Of course, on top of this is the daily work of developing and testing tools for processing and analyzing the data, and lots of management.


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