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Autonomous Onboard Science Data Analysis for Comet MissionsComing years will bring several comet rendezvous missions. The Rosetta spacecraft arrives at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014. Subsequent rendezvous might include a mission such as the proposed Comet Hopper with multiple surface landings, as well as Comet Nucleus Sample Return (CNSR) and Coma Rendezvous and Sample Return (CRSR). These encounters will begin to shed light on a population that, despite several previous flybys, remains mysterious and poorly understood. Scientists still have little direct knowledge of interactions between the nucleus and coma, their variation across different comets or their evolution over time. Activity may change on short timescales so it is challenging to characterize with scripted data acquisition. Here we investigate automatic onboard image analysis that could act faster than round-trip light time to capture unexpected outbursts and plume activity. We describe one edge-based method for detect comet nuclei and plumes, and test the approach on an existing catalog of comet images. Finally, we quantify benefits to specific measurement objectives by simulating a basic plume monitoring campaign.
Document ID
20130000254
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Authors
Thompson, David R. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Tran, Daniel Q. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
McLaren, David (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Chien, Steve A. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Bergman, Larry (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Castano, Rebecca (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Doyle, Richard (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Estlin, Tara (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Lenda, Matthew (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 27, 2013
Publication Date
September 4, 2012
Subject Category
Astronomy
Meeting Information
International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence Robotics and Automation in Space(Turin)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other
Keywords
comets
computer vision
plume detection