TerraSAR-X, a radar Earth observation satellite, is a joint venture being carried out under a public-private-partnership between the German Aerospace Center and EADS Astrium. The exclusive commercial rights are held by the geo-information service provider Astrium. TerraSAR-X was launched on 15 June 2007 and has been in service since January 2008. With its twin satellite TanDEM-X, launched 21 June 2010, TerraSAR-X acquires the data basis for the WorldDEM, with its phased array synthetic aperture radar antenna, TerraSAR-X acquires new high-quality radar images of the entire planet whilst circling Earth in a polar orbit at 514 km altitude. TerraSAR-X is designed to carry out its task for five years, independent of conditions and illumination. Features of TerraSAR-X, resolution of up to 1 m, excellent radiometric accuracy, geometric accuracy unrivalled by any other commercial spaceborne sensor, since October 2010, TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X fly in a close formation at distances of only a few hundred metres and record data synchronously.
This unique twin satellite constellation will allow the generation of WorldDEM, with an unprecedented accuracy and quality – WorldDEM is a consistent DEM of the Earth’s land surface is envisaged to be acquired and generated within three years after launch. Available from 2014, WorldDEM is to feature a vertical accuracy of 2m and 10m, within a horizontal raster of approximately 12x12 square meters, satellite radar entered use more than fifteen years after optical camera systems did. The resolution is in lower, but radar can gather information at any time of the day or night. This contributes significantly to the reliability of the system, a much-desired property, early radar satellite techniques were e. g. the Altimetrie, NASAs SEASAT, regulation of waves/wind or soil data. Satellites like GRACE can measure for instance the speed of other satellites to mm/s exactly, the military has used radar since the late 1930s and radar satellites at least since 1978. TerraSAR X will exhibit some technical-industrial novelties, the antenna can be aligned by electronics within an angle range so that the point of view is adjustable.
Earlier radar satellites could radiate the antenna only in one direction, with the adjustable angle radar sensor - along with other course refinements - any place on earth can be observed preferentially within 1–3 days. For a specific point on the Earths equator, TerraSAR X has a cycle of 11 days. The revisit time decreases towards the poles, e. g. northern Europe has a time of typically 3–4 days. The ground operating mechanism and controls for the TerraSAR X is developed by the DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen and it consists of Mission Operating Equipment, the Payload Ground Segment and the Instrument Operation and Calibration Segment. The new-quality data records, as provided by TerraSAR-X, will offer a vast amount of new incentives, for instance in ecology, hydrology. The smallest movements of the Earths surface are further scientific fields of application, TanDEM-X Science Home at DLR website Terrasar-x at Astrium website
In the mathematical field of numerical analysis, interpolation is a method of constructing new data points within the range of a discrete set of known data points. It is often required to interpolate the value of that function for a value of the independent variable. A different problem which is related to interpolation is the approximation of a complicated function by a simple function. Suppose the formula for some given function is known, but too complex to evaluate efficiently, a few known data points from the original function can be used to create an interpolation based on a simpler function. In the examples below if we consider x as a topological space, the classical results about interpolation of operators are the Riesz–Thorin theorem and the Marcinkiewicz theorem. There are many other subsequent results, for example, suppose we have a table like this, which gives some values of an unknown function f. Interpolation provides a means of estimating the function at intermediate points, there are many different interpolation methods, some of which are described below.
Some of the concerns to take into account when choosing an appropriate algorithm are, how many data points are needed. The simplest interpolation method is to locate the nearest data value, one of the simplest methods is linear interpolation. Consider the above example of estimating f, since 2.5 is midway between 2 and 3, it is reasonable to take f midway between f =0.9093 and f =0.1411, which yields 0.5252. Another disadvantage is that the interpolant is not differentiable at the point xk, the following error estimate shows that linear interpolation is not very precise. Denote the function which we want to interpolate by g, the linear interpolation error is | f − g | ≤ C2 where C =18 max r ∈ | g ″ |. In words, the error is proportional to the square of the distance between the data points, the error in some other methods, including polynomial interpolation and spline interpolation, is proportional to higher powers of the distance between the data points. These methods produce smoother interpolants, polynomial interpolation is a generalization of linear interpolation.
Note that the interpolant is a linear function. We now replace this interpolant with a polynomial of higher degree, consider again the problem given above. The following sixth degree polynomial goes through all the seven points, substituting x =2.5, we find that f =0.5965. Generally, if we have n points, there is exactly one polynomial of degree at most n−1 going through all the data points
It maps the Earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and geographic information system onto a 3D globe. It was originally available with three different licenses, but has since reduced to just two, Google Earth and Google Earth Pro, which is now free and is intended for commercial use. The third original option, Google Earth Plus, has been discontinued. The product, re-released as Google Earth in 2005, is available for use on computers running Windows 2000 and above, Mac OS X10.3.9 and above, Linux kernel,2.6 or later. Google Earth is available as a plugin which was released on May 28,2008. It was available for mobile viewers on the iPhone OS on October 28,2008, as a free download from the App Store. In addition to releasing an updated Keyhole based client, Google added the imagery from the Earth database to their web-based mapping software, as of October 2011, Google Earth has been downloaded more than a billion times. Google Earth displays satellite images of varying resolution of the Earths surface, Imagery resolution ranges from 15 meters of resolution to 15 centimeters.
Most areas in Google Earth are only shown in 2D aerial imagery, Google Earth uses digital elevation model data collected by NASAs Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. This means one can view almost the entire earth in three dimensions, since November 2006, the 3D views of many mountains, including Mount Everest, have been improved by the use of supplementary DEM data to fill the gaps in SRTM coverage. Google Earth allows users to search for addresses for some countries, enter coordinates, some people use the applications to add their own data, making them available through various sources, such as the Bulletin Board Systems or blogs mentioned in the link section below. Google Earth is able to show various kinds of images overlaid on the surface of the earth and is a Web Map Service client, Google Earth supports managing three-dimensional Geospatial data through Keyhole Markup Language. In December 2006, Google Earth added a new layer called Geographic Web that includes integration with Wikipedia, in Wikipedia, entries are scraped for coordinates via the Coord templates.
There is a community-layer from the project Wikipedia-World, More coordinates are used, different types are in the display and different languages are supported than the built-in Wikipedia layer. Google announced on May 30,2007 that it is acquiring Panoramio, in March 2010, Google removed the Geographic Web layer. The Panoramio layer became part of the layers and the Wikipedia layer was placed in the More layer. In Google Earth v4.2 a flight simulator was included as a hidden feature, starting with v4.3 it is no longer hidden. The flight simulator could be accessed by holding down the keys Ctrl, initially the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the Cirrus SR-22 were the only aircraft available, and they could be used with only a few airports
Texture mapping is a method for defining high frequency detail, surface texture, or color information on a computer-generated graphic or 3D model. Its application to 3D graphics was pioneered by Edwin Catmull in 1974, texture mapping originally referred to a method that simply wrapped and mapped pixels from a texture to a 3D surface. A texture map is an image applied to the surface of a shape or polygon and this may be a bitmap image or a procedural texture. They may be stored in image file formats, referenced by 3d model formats or material definitions. They may have 1-3 dimensions, although 2 dimensions are most common for visible surfaces, for use with modern hardware, texture map data may be stored in swizzled or tiled orderings to improve cache coherency. Rendering APIs typically manage texture map resources as buffers or surfaces and they usually contain RGB color data, and sometimes an additional channel for alpha blending especially for billboards and decal overlay textures. It is possible to use the channel for other uses such as specularity.
Multiple texture maps may be combined for control over specularity, displacement, multiple texture images may be combined in texture atlases or array textures to reduce state changes for modern hardware. Modern hardware often supports cube map textures with multiple faces for environment mapping and they may be acquired by scanning/digital photography, authored in image manipulation software such as Photoshop, or painted onto 3D surfaces directly in a 3D paint tool such as Mudbox or zbrush. This process is akin to applying patterned paper to a white box. Every vertex in a polygon is assigned a texture coordinate and this may be done through explicit assignment of vertex attributes, manually edited in a 3D modelling package through UV unwrapping tools. It is possible to associate a procedural transformation from 3d space to space with the material. This might be accomplished via planar projection or, cylindrical or spherical mapping, more complex mappings may consider the distance along a surface to minimize distortion.
These coordinates are interpolated across the faces of polygons to sample the texture map during rendering, UV unwrapping tools typically provide a view in texture space for manual editing of texture coordinates. Some rendering techniques such as subsurface scattering may be performed approximately by texture-space operations, multitexturing is the use of more than one texture at a time on a polygon. For instance, a light map texture may be used to light a surface as an alternative to recalculating that lighting every time the surface is rendered. Microtextures or detail textures are used to add higher frequency details, and dirt maps may add weathering and variation, modern graphics may use in excess of 10 layers for greater fidelity which are combined using shaders. Bump mapping has become popular in recent video games, as graphics hardware has become powerful enough to accommodate it in real-time, the way that samples are calculated from the texels is governed by texture filtering
National Air and Space Museum
The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, called the NASM, is a museum in Washington, D. C. It holds the largest collection of aircraft and spacecraft in the world. It was established in 1946 as the National Air Museum and opened its building on the National Mall near LEnfant Plaza in 1976. In 2014, the museum saw approximately 6.7 million visitors, the museum contains the Apollo 11 module, the Friendship 7 capsule which was flown by John Glenn, the Bell X-1 which broke the sound barrier, and the Wright brothers plane near the entrance. The National Air and Space Museum is a center for research into the history and science of aviation and spaceflight, as well as science and terrestrial geology. Almost all space and aircraft on display are originals or the original backup craft and it operates an annex, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, at Dulles International Airport, which opened in 2003 and itself encompasses 760,000 square feet. The museum currently conducts restoration of its collection at the Paul E.
St, the mass of the museum is similar to the National Gallery of Art across the National Mall, and uses the same pink Tennessee marble as the National Gallery. Built by Gilbane Building Company, the museum was completed in 1976, the west glass wall of the building is used for the installation of airplanes, functioning as a giant door. The Air and Space Museum was originally called the National Air Museum when formed on August 12,1946 by an act of Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. The String fellow steam engine intended for aircraft was added to the collection in 1889, some pieces were on display in the Arts and Industries Building, some were stored in the Aircraft Building, a large temporary metal shed in the Smithsonian Castles south yard. Larger missiles and rockets were displayed outdoors in what was known as Rocket Row, the shed housed a large Martin bomber, a LePere fighter-bomber, and an Aeromarine 39B floatplane. Still, much of the collection remained in storage due to a lack of display space, the current Garber Facility was ceded to the Smithsonian by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission in 1952 after the curator Paul E.
Garber spotted the wooded area from the air. Bulldozers from Fort Belvoir and prefabricated buildings from the United States Navy kept the initial costs low, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center opened in 2003, funded by a private donation. The museum holds the mirror for the Hubble which. The Smithsonian has promised the International Cometary Explorer, which is currently in a solar orbit that occasionally brings it back to Earth. The Air and Space Museum announced a renovation of its main entrance hall. The renovation to the hall was funded by a $30 million donation from Boeing. The gift, which will be paid over seven years, is the largest corporate donation ever received by the Air, Boeing had previously given donations totaling $58 million
EGM96 is a geopotential model of the Earth consisting of spherical harmonic coefficients complete to degree and order 360. EGM96 is a solution, consisting of, a combination solution to degree and order 70, a block diagonal solution from degree 71 to 359. This model is the result of a collaboration between the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and the Ohio State University. The joint project took advantage of new surface gravity data from different regions of the globe. In addition, there have been efforts to improve NIMAs existing 30′ mean anomaly database through contributions over various countries in Asia. NIMA computed and made available 30′×30′ mean altimeter derived gravity anomalies from the GEOSAT Geodetic Mission, pGM2000A is an EGM96 derivative model that incorporates normal equations for the dynamic ocean topography implied by the POCM4B ocean circulation model. The official Earth Gravitational Model EGM2008 has been released by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency EGM Development Team.
This gravitational model is complete to spherical harmonic degree and order 2159, here is an online version of GeoidEval
The Zagros Mountains form the largest mountain range in Iran and southeastern Turkey. This mountain range has a length of 1,500 km. The highest point in the Zagros Mountains is Dena, the Zagros fold and thrust belt was formed by collision of two tectonic plates, the Eurasian Plate and the Arabian Plate. This collision primarily happened during the Miocene and folded the rocks that had been deposited from the Carboniferous to the Miocene in the geosyncline in front of the Iranian Plate. The process of collision continues to the present and as the Arabian Plate is being pushed against the Eurasian Plate, the Zagros Mountains, a relatively dense GPS network which covered the Iranian Zagros proves a high rate of deformation within the Zagros. The GPS results show that the current rate of shortening in the southeast Zagros is ~10 mm/yr, the north-south Kazerun strike-slip fault divides the Zagros into two distinct zones of deformation. The GPS results show different shortening directions along the belt, normal shortening in the southeast, the sedimentary cover in the SE Zagros is deforming above a layer of rock salt whereas in the NW Zagros the salt layer is missing or is very thin.
This different basal friction is partly responsible for the different topographies on either side of the Kazerun fault. Higher topography and narrower zone of deformation in the NW Zagros is observed whereas in the SE, deformation was spread more, stresses induced in the Earths crust by the collision caused extensive folding of the preexisting layered sedimentary rocks. Subsequent erosion removed softer rocks, such as mudstone and siltstone while leaving harder rocks, such as limestone and this differential erosion formed the linear ridges of the Zagros Mountains. The depositional environment and tectonic history of the rocks were conducive to the formation and trapping of petroleum, salt domes and salt glaciers are a common feature of the Zagros Mountains. Salt domes are an important target for exploration, as the impermeable salt frequently traps petroleum beneath other rock layers. The Zagros Mountains have a totally sedimentary origin and are primarily of limestone. In the Elevated Zagros or the Higher Zagros, the Paleozoic rocks could be found mainly in the upper and higher sections of the peaks of the Zagros Mountains along the Zagros main fault.
On the both sides of this fault, there are Mesozoic rocks, a combination of Triassic and Jurassic rocks that are surrounded by Cretaceous rocks on the both sides. The Folded Zagros is formed mainly of Tertiary rocks, with the Paleogene rocks south of the Cretaceous rocks, the mountains are divided into many parallel sub-ranges, and orogenically have the same age as the Alps. Irans main oilfields lie in the central foothills of the Zagros mountain range. The southern ranges of the Fars Province have somewhat lower summits and they contain some limestone rocks showing abundant marine fossils
Spaceborne Imaging Radar
The Spaceborne Imaging Radar - full name Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar, is a Synthetic Aperture Radar which flew on two separate shuttle missions. Once from the Space Shuttle Endeavour in April 1994 on and again in October 1994 on, the radar was run by NASAs Space Radar Laboratory. SIR utilizes 3 radar frequencies, L band, C band and X band, allowing for study of geology, ecology, the imaging radar was able to take images anytime regardless of clouds cover. The Radar-C system was built and operated by NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the mission was a joint work of NASA with the German and Italian space agencies. Each of the long mission scanned about 50 million square kilometers of the Earths surface. The SIR mission revealed hidden river channels in the Sahara Desert indicating significant climate change in the past, SIR was used for volcano research by keeping researchers a safe distance from hazardous and often inaccessible areas. The radar was used to generate detailed three dimensional mappings of the Earths surface.
Radar found temples in Angkor, and ancient segments of Chinas Great Wall, orbital Altitude above earth =225 km The width of the imaged swath on the ground varied from 15 to 90 kilometers C-band Beamwidth =0.25 deg
The Cape Peninsula is a generally rocky peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean at the south-western extremity of the African continent. At the southern end of the peninsula are Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope, on the northern end is Table Mountain, overlooking Cape Town, South Africa. The peninsula is 52 km long from Mouille point in the north to Cape Point in the south. The Peninsula has been an island on and off for the past 5 million years, as sea levels fell and rose with the ice age and interglacial global warming cycles of, the Pleistocene. The last time that the Peninsula was an island was about 1.5 million years ago, soon afterwards it was joined to the mainland by the emergence from the sea of the sandy area now known as the Cape Flats. The towns and villages of the Cape Peninsula and Cape Flats now form part of the City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality, the Cape of Good Hope is sometimes given as the meeting point of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Thus the west coast of the Peninsula is invariably referred to as the Atlantic Coast and it is at Cape Point that the ocean to the south is often said to be divided into the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Indian Ocean to the east.
However, according to the International Hydrographic Organization agreement that defines the ocean boundaries, from there it is retroflexed in an easterly direction by the South Atlantic, South Indian and Southern Ocean currents, known as the West Wind Drift, which flow eastwards round Antarctica. The Benguela Current, on the hand, is an upwelling current which brings cold. Having reached the surface it flows northwards as a result of the prevailing wind, thus the Benguela and Agulhas currents do not strictly meet anywhere, although eddies from the Agulhas current do from time to time round the Cape to join the Benguela Current. The park comprises a part of the undeveloped area of the Cape Peninsula. The coastal waters surrounding the Cape Peninsula are proclaimed as a protected area since 2004, and include several no-take zones. The waters of this protected area are unusual in that they are parts of two fairly distinct marine bioregions, namely the Agulhas Bioregion and the South-western Cape Bioregion.
The boundary is at Cape Point, the Cape Peninsula has an unusually rich biodiversity. Its vegetation consists predominantly of several different types of the unique, on the sandy Cape Flats lowlands there are a few pockets of protected Cape Flats Sand Fynbos. The Peninsulas vegetation types form part of the Cape Floral Region protected areas, many of these species, including a great many types of proteas, are endemic to these mountains and can be found nowhere else. It is a showy orchid that blooms from January to March on the Table Mountain Sandstone regions of the mountain. Although they are widespread on the Back Table, the best place to view these beautiful blooms is in the Aqueduct off the Smuts Track
United States Geological Survey
The United States Geological Survey is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its resources. The organization has four science disciplines, concerning biology, geology. The USGS is a research organization with no regulatory responsibility. The USGS is a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior, the USGS employs approximately 8,670 people and is headquartered in Reston, Virginia. The USGS has major offices near Lakewood, Colorado, at the Denver Federal Center, the current motto of the USGS, in use since August 1997, is science for a changing world. The agencys previous slogan, adopted on the occasion of its anniversary, was Earth Science in the Public Service. Prompted by a report from the National Academy of Sciences, the USGS was created, by a last-minute amendment and it was charged with the classification of the public lands, and examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the national domain.
This task was driven by the need to inventory the vast lands added to the United States by the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the legislation provided that the Hayden and Wheeler surveys be discontinued as of June 30,1879. Clarence King, the first director of USGS, assembled the new organization from disparate regional survey agencies, after a short tenure, King was succeeded in the directors chair by John Wesley Powell. Administratively, it is divided into a Headquarters unit and six Regional Units, Other specific programs include, Earthquake Hazards Program monitors earthquake activity worldwide. The National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado on the campus of the Colorado School of Mines detects the location, the USGS runs or supports several regional monitoring networks in the United States under the umbrella of the Advanced National Seismic System. The USGS informs authorities, emergency responders, the media, and it maintains long-term archives of earthquake data for scientific and engineering research.
It conducts and supports research on long-term seismic hazards, USGS has released the UCERF California earthquake forecast. The USGS National Geomagnetism Program monitors the magnetic field at magnetic observatories and distributes magnetometer data in real time, the USGS operates the streamgaging network for the United States, with over 7400 streamgages. Real-time streamflow data are available online, since 1962, the Astrogeology Research Program has been involved in global and planetary exploration and mapping. USGS operates a number of related programs, notably the National Streamflow Information Program. USGS Water data is available from their National Water Information System database
Topography is the study of the shape and features of the surface of the Earth and other observable astronomical objects including planets and asteroids. The topography of an area could refer to the shapes and features themselves. This field of geoscience and planetary science is concerned with detail in general, including not only relief but natural and artificial features. This meaning is common in the United States, where topographic maps with elevation contours have made topography synonymous with relief. The older sense of topography as the study of place still has currency in Europe, topography in a narrow sense involves the recording of relief or terrain, the three-dimensional quality of the surface, and the identification of specific landforms. This is known as geomorphometry, in modern usage, this involves generation of elevation data in digital form. It is often considered to include the representation of the landform on a map by a variety of techniques, including contour lines, hypsometric tints.
The term topography originated in ancient Greece and continued in ancient Rome, the word comes from the Greek τόπος and -γραφία. In classical literature this refers to writing about a place or places, in Britain and in Europe in general, the word topography is still sometimes used in its original sense. Detailed military surveys in Britain were called Ordnance Surveys, and this term was used into the 20th century as generic for topographic surveys, the earliest scientific surveys in France were called the Cassini maps after the family who produced them over four generations. The term topographic surveys appears to be American in origin, the earliest detailed surveys in the United States were made by the “Topographical Bureau of the Army, ” formed during the War of 1812, which became the Corps of Topographical Engineers in 1838. In the 20th century, the term started to be used to describe surface description in other fields where mapping in a broader sense is used. An objective of topography is to determine the position of any feature or more generally any point in terms of both a horizontal coordinate system such as latitude and altitude, identifying features, and recognizing typical landform patterns are part of the field.
There are a variety of approaches to studying topography, which method to use depend on the scale and size of the area under study, its accessibility, and the quality of existing surveys. Work on one of the first topographic maps was begun in France by Giovanni Domenico Cassini, in areas where there has been an extensive direct survey and mapping program, the compiled data forms the basis of basic digital elevation datasets such as USGS DEM data. This data must often be cleaned to eliminate discrepancies between surveys, but it forms a valuable set of information for large-scale analysis. The original American topographic surveys involved not only recording of relief, remote sensing is a general term for geodata collection at a distance from the subject area. Besides their role in photogrammetry and satellite imagery can be used to identify and delineate terrain features, certainly they have become more and more a part of geovisualization, whether maps or GIS systems