Photos from the early morning ACUASI team setup in preparation of the UTM systems test with NASA and other UAV test centers.
UAF ACUASI is Alaska’s Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration and is a FAA test site for UAV systems.
The UAF ACUASI team, with support from GINA, is part of a project NASA to test a next generation air space management tool: UTM. UTM is Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Traffic Management. UTM’s goal is to enable civilian low-altitude airspace and unmanned aircraft system operations.
Today the ACUASI team is working with NASA and other test sights across the US to take part in a test of the UTM system that includes concurrent, multiple UAVs, at multiple sites all being managed and flown at the same time. This meant the ACAUSI team had to get up very early and get systems setup and running so they could start at the same time as their East Coast test partners.
The first test flight were a success. Here is the break down of how it all came together:
5:35am Team caravan up to Poker Flats Test Range
6:08am Setup the UTM command central in the Lidar Building, as it has strongest comms link on the range
6:15am Pilots setting up Ptarmigan hexacopter (and spare) and the responder for flights
6:29am Team dialing into NASA national campaign to report on site weather and flight conditions
6:42am Reviewing the minute by minute flight plan of the day with Northern Embedded Solutions’ Corey Upton
7:51am ACUASI’s Greg Foscue helps pilot Matt Westhoff test the flight instrument on the Responder in preparation to fly
7:55am POC Corey Upton calls for Responder and Ptarmagin at high grounds to arm
8:01am Responder takes off
8:10am Ptarmigan takes off after a slight technical delay
8:13am All four AK flights in the air and showing in Simulyze’s Mission Insight software
8:19am NASA Control reports 21 simultaneous flights nationwide
8:22am All Alaska flights land for test flight #1 of the day - Success
The Geographic Network of Alaska would like to announce an update of the Best Data Available (BDL) . This update includes the SPOT5 ortho-mosaic provided through the Statewide Digital Mapping Initiative, giving the service high resolution data covering almost all of Alaska. We have also moved the service onto new hardware, providing a faster and a more reliable platform. Updated data should show up in the WMS, and the tiles we provide for Google Earth and web mapping frame works. This update affects the Best Data Available (BDL) service, as well as the GINA Extras.
The URL for the WMS is http://wms.alaskamapped.org/gina/bdl
As always, please let us know at email@example.com if problems or questions arise.
Breakup is coming soon to Alaska’s rivers as winter gives way to spring. Each spring there is the risk that ice jams will develop, and the associated flooding can devastate a village, as was the case on the Yukon River at Galena in 2013, per the image below.
Now a new generation of satellite imagery and products can help weather forecasters and local emergency managers keep an eye on the rivers and monitor flooding caused by ice jams more closely than ever before. These satellite pictures, when combined with monitoring from aircraft and data collected by people on the shore measuring the level of the river directly, provide the most complete picture possible of a river’s behavior.
The image below is centered on the Yukon River at Galena during the flood in 2013. The orange and red colors indicate areas where the satellite imagery has detected the signature of flooding. This new kind of imagery is very useful, but still has some “gotchas,” for example the wavelengths used here cannot see through clouds, so this product is only suitable for use on clear days.
The Meteorological Education (or “MetEd” for short) website now offers a new training module addressing how these new kinds of satellite imagery can best be used: “JPSS River Ice and Flood Products,” where JPSS references the new generation of weather satellites that captures this information, the Joint Polar Satellite System. This module is accessible free of charge to anyone interested in learning more about these products, simply click on the link at the top of this blog post. And best of all for those of us in Alaska, this training module emphasizes some recent breakup events right here in the Great Land, including the flood at Galena in 2013 as well as overflow flooding on the Dalton Highway on the North Slope in June of 2015.
Data visualization highlighting the plume from the recent Pavlof volcanic eruption.
Multispectral VIIRS concoction dreamed up by Steve Miller of CIRA. This image is from about 5:30am Monday March 28, in the dark.
This multispectral image combines the Day Night Band, longwave IR, and the longwave IR difference between 11micron and 12micron, all with the aim of highlighting the ash plume. This different combined with the original bands creates an RGB picture where the plume is highlighted, showing bright red here.
GINA delivers all of these base VIIRS channels to the NWS in Alaska. This means the NWS operational users can generate this RBG combination “on the fly” in their operational environment AWIPS.
You can the the Longwave IR (I5) band image of this same image as a greyscale product on the GINA Feeder SNPP March 28th I5 pass.
MODIS thermal band 23 downloaded from our Puffin Feeder website,http://feeder.gina.alaska.edu/. This image is showing the thermal signature from the Pavlof Volcanic eruption.