Title of Presentation: A Science Model-Driven Autonomous Volcano Sensor Web

Primary (Corresponding) Author: Ashley Davies

Organization of Primary Author: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Co-Authors: , Robert Wright, Philip Kyle, Rebecca Castano, Steve Chien, Daniel Tran, Scott Chadde, Lukas Mandrake, Dan Mandl and Stuart Frye.


Abstract:  In a volcanic emergency, time is of the essence.  The response time between detection of volcanic activity and the retasking of spacecraft to obtain observations of an eruption is greatly reduced through use of autonomous systems, for seeking out alerts of activity, planning spacecraft operations, processing the data, generating results, and disseminating the information.  These capabilities have been demonstrated by the Volcano Sensor Web, based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  The value of such technology was demonstrated during the November-December 2006 eruption of Nyamulagira, DR Congo, when the sensor web supplied data critical to hazard assessment.  We are expanding this system from one which uses a straightforward trigger-response reaction,  where ground-based sensors and applications that process remote sensing data to detect active volcanism, to one which uses models of physical processes and an a priori volcano ‘eruption state’ matrix.  This matrix contains not only the different levels of volcanic activity at a particular volcano, but also which data are required to better constrain a change of state.  We will demonstrate how additional data can be sought out to improve knowledge of eruption characteristics, from any available, appropriate asset.  To demonstrate this technology we use, as a space-based asset, the EO-1 spacecraft.   Additionally, EO-1 carries the Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment (autonomous onboard data analysis and spacecraft operations) which rapidly detects thermal emission from active volcanoes in Hyperion hyperspectral data.  Focusing primarily on the Hawaiian volcanoes and Mt. Erebus, Antarctica, the sensor web uses SensorML for sensor and product identification and data transfer.  We envision other autonomous sensor webs that monitor other dynamic processes on Earth, and the use of such systems for exploring the Solar System. 

This work was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory-California Institute of Technology, under contract to NASA.  We gratefully acknowledge funding from the NASA AIST Program.  EO-1 is managed by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.