Hello everyone!

I hope you all enjoyed the Field Trip at NOAA CREST on October 23rd, 2012 and the seminar held by Antony DiNardo, Chief Scientist at Northrop Grumman, on October 25th, 2012. I would like all of you to post your impressions about the trips (labs, instruments, opportunities, applications, the way you think all these might connect with your interests, etc) and the presentation before October 31st.


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NASA Internships

Dear All,


Please see below the instructions to follow if you want to apply for NASA internships:

OSSI-SOLAR Student Instructions-1

Recruitment flyer 2012

For more details on the different NASA departments please go to

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Summer Internship

Dear All,

I am going to select 2 of you to do summer research with me at NASA this summer. It is going to be a very difficult decision for me for all of you have been very motivated and passionate about this field of study. However, since I can only take 2 students with me I will have to get this done want it or not. The selection criteria is your grade in your final, your project, your overall performance in the class, your GPA, your exposure to internships, the semester you are graduating and others that we can continue discussing about in the class. All those that will not be selected will strongly be encouraged to apply for internships in the field on individual basis.

All the best and see you on Tuesday


Viviana Vladutescu

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Satellite Retro-grade and Pro-grade motions

Retrograde motion is motion in the direction opposite to the movement of something else, This motion can be the orbit of one body about another body or about some other point, or the rotation of a single body about its axis, or other phenomena such as precession or nutation of the axis.

Orbital motion in the usual direction of celestial bodies within a given system; specifically, of a satellite, motion in the direction of rotation of the primary. More specifically, it is opposite to retrograde.

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What is NDVI?

The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) has been in use for many years to measure and monitor plant growth (vigor), vegetation cover, and biomass production from multispectral satellite data. The NDVI image maps shown here are prepared from 1-km AVHRR spectral data in the visible (Channel 1; 0.58-0.68 micrometers) and near infrared (Channel 2; 0.725-1.10 micrometers) regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. NDVI is calculated as follows:

NDVI = (Channel 2 – Channel 1) / (Channel 2 + Channel 1)

The principle behind NDVI is that Channel 1 is in the red-light region of the electromagnetic spectrum where chlorophyll causes considerable absorption of incoming sunlight, whereas Channel 2 is in the near-infrared region of the spectrum where a plant’s spongy mesophyll leaf structure creates considerable reflectance (Tucker 1979, Jackson et al.1983, Tucker et al. 1991). As a result, vigorously growing healthy vegetation has low red-light reflectance and high near-infrared reflectance, and hence, high NDVI values. This relatively simply algorithm produces output values in the range of -1.0 to 1.0. Increasing positive NDVI values, shown in increasing shades of green on the images, indicate increasing amounts of green vegetation. NDVI values near zero and decreasing negative values indicate non-vegetated features such as barren surfaces (rock and soil) and water, snow, ice, and clouds.

— Source : USGS (United States Geological Survey)

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As pointed out by Prigent et al.

atmospheric effects, especially cloud cover, is responsible for a large part of the polarization difference and brightness temperatures, casting doubt on the interpretation of simple indexes solely in terms of surface properties. To overcome the above limitations, we developed a novel technique that links vegetation properties and ET fluxes with an “emissivity difference vegetation index” (EDVI).

EDVI is derived from a combination of satellite microwave measurements with visible and infrared observations through accurately atmospheric correction.

The equation and more information purtaining to EDVI can be found at


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NASA to Demonstrate Communications Via Laser Beam

Dear All,

NASA’s future plans sound great for students with majors in telecommunications and background in optics and remote sensing. Please access the link below to learn more about it and see if you can find jobs related to this project (for those looking for jobs you should start applying for positions at least 6 months before graduation).

Please comment on the article posted here


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Reading Assignment Oct 19th

Hello everyone!

Where is Voyager I now?

Please do not forget to fill in the forms for the BNL field trip on October 28 (first come first served). If you submitted a form and you cannot come please let me know in advance so I can offer the seat to someone else (there are only 25 seats available)

Last but not least please do not forget to read chapters 1 and 2 in my thesis under Publications or by clicking here PhD_Thesis

Keep on doing the great work!


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