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Proceedings Paper

Processing ground-based near-infrared imagery of space shuttle re-entries
Author(s): Thomas S. Spisz; Jeff C. Taylor; Stephen W. Kennerly; Kwame Osei-Wusu; David M. Gibson; Thomas J. Horvath; Joseph N. Zalameda; Robert V. Kerns; Edward J. Shea; C. David Mercer; Richard J. Schwartz; Ronald F. Dantowitz; Marek J. Kozubal
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Paper Abstract

Ground-based high-resolution, calibrated, near-infrared (NIR) imagery of the Space Shuttle STS-134 Endeavour during reentry has been obtained as part of NASA's HYTHIRM (Hypersonic Thermodynamic InfraRed Measurements) project. The long-range optical sensor package called MARS (Mobile Aerospace Reconnaissance System) was positioned in advance to acquire and track part of the shuttle re-entry. Imagery was acquired during a few minutes, with the best imagery being processed when the shuttle was at 133 kft at Mach 5.8. This paper describes the processing of the NIR imagery, building upon earlier work from the airborne imagery collections of several prior shuttle missions. Our goal is to calculate the temperature distribution of the shuttle's bottom surface as accurately as possible, considering both random and systematic errors, while maintaining all physical features in the imagery, especially local intensity variations. The processing areas described are: 1) radiometric calibration, 2) improvement of image quality, 3) atmospheric compensation, and 4) conversion to temperature. The computed temperature image will be shown, as well as comparisons with thermocouples at different positions on the shuttle. A discussion of the uncertainties of the temperature estimates using the NIR imagery is also given.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 May 2012
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 8354, Thermosense: Thermal Infrared Applications XXXIV, 83540G (18 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.919232
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas S. Spisz, The Johns Hopkins Univ. Applied Physics Lab. (United States)
Jeff C. Taylor, The Johns Hopkins Univ. Applied Physics Lab. (United States)
Stephen W. Kennerly, The Johns Hopkins Univ. Applied Physics Lab. (United States)
Kwame Osei-Wusu, The Johns Hopkins Univ. Applied Physics Lab. (United States)
David M. Gibson, The Johns Hopkins Univ. Applied Physics Lab. (United States)
Thomas J. Horvath, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Joseph N. Zalameda, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Robert V. Kerns, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Edward J. Shea, Futron Corp. (United States)
C. David Mercer, SGT, Inc. (United States)
Richard J. Schwartz, AMA, Inc. (United States)
Ronald F. Dantowitz, Celestial Computing, Inc. (United States)
Marek J. Kozubal, Celestial Computing, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8354:
Thermosense: Thermal Infrared Applications XXXIV
Douglas Burleigh; Gregory R. Stockton, Editor(s)

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