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News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

It took NASA’s Juno spacecraft about five years to reach Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. And after it made its first pass around the gas giant Aug. 27, 2016, another nine months had to pass before scientists could analyze the data collected on that maiden flyby and present it to the public. Two papers published Thursday in the journal Science provide insights into Jupiter’s atmosphere and interior. The planet’s poles are rife with chaotic cyclones and its magnetic field is much stronger than predicted by models. The gigantic planet’s magnetosphere was likely expanding when Juno first entered it June 24, 2016. And its aurora, seen in ultraviolet and infrared, are possibly caused by a rain of electron beams. One of the papers, titled “Jupiter’s interior and deep atmosphere: The initial pole-to-pole passes with the Juno spacecraft,” uses data collected by Juno during its passes over the planet’s poles. The “chaotic scene of bright oval features” seen at both the north and south poles are very different from polar activity seen on neighboring Saturn, according to a statement Thursday by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (publishers of the journal Science). Juno captured time-lapse images of Jupiter’s polar regions, and discovered the ovals to be cyclones, some of which are up to 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) across in diameter. As it passed over the cloud tops of Jupiter, Juno also measured the planet’s deep atmosphere’s thermal structure. The formation of giant weather systems and unexpected structures was put down by the paper’s authors as being caused by the welling up of ammonia from the deep atmosphere. Models predict that the gas giant has a solid metal core, and measurements made by Juno are expected to help verify or invalidate the theory. But an analysis of the planet’s magnetic field found it to be far stronger than predicted by models. At 7.766 gauss, it is well over 10 times stronger than Earth’s magnetic field. The second paper was titled “Jupiter’s magnetosphere and aurorae observed by the Juno spacecraft during its first polar orbits.” Its authors said the fact that Juno encountered only one bow shock (a stationary shockwave, created at the point where the incoming solar wind is repelled by the planet’s magnetic field) when entering Jupiter’s magnetosphere, compared to the numerous encounters during later orbits, suggested the magnetosphere was growing in size at the time of first contact. From its perspective above the poles, Juno also detected something akin to a rain of electron beams that shower energy into Jupiter’s upper atmosphere. That is a likely cause for the huge aurorae Juno captured in ultraviolet and infrared. The distribution of the electron showers, however, is very different from those responsible for causing aurorae on Earth. The first study was led by Scott Bolton of Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas, who is the principal investigator for the Juno mission. The leader for the second study was John Connerney, who is with NASA’s Sciences and Exploration Directorate. Open-access copies of both papers are available on the journal’s website. A number of related articles are also available on the website of the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

News Article | December 28, 2016
Site: www.cemag.us

The year 2016 has seen the deaths of many celebrities from the world of entertainment … Prince, David Bowie, Gwen Ifill, Florence Henderson, Muhammad Ali, and just this week we lost George Michael and Carrie Fischer. We’ve also had to bid farewell to many scientists and innovators this year. Here are just a few of those we lost in 2016 — we thank them for their significant contributions to science and technology. Marvin Minsky, a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence, died on Jan. 24. The MIT computer science instructor laid the groundwork for AI when he demonstrated the possibilities of imparting common-sense reasoning to computers. Starting in the 1950s, he studied computational ideas in order to characterize human psychological processes. He then came up with theories on machines could be endowed with intelligence. He co-founded the MIT Artificial Intelligence Project (later the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) in 1959. Edgar Mitchell, the lunar module pilot on Apollo 14, died on Feb. 4. He was the sixth man to walk on the moon (out of just 12 total). Mitchell and Alan Shephard Jr., the first American in space, touched down on the moon on Feb. 5, 1971, in order to travel on the lunar surface to deploy scientific instruments and perform a communications test. Mitchell spent 33 hours on the surface of the moon. The Apollo 14 mission was his only time in space. Ray Tomlinson, the man who invented email and selected the @ symbol for use in email addresses, died on March 5. Tomlinson invented a program for ARPANET, the Internet’s predecessor, in 1971 — the program enabled people to send personal messages to other computer users on other servers. The @ symbol was chosen for email addresses because Tomlinson deduced that the symbol would not otherwise be part of the address — some say the symbol may have faded out of use entirely had it not been for him. Zaha Hadid, a groundbreaking architect from Britain by way of Iraq, died on March 31. Her designs, experts note, were not pigeonholed by her background or her gender. She became the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize, “architecture’s Nobel,” in 2004, and the first on her own merit to be awarded the RIBA Gold Medal, Britain’s top architectural award, in 2015. Her science-related designs include the Phaeno Science Center in Germany, Maggie's Centres at the Victoria Hospital in Scotland, and Innovation Tower at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She also designed the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympics. Dr. Gordon Hamilton, a climate scientist who studied glaciers and their impact on sea levels in a warming climate, died Oct. 22. He perished in a snowmobile accident in Antarctica. Hamilton traveled to the Antarctic each winter and to Greenland each summer, to study the behavior of modern ice sheets and their role in the climate system and modulating global sea levels. “The things I’ve seen in Greenland in the last five years are alarming,” Hamilton said to the The New York Times six years ago. “We see these ice sheets changing literally overnight.” He was a professor at the University of Maine. Dr. Piers Sellers, a climate change scientist and former NASA astronaut, died on Dec. 23. He served as the acting director of the Earth Sciences Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. After learning he had terminal pancreatic cancer, Sellers devoted the rest of his life to confronting the challenges of climate change, as he noted during his appearance in Leonardo DiCaprio's climate change documentary Before the Flood. John Glenn, a former NASA astronaut and U.S. Senator, died on Dec. 8. Glenn was one of NASA's original seven Mercury astronauts, and became the first American to orbit the earth when he flew on the Friendship 7 on Feb. 20, 1962. The astronaut faced life-threatening problems when the spacecraft’s automatic control system malfunctioned and its heat shield loosened, but Glenn made it safely back to Earth and was hailed as a national hero. Glenn returned to space at age 77 — he spent 9 days on the space shuttle Discovery in 1998, where he participated in a series of tests on the aging process. Dr. Edwin Goldwasser, a physicist who co-founded the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, died Dec. 14. Goldwasser persuaded President Lyndon Johnson to establish a high-flight research facility in Illinois in order to attract more physics students to the Midwest. During the 1960s Goldwasser became the deputy director for what became known as Fermilab in Batavia, Ill., which does particle physics research and has contributed to major discoveries in medicine, energy, and the origins of the universe. During the Cold War he convinced President Richard Nixon to permit scientific exchanges with Soviet physicists. When the Soviets refused to invite the recommended number of Israeli physicists to an international meeting in the present-day country of Georgia, Goldwasser threatened to cancel the meeting — the Soviets gave in. Vera Rubin, who discovered evidence of dark matter, died on Dec. 25. The astrophysicist, who was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and awarded the National Medal of Science, was the first woman allowed to observe at Caltech's Palomar Observatory. Turned away by Princeton University, Rubin instead studied at Cornell and Georgetown — she began her Ph.D. program at the age of 23, while pregnant and also caring for another young child at home. Image Credit: Piers Sellers most recently served as the deputy director of the Sciences and Exploration Directorate and acting director of the Earth Sciences Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Image: NASA/Rebecca Roth

News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.scientificamerican.com

MONROVIA, Calif .— NASA’s next major interplanetary mission is the Mars 2020 rover. The robot explorer is expected to touch down on the Red Planet in February 2021, but there is one key detail that remains to be decided: Where exactly it will land. Wherever the rover finds itself in 2021 will likely shape the future of Mars exploration for decades to come. Besides poking around its landing site for signs of past habitability and Martian life, the rover will also select and cache samples for an eventual return to Earth at some yet-to-be-determined date. Once gathered, the precious samples will unquestionably beckon us back to Mars, even if no one yet knows what secrets they shall hold or whether humans or robots will retrieve them. Twice before, mission planners have gathered to winnow their overlong list of candidate landing sites, each time emerging with a smaller number of high-priority places to go. From February 8 to 10 some 250 planetary scientists and spacecraft engineers gathered here for their third confab—the penultimate meeting before Mars 2020’s final landing site is chosen. A fourth workshop to ruminate further about the remaining candidate sites is slated for early to mid-2018, after which NASA’s leadership will pick the rover’s final destination. Experts watched the proceedings from around the world, anticipating the fateful decision that is the closest thing in planetary science to the puff of white smoke that emanates from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel chimney announcing the election of a new pope. After days of deliberation, debate, polling and backroom banter among a select group of Mars officialdom, their announcement of the top landing sites at last arrived, whittling the previous set of eight candidates down to just three areas. The top three sites still in the running for Mars 2020 are Northeast Syrtis Major, Jezero Crater and Columbia Hills/Gusev Crater—the latter a place already surveyed by NASA’s Spirit rover from 2004 to 2010. All three lie near Martian equator, a region more accessible to surface missions than other parts of the planet. “NE Syrtis and Jezero were the highest-rated sites,” says Ken Farley, Mars 2020’s project scientist and professor of geochemistry at Caltech. Jezero Crater hosts an ancient dried-up lake that could possibly be a repository of past microbial life. Northeast Syrtis Major is a huge shield volcano abutting an immense impact crater, in a region thought to have once been warm and wet. Of the trio of sites, the thought of spurning virgin territory for a robotic return to the Columbia Hills spurred heated chatter. Advocates of that place explained that prior to Spirit becoming bogged down in sand and eventually expiring there, the robot found an old, eroded volcanic ash deposit. Paired with other observations, that sign of volcanism suggests a hot spring was active in the area long ago, boosting the site’s potential for harboring signatures of past Martian life. The debate over Columbia Hills reached a crescendo just prior to the workshop’s close, when a landing site steering group vetoed the locale—a decision that was subsequently overturned. “In considering Columbia Hills, the selection committee recognized the potential strength of the site as well as a variety of uncertainties,” Farley says. “The group decided that further study of the Columbia Hills site was warranted to establish a better picture of the site’s geology and what the mission could accomplish there.” From an engineering perspective, the Mars 2020 mission is very much a mirror image of the Curiosity robot that has been busily working on the planet since August 2012. Getting this next rover down and dirty on Mars utilizes the same entry, descent and landing approach—a nail-biting plunge through the atmosphere cheerily known as “seven minutes of terror” that culminates with a “sky crane” firing retro-rockets and hovering over the surface as it carefully lowers the rover onto Mars. This time, however, the Mars 2020 hardware will possess new systems to attain a more precise landing spot and to make last-minute maneuvers to avoid hazardous boulders, slopes and sand traps. Moreover, once grounded the rover will operate with more autonomy compared with Curiosity, thanks to a batch of software upgrades. Jennifer Trosper, system engineering lead for the rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), says those improvements can assure no dillydallying on Mars. Enhanced navigation across all kinds of complex terrain means Mars 2020 can get its primary scientific chores done far more efficiently and quickly than Curiosity ever could, Trosper says. Indeed, the rover must perform its tasks significantly better relative to Curiosity to achieve its mission objectives, she says. A keystone goal for the nuclear-powered Mars 2020 rover will be to rigorously document, then gather and stash an “astrobiologically relevant” cache of Martian samples for future transport back to Earth. “Mars 2020 is not a life- detection mission, but I think targeted to the right place we can make great strides toward finally answering the question about life on Mars. It gets us down the road” to find out, says John Grant, a geologist at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum’s who co-chairs of the Mars 2020 Landing Site Steering Committee. “On the science side, it’s all building towards Mars sample return,” says David Beaty, chief scientist for the Mars Exploration Directorate at JPL, who is also co-leader of the Returned Sample Science Board set up by NASA as an independent diverse group of scientists. He views the Mars 2020 rover as a “huge step forward” in flinging to Earth bits and pieces of Martian manna. All in all, the robot is to stuff into sample-collection tubes on the order of one half kilogram of Mars. Once those Mars-loaded tubes are back here on terra firma, the specimens would undergo analysis through the miracle of modern instrumentation. “We can basically throw the book at the samples,” Beaty says. “I see Mars samples as a major divergence in our planning for the future. Either the samples have life in them or they don’t. If they have life in them, then the Mars program takes off in a totally different direction.” Scientists worldwide are already planning for their own laboratory close encounters with any fresh delivery of Martian flotsam. “We have been trying to get return samples for decades,” says Ray Arvidson who directs the Earth and Planetary Remote Sensing Laboratory at Washington University in Saint Louis. “Sample return is so expensive, so complicated,” he says, but is a logical progression of Mars orbiting missions, geologic explorers and Curiosity’s habitability findings. “The next step is selecting the right place, do some in situ measurements and then get the samples back sometime in the next decade,” Arvidson adds. He favors robots over humans hauling back the goods because automatons are cheaper and faster. There is a problem, however. Missing in action is a firm NASA plan for what comes after Mars 2020. In fact, the rover is currently NASA’s last funded mission to the Red Planet. Arvidson and many other Mars scientists are optimistic that bots will bring home the astrobiological bacon as soon as the 2030s—but how, when and at what cost those specimens will actually return to Earth remains anybody’s guess. “It’s a money question, not a science question,” Beaty says. “And the money comes from Congress and the Office of Management and Budget, with priorities set by the White House.” Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, puts it more bluntly: “We don’t know…. We don’t have in the budget what we’re going to do after 2020. Certainly we have plans and hopes.” He sees Mars 2020’s sample cache as a culmination of more than a half century of exploration that began with the first Mars flybys of the 1960s, all bent on learning whether or not that faraway world was an extraterrestrial address for life— in the past or right now. Thanks to Curiosity, yes, we now know with certainty Mars possessed all the right ingredients for life early on, he adds. “Is it possible Mars could have supported microbial life? This Mars 2020 mission is going to address that question…and it looks like we’re on the right track,” he says. On the other hand, even the best-laid plans can go off the rails, particularly if the “ground truth” at Mars 2020’s final landing site is less alluring than experts had hoped. There is no guarantee for a second chance at sample collection, no promise of another mission to another locale if Mars 2020’s is found to be lackluster. As the pressure builds to make the right call, it is also deepening rifts between competing camps of thought about the best possible place for the rover to go. “The more information you get about a place like Mars…the tougher it is to address these questions in a black-and-white manner,” explains David Des Marais, a senior astrobiologist at NASA Ames Research Center . “Now you’re seeing a split in the astrobiology community between different [Mars] environments. It’s sort of a feudalistic landscape…and feudalism even amongst the astrobiologists,” Des Marais says, in which the success or failure of researchers’ careers may intimately depend on which landing site they throw their weight behind. He points out NASA’s mantra for seeking life on Mars used to be “follow the water.” But “that’s not adequate anymore,” he says, because water on Mars has proved to be quite widespread. “Now we need to discriminate between places that have water—which are better, which are less so? And that’s where habitability comes in. So let’s raise the bar here.” As for the possibility a lack of funding could end NASA’s enduring love affair with Mars, Des Marais is sanguine, just like most of his peers: “That’s always the case. The end of the road is a good thing…because you can keep building the road.”

News Article | December 24, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

Piers Sellers, a British-American climate scientist and former NASA astronaut who launched on three space shuttle missions to the International Space Station, died on Friday (Dec. 23). He was 61. Sellers' death came just over 11 months after he revealed he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer in an editorial for The New York Times. In the column, Sellers wrote about how his prognosis added a sense of urgency to his work on climate change. "I was forced to decide how to spend my remaining time," Sellers explained in the editorial. "I concluded that all I really wanted to do was spend more time with the people I know and love, and get back to my office as quickly as possible." [In His Words: Piers Sellers Thoughts on Seeing Earth from Space & More] Sellers' death was mourned by his fellow scientists, NASA colleagues and astronauts as news spread on Friday. "An admired astronaut, a ground-breaking Earth scientist, a community leader, a friend. The impact of his work lives on!" wrote Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, on Twitter. "Saddened by the loss of [a] friend and champion for our planet," tweeted former NASA astronaut Nicole Stott. "The entire NASA family mourns the passing of scientist and astronaut Piers Sellers," said Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator, in a statement. "He was a strident defender and eloquent spokesperson for our home planet, Earth." Sellers began his career in spaceflight as a meteorologist working at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, conducting research into how Earth's biosphere and atmosphere interact. Sellers was the project scientist for NASA's flagship Earth observing system, Terra, when he was selected to be an astronaut in 1996. [Piers Sellers Took Part of Newton's Apple Tree Into Space] Sellers' first launch to the International Space Station was as a member of shuttle Atlantis' STS-112 crew in October 2002. During the flight, Sellers made three spacewalks to help install a segment of the station's backbone truss. Sellers returned to orbit in July 2006, aboard STS-121, the second return to flight mission after the loss of the orbiter Columbia three years earlier. As a space shuttle Discovery crew member, Sellers ventured outside the station again to conduct maintenance and demonstrate repair techniques for the shuttle's thermal protection tiles. Sellers' third and last mission to the orbiting laboratory saw him fly again on Atlantis as an STS-132 mission specialist. The May 2010 flight delivered the Russian Rassvet Mini-Research Module to the space station on what had been slated to be Atlantis' final mission (the orbiter flew again to end the space shuttle program in July 2011). In total, Sellers logged 35 days, 9 hours and 2 minutes in space, including more than 41 hours on six spacewalks. A year after he landed back on Earth, Sellers left NASA's astronaut corps in Houston and returned to Maryland to be deputy director of Goddard Space Flight Center's Sciences and Exploration Directorate, a position he still held at the time of his death. Piers John Sellers was born in Crowborough, England, on April 11, 1955. Sellers earned his bachelor of science degree in ecological science from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland (UK) in 1976, and his doctorate in biometeorology from Leeds University in the United Kingdom in 1981, prior to moving to the United States in 1982 to conduct climate research for NASA. As a resident associate for the National Research Council, faculty associate scientist at the University of Maryland in College Park and staff scientist at Goddard, Sellers helped to construct computer models of the global climate system, conducted satellite remote sensing studies and performed large-scale field experiments utilizing aircraft, satellites and ground teams in the U.S., Canada, Africa and Brazil. In addition to his role as Deputy Director for Sciences and Exploration, Sellers was also the Acting Director for Earth Sciences at Goddard. In the year since Sellers' diagnosis with pancreatic cancer, he became a more prominent advocate for climate change research. In October, he appeared with Leonardo DiCaprio in National Geographic's documentary "Before the Flood." "Here are the facts: The climate is warming," Sellers told the National Geographic Society in an interview supporting the documentary. "We've measured it, from the beginning of the industrial revolution to now. It correlates so well with emissions and theory, we know within almost an absolute certainty that it's us who are causing the warming and the CO2 [carbon dioxide] emissions." The author of 70 research papers, Sellers was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2011 for services to science. In June, he was bestowed the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. On Dec. 17, the Space Foundation announced that Sellers would be conferred its highest honor, the Gen. James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award, at its 2017 Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. Sellers is survived by his wife of 36 years, Amanda, their son Thomas and daughter Imogen and a grandson, Jack. "I've no complaints," Sellers wrote in The New York Times in January. "I am very grateful for the experiences I've had on this planet." "As an astronaut I spacewalked 220 miles [355 km] above Earth. Floating alongside the International Space Station, I watched hurricanes cartwheel across oceans, the Amazon snake its way to the sea through a brilliant green carpet of forest, and gigantic nighttime thunderstorms flash and flare for hundreds of miles along the Equator," he said. "From this God's-eye-view, I saw how fragile and infinitely precious the Earth is. I'm hopeful for its future." Follow collectSPACE.com on Facebook and on Twitter at @collectSPACE. Copyright 2016 collectSPACE.com. All rights reserved. NASA's Climate Change Data Key To Preparing Cities For Possible Catastrophes | Video

Karimpouli S.,Amirkabir University of Technology | Hassani H.,Amirkabir University of Technology | Malehmir A.,Uppsala University | Nabi-Bidhendi M.,University of Tehran | Khoshdel H.,Exploration Directorate
Journal of Applied Geophysics | Year: 2013

The South Pars, the largest gas field in the world, is located in the Persian Gulf. Structurally, the field is part of the Qatar-South Pars arch which is a regional anticline considered as a basement-cored structure with long lasting passive folding induced by salt withdrawal. The gas-bearing reservoir belongs to Kangan and Dalan formations dominated by carbonate rocks. The fracture role is still unknown in gas accumulation and distribution in this reservoir. In this paper, the Scattering Index (SI) and the semblance methods based on scattered waves and diffraction signal studies, respectively, were used to delineate the fracture locations. To find the relation between fractures and gas distribution, desired facies containing the gas, were defined and predicted using a method based on Bayesian facies estimation. The analysis and combination of these results suggest that preference of fractures and/or fractured zones are negligible (about 1% of the total volume studied in this paper) and, therefore, it is hard to conceive that they play an important role in this reservoir. Moreover, fractures have no considerable role in gas distribution (less than 30%). It can be concluded from this study that sedimentary processes such as digenetic, primary porosities and secondary porosities are responsible for the gas accumulation and distribution in this reservoir. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Karimpouli S.,Amirkabir University of Technology | Hassani H.,Amirkabir University of Technology | Nabi-Bidhendi M.,University of Tehran | Khoshdel H.,Exploration Directorate | Malehmir A.,Uppsala University
Journal of Geophysics and Engineering | Year: 2013

In this study, a carbonate field from Iran was studied. Estimation of rock properties such as porosity and permeability is much more challenging in carbonate rocks than sandstone rocks because of their strong heterogeneity. The frame flexibility factor (γ) is a rock physics parameter which is related not only to pore structure variation but also to solid/pore connectivity and rock texture in carbonate reservoirs. We used porosity, frame flexibility factor and bulk modulus of fluid as the proper parameters to study this gas carbonate reservoir. According to rock physics parameters, three facies were defined: favourable and unfavourable facies and then a transition facies located between these two end members. To capture both the inversion solution and associated uncertainty, a complete implementation of the Bayesian inversion of the facies from pre-stack seismic data was applied to well data and validated with data from another well. Finally, this method was applied on a 2D seismic section and, in addition to inversion of petrophysical parameters, the high probability distribution of favorable facies was also obtained. © 2013 Sinopec Geophysical Research Institute.

News Article | November 10, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Dr. Colleen Hartman and Dr. Holly Gilbert of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, recently received awards for their contributions to the aerospace community. Women in Aerospace (WIA) presented the awards at a ceremony on Oct. 13 in Arlington, Virginia. "Working with the scientists, engineers, and support personnel at NASA and our aerospace partners continues to inspire the world to understand the physics of our Earth, our solar system and our Universe," Hartman said. "It is such an honor to have participated over the last thirty years and help inspiring the next generation. WIA is committed to partnering with space explorers and I am humbled with this award." WIA selected Hartman for the 2016 Leadership Award. Hartman is currently the Director of the Science and Exploration Directorate, leading 2,500 scientists, engineers and support personnel at Goddard. Hartman started her career in 1980 as a Presidential Management Intern and has held a variety of senior positions, including acting Associate Administrator of the Science Mission Directorate (SMD), Deputy Assistant Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Division Director of Solar System Exploration (SMD), Deputy Director of Technology (SMD), and Deputy Associate Administrator (SMD). She also gained administration and congressional approval for an entirely new class of funded missions that are competitively selected called "New Frontiers," to explore the planets, asteroids and comets in our solar system. The Leadership Award is given to those who demonstrate exemplary leadership abilities that enable others to succeed in the aerospace field and show leadership of noteworthy contributions to the aerospace field on a single project over several years or during a career. It also recognizes commitment to professional growth and service as a role model or mentor that shows dedication to the advancement of women in aerospace. Gilbert received the Aerospace Awareness Award. Gilbert has been the deputy director of the Heliophysics Science Division (HSD) at Goddard since 2015, and she was chief of the Solar Physics Laboratory in HSD from September 2011 until July 2015. "Getting the public excited about the amazing work we do at Goddard is one of the most rewarding parts of my job, and it is particularly special when I can inspire the next generation of women!" said Gilbert. "It's an honor to be recognized for that work by WIA." Gilbert was selected for this award for her excellence in outreach and building public awareness of aerospace programs and developments. Innovative approaches to increasing public understanding of aerospace development and activities. Commitment to advancing and defining the roles that aerospace plays in all aspects of society. Commitment to professional growth. Service as a role model or mentor that shows dedication to the advancement of women in aerospace. WIA is dedicated to increasing the leadership capabilities and visibility of women in the aerospace community. They acknowledge and promote innovative individuals who strive to advance the aerospace industry as a whole. Their membership, comprised of both women and men, share a passion for a broad spectrum of aerospace issues. These include human space flight, aviation, remote sensing, satellite communications, robotic space exploration and the policy issues surrounding these fields, among others. For more information Women in Aerospace, visit: For more information about Hartman, visit: For more information about Gilbert, visit:

Babasafari A.A.,Oil Exploration Operation Company | Khoshdel H.,Exploration Directorate
6th Saint Petersburg International Conference and Exhibition on Geosciences 2014: Investing in the Future | Year: 2014

Seismic reservoir characterization helps to find more information about rock physics in oil and gas explorations. One of the important properties in reservoirs is hydrocarbon saturation. Fluid content discrimination on seismic data is possible if it is feasible in well data and seismic data has adequate quality. In this study a gas carbonate reservoir is evaluated to map fluid distribution using integration of AVO inversion and seismic attributes. Feasibility study of fluid content discrimination was certified in well data by cross-plotting Acoustic Impedance vs. Vp/Vs logs. AVO modeling represents fluid effect as well. Results of simultaneous pre-stack inversion were used to predict water saturation cube which completely discriminate gas from water around GWC on surface attribute map. By subtracting of far stack from near stack data and applying iso-frequency component attribute over the volume the pay zone was discriminated from non-pay zone around GWC. This was confirmed again by unsupervised facies classification. This field has been already interpreted structurally and depth map of reservoir has been built. The contour level of GWC on depth map somewhere was not coincided in comparison with the observed gas content as demonstrated above. It illustrates that calculated reserve will be increased.(Close to 0.2 STCF). Copyright © 2014 by the European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers. All rights reserved.

Jamshidi E.,Exploration Directorate | Mostafavi H.,Exploration Directorate
Society of Petroleum Engineers - International Petroleum Technology Conference 2013, IPTC 2013: Challenging Technology and Economic Limits to Meet the Global Energy Demand | Year: 2013

Drilling industry encounters various challenges during planning and drilling a new well. There are numerous parameters related to drilling operations that are planned and adjusted as drilling advances. Among them, bit selection is one of the most influential considerations for planning and constructing a new borehole. Conventional bit selections are mostly based on drillers' experiences in the field or mathematical equations which stand more on recorded performances of similar bits from offset wells. It is evident that these sophisticated interrelations between parameters never can be stated in a single mathematical equation. In such intricate cases, utilizing virtual intelligence and Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) is proven to be worthwhile in understanding complex relationships between variables. In this paper, two models are developed with high competence and utilizing ANNs. The first model provides appropriate drilling bit selection based on desired ROP to be obtained by applying specific drilling parameters. The second model uses proper drilling parameters obtained from optimizing procedure to select drilling bit which provides maximum achievable ROP. Meanwhile, Genetic Algorithm (GA), as a class of optimizing methods for complex functions, is applied. The proposed methods assess the current conditions of drilling system to optimize the effectiveness of drilling, while reducing the probability of early wear of the drill bit. The correlation coefficients for predicted bit types and optimum drilling parameters in testing the obtained networks are 0.95 and 0.90, respectively. The proposed methodology opens new opportunities for real-time and in-field drilling optimization that can be efficiently implemented within the span of the existing drilling practice. Copyright 2013, International Petroleum Technology Conference.

Nikoo A.,Shahrood University of Technology | Roshandel Kahoo A.,Shahrood University of Technology | Hassanpour H.,Shahrood University of Technology | Saadatnia H.,Exploration Directorate
Digital Signal Processing: A Review Journal | Year: 2016

Geological events such as thin beds and channels cannot be easily revealed on seismic sections due to the interference of reflections from the top and bottom of the layer. Buried channel is one of the hydrocarbon traps, which is important in oil and gas exploration. Spectral decomposition can be used to indicate subtle changes in channel thickness. In using the Fourier transform only the frequency content of the changes is displayed; hence, the exact onset of the changes is missed. Time-frequency distributions are suitable approaches to display and interpret information embedded in non-stationary signals such as seismic signals. Spectral decomposition can be used for seismic attributes calculation, which is used for imaging of thin beds. The conventional spectral decompositions such as Short Time Fourier Transform (STFT) and Wigner-Ville Distribution (WVD) have limitations in terms of Heisenberg uncertainty principle and cross-terms artefacts, respectively. In this paper, we used the Reduced Interference Distribution (RID) for buried channel identification to overcome the mentioned limitations. We compared the obtained results of RID with those of Smoothed Pseudo WVD. The real seismic data is selected from one of the western oil fields of Iran. Our results indicate that a better resolution is achieved by RID in both vertical and lateral stratigraphic features. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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