Frank Palluconi, Ali Abtahi, Tim Thompson, Masao Moriyama, Tsuneo Matsunaga, Degui Gu, Hideyuki Tonooka.
Click on image for 300DPI hi-res picture (107 kbytes)

January 17, 1999 afternoon
Salton Sea, North Shore; California
33° 30' North Latitude
115° 55' West Longitude

Standing on the shore, near the visitor center for the Salton Sea State Recreation Area.

Frank Palluconi is the U.S. Deputy Science Team Leader for the ASTER Project, and is the scientist in charge of the atmospheric correction and validation exercises for the U.S. Science Team. Ali Abtahi is our hardware specialist, who built several special purpose radiometers used from boats on the water. Tim Thompson (that's me) takes charge of the solar radiometer and weather station in the field, and does algorithm development and data/image analysis back at JPL. Moriyama-san is a theoretical mathematician who has worked on radiative transfer models, and is from Nagasaki University. Matsunaga-san is a geologist from the Geological Survey of Japan. Degui Gu is a Chinese graduate student working on atmospheric radiative transfer problems for the U.S. ASTER Science Team, on leave from the Geological Remote Sensing Laboratory at the University of Washington. Tonooka-san is on the engineering faculty at Ibaraki University, and is a member of the atmospheric correction working group as well as the temperature-emissivity separation working group.

Moriyama-san, Matsunaga-san, and Tonooka-san were all in the U.S. for a Joint Science Team meeting in Pasadena, and took advantage of the fact that they were already here to go with us on the Salton Sea expedition. Palluconi, Abtahi, and Thompson are all from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Gu is also currently resident at JPL.

We had instruments both ashore and on the water, a team of geologists traveling along the west shore gathering samples of exposed surfaces, and we launched two weather balloons from the site where the picture was taken. The exercise coincided with a LANDSAT overpass and a MASTER airborne simulator overflight. Although the solar radiometer unfortunately had an electronic failure, the radiometers on the boat fared well.

Often we are off making measurements at some remote site, like Railroad Valley, where it's practically guaranteed that there won't be anybody else nearby. But sometimes we are set up in fairly public locations, such as this one, on the north shore, quite near the recreation area visitor center. The conspicuous instruments and balloon launches always gather attention, and we have to be ready to field surprise questions from people who wander over to see what we are doing. I did quite a bit of explaining about overflights, spacecraft, weather, and what my instruments were doing this day.

After a day of rehersals on the 16th, and then the overpass on the 17th, we took field radiometers to the south side of the sea, and made some emissivity measurements around Obsidian Butte, near the bird sanctuary.

high-resolution solar spectrum "borrowed" from Larry Webster, chief observer for the 150-foot Solar Tower telescope at Mt. Wilson Observatory.

Tim Thompson