Cal Poly Pomona

Physics Seminar

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ground Truth Adventures Along the Gulf During the First Days of the Spill – Spectral Remote Sensing in Action

Mark Helmlinger

TRW/Northrup Grumman

Once every five years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is mandated to map the shorelines of the United States. A relatively new airborne configuration of remote sensing instrumentation is being used. One of the first flights of this system, over hundreds of miles along the U.S. shores of the Gulf of Mexico, took place just before the B.P. tragedy. A that time, the author was rushed to the Gulf to collect Ground Truth data of shores yet unaffected by the imminent slick. Today’s talk covers some of the ideas and science behind the art of Earth remote sensing – from the ground up - while telling a story from the vicarious perspective of a field scientist literally and figuratively at the edge of an environmental disaster.

Biography: Mark Helmlinger received a BS in Physics from the California State Polytechnic University in 1991. He is currently employed with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems as an electro-optic calibration specialist and remote sensing scientist. During his last few years at Cal Poly, Mark was the Physics technician for Mt. San Antonio College. Mark was also a field research consultant for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1989 for the Satellite Land Surface Climatology Program (ISLSCP) Field Experiment (FIFE). From 1991 to 2005, Mark was a member of the Earth Observation System (EOS) Multi-Angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) team and responsible for fieldwork for MISR, the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS), and other programs of the Earth and Space Sciences Directorate at JPL. Mark has participated in the Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS) and the Southern African Regional Science Initiative (SAFARI 2000) international intensive field campaigns and has also lead several expeditions to the playas of the Southwest and other remote locales in North America. Throughout his career, Mark has maintained a relationship with the Cal Poly Physics Department and the SCAAPT, been a lecturer to Cal Poly and Domingues Hills Physics lab courses, and has been a guest lecturer and field guide for a remote sensing course offered at Cal Tech.

Refreshments at 11:00 AM. Seminar begins at 11:10 AM.
Building 8, Room 241
For further information, please call (909) 869-4014

Last modified on September 26, 2010
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