February 2014 Archives

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) Status 27 February 2014

Dennis Wingo Status Friday afternoon, February 27th 2014

Austin is doing just about all of the heavy lifting right now. I went earlier this week and got another computer from the NASA surplus that can be configured to run the software that Austin has put together to assemble framelets.

We have two other computers with pretty much the same configuration and so what we (Austin really) will do is put together everything on one computer, test it, and then clone the drives for the other computers. Interestingly, it will be far faster and easier to simply take large hard drives worth of framelets from one computer to another to install it and then let the batches run to put together images. This will process all of the images faster and get us ready for the PDS submittal faster.

This means a flood of images coming soon.

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) Status 24 February 2014

Dennis Wingo Lunar Orbiter Status, Monday February 24, 2014

Today I re-ran part of one tape, W1-069 to get a better capture of a medium resolution image.

It seems that at the end of the day, out of all of the medium resolution images, we are completely missing one, and I think it is because one was lost at the ground station. There is a 30 minute gap between two adjacent tape numbers that should have that image. We have almost all of the other medium resolution images. We also lost pieces of at least three high resolution images due to tape changes, and lost 90% of one (LO-I-042H) as the operations manager specifically told the FR-900 operator to turn the machine off on the tape.

We will be having some wow images coming out soon. Austin did a great job putting together the other "Earthrise" and Keith is doing an article on it. Austin is busily processing tapes. We have almost everything processed to the frame let level now so we have a big task of naming the frame lets, and then they start to get processed first at the frame let level for fixing problems, then they will get assembled. This is the next huge task that is in full swing now.

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) Status 20 February 2014

Dennis Wingo Lunar Orbiter Status, end of day, February 20, 2014

I am pleased to announce that we have completed the primary tape capture portion of the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project. When we started this we thought we would be lucky to get half the tapes done. It is a testament to the great work of our team and those who (both in the private and public sector) who have believed in our project and through these now five and a half years, provided us the funding to allow us to get to this point.

There will still be a few tapes run as we look at where we have poor captures and see if we can do better. We have learned a LOT about the tape machines since we started and some of the early captures could use a rerun....

This is not the end of the project as we still have a ton of digital processing to do, and the submittal to the planetary data system. However, this is straightforward though time consuming. Our greatest fear was that we would lose the ability to run tapes and now we can put that fear to rest.

Again, thanks to all who have supported us and we will begin putting images on the NASA SSERVI server en masse soon.....

A special thanks to both Austin Epps , Keith Cowing and Ken Kenneth Zin this project would have been impossible without your diligent work...

Dennis Ray Wingo
LOIRP Co-lead

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) Status 19 February 2014

Dennis Wingo Status, mid morning, February 19, 2014

Well been doing a bit of clean up paperwork so have only captured one image this morning. I also did, for everyone's benefit but from Paul's request, a day in the life of a lunar orbiter tape. This was recorded from Google Glass so I don't know how it is going to turn out but as soon as the Glass is recharged I will upload the video's to google + and then get them to Youtube and provide links. This was done in several segments so that it was not too darn boring!

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) Status 18 February 2014

Dennis Wingo Status, mid afternoon February 18, 2014

Counting down. Slowed down this week as the press of work makes me take a little time to do other things. We are just finishing M1-072. Three tapes that are very noisy due to bad link margin at the ground station. Very disappointing!

Twenty tapes to go. Tomorrow I am going to play with my google glass and see if I can record a day in the life of a Lunar Orbiter tape for those who want to know exactly what the process is....

Twenty tapes to go!!

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) Status 14 February 2014

Dennis Wingo Status, end of day, February 14, 2014

Sorry, still procrastinating on the list. Will do after the tapes are done on what looks like Tuesday.

We have made it today through tape M1-048.

This means that we are more than half way through the last ground station for lunar orbiter 1, which will mark the end of our primary capture mission.

We have 45 tapes to go.....

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) Status 13 February 2014

Click on image to enlarge

Dennis Wingo Lunar Orbiter Status, late morning February 13, 2014.

Here is a picture of the first Madrid tape on the machine. This of course means that we have completed our captures of Goldstone and Woomera tapes, and only have Madrid tapes for Lunar Orbiter 1 left to go!

Now of course there will be clean up but literally for the primary mission we have 90 tapes left. 90 tapes left. I hardly believe it myself! I will post the images from the rest of the Goldstone captures later today.

We have the Madrid tape set up and we will be off and running shortly! It is my hope that we complete this capture before Friday and have a party Friday afternoon. We will send out invites Monday. If you are in the area, please come on by!

Dennis Wingo Lunar Orbiter Status, end of day, February 13, 2014

Very productive day today. Not only did we get the last Goldstone tapes done, we made it a quarter of the way through the Madrid tapes, ending with M1-024. That leaves 68 tapes to go! Will do the listing in the morning, eyes tired...

Please Support The Astronomy Legacy Project

10 February 2014: We are excited to announce that the Astronomy Legacy Project was launched today! You can find it at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/astronomy-legacy-project/. We are fully committed to digitizing 120 years of photographic films and plates, placing this treasure in your hands. Help bring the past 120 years of the night sky into the future! Contribute what you can: donations are welcome, posts are welcome, tweets are welcome, and your expertise and encouragement are welcome! You become a part of the Astronomy Legacy Project Team with your contribution - part of a legacy itself for generations to come. Follow us on Twitter @remarkablestars.

Astronomy Legacy Project

Yutu Rover has Phoned Home from the Moon

After being pronounced dead by the news media China's Yutu rover has phoned home from the Moon. Great news! Image via http://pjm.uhf-satcom.com

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) Status 11 February 2014

Dennis Wingo Status, end of day, February 11, 2014

Well, I notice that I did not do an update yesterday! It was a very frustrating day, with Scotch tapes, out of sequence numbering on tapes, and difficulties sorting things out. I still got 12 tapes done during the day, ending a G1-055.

That brought the number of remaining tapes down to 129.

Today has been a very good day! Got 25 tapes done today, ending in G1-080.

This brings us down to 104 tapes to go! I truly never thought we would get to this point!

Tomorrow I will finish up Goldstone and start immediately on the Madrid tapes. We are going to have a party when we finish LO-1 tapes!

I will post the image numbers tomorrow after we finish the Goldstone tapes and Ken does the adjusting to the machine for the Madrid tapes.....

Technoarchaeology: Bringing Colossus Back Online

Historic Colossus computer marks 70th anniversary, Gizmag

"In 1994, Tony Sale, co-founder of the National Museum of Computing, started the effort to rebuild Colossus. Based on bits of information released by the government starting in the 1970s, eight photographs of the original machines, and surviving circuit diagrams kept by engineers, a team managed to reconstruct the computer, which went operational at the museum on November 15, 2007, and on March 6, 2012, became the centerpiece of the Colossus gallery, where it is a working exhibit."

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) Status 7 February 2014

Dennis Wingo Status, end of day, Friday February 7th 2014.

Did not get a lot of tapes done today but I did get through G1-043. We had some tapes that were noisy (because of low signal strength at NASA Goldstone), and one with gaks (servo problems that we can't fix as they were recorded into the tape or the tape has just aged badly).

So this brings the magic number down to..... drumroll.... 141 tapes to go!

Dennis Wingo Status, noon February 7th 2014

As promised here are the images captured since the last time I listed them.

W1-051, complete capture LOI-115M
W1-052, complete capture LOI-114M
W1-053, complete capture LOI-113M (also captured by W1-014)
W1-054, not captured, LOI-104M blank image
W1-055, complete capture LOI-102M (Earthrise medium des image)
W1-056, partial capture LOI-102H (101M is a blank image)
W1-057, complete capture LOI-101M, partial capture 102H
W1-058, complete capture LOI-089M
W1-059, complete capture LOI-088M
W1-060, complete capture LOI-087M
W1-061, complete capture LOI-086M
W1-062, complete capture LOI-074M
W1-063, complete capture LOI-073M
W1-064, complete capture LOI-072M
W1-065, complete capture LOI-071M
W1-066, complete capture LOI-056M
W1-067, complete capture LOI-055M
W1-068, complete capture LOI-054M
W1-069, complete capture LOI-053M
W1-070, partial capture LOI-041H, 040H, complete capture 039M
W1-071, partial capture LOI-040H, complete capture 038M
W1-072, partial capture LOI-038H, complete capture 037M
W1-073, partial capture LOI-038H, complete capture 036M
W1-074, complete capture LOI-023M
W1-075, partial capture LOI-021M
W1-076, partial capture LOI-021M (completes image) complete capture 020M
W1-077, complete capture LOI-019M
W1-078, complete capture LOI-007M
W1-079, complete capture LOI-006M, partial capture 006M (also partial capture by W1-001)
W1-080, partial capture LOI-005M (completes image)
W1-081, complete capture LOI-005H
W1-082, no image, test tape done two months after mission ended
W1-083, complete capture LOI-058 (noisy image)
W1-084, complete capture LOI-057 (noisy image)

Goldstone captures

G1-001, (missing tape)
G1-002, not captured dupe of W1-001
G1-003, (missing tape)
G1-004, (missing tape)
G1-005, not captured dupe of W1-004
G1-006, not captured dupe of W1-076
G1-007, not captured dupe of W1-006
G1-008, partial capture LOI-028M, 030H
G1-009, partial capture LOI-028M (completes image), complete capture, 029M
G1-010, not captured, no medium res image and smeared high res
G1-011, complete capture LOI-075M
G1-012, complete capture LOI-077M
G1-013, not captured dupe W1-009
G1-014, complete capture LOI-091M
G1-015, not captured dupe W1-055
G1-016, complete capture LOI-105M
G1-017, complete capture LOI-119M
G1-018, not captured dupe W1-015
G1-019, complete capture LOI-161M (also W1-037, 038)
G1-020, not captured dupe W1-031
G1-021, not captured dupe W1-019
G1-022, complete capture LOI-211M
G1-023, complete capture LOI-210M (noisy signal)
G1-024, complete capture LOI-209M (noisy signal)
G1-025, complete capture LOI-208M (very noisy signal)
G1-026, not captured no medium res image
G1-027, complete capture LOI-207M (very noisy signal)
G1-028, not captured no medium res image
G1-029, not captured dupe W1-019, 021)
G1-030, complete capture LOI-199M

As you can see, there is a major benefit in the way that I am recording the images now as it results in a reduction of duplication of captures. This saves us head life and processing life on the back end as well.

Back at it today but slowly as Ken had to replace some bearings on the capstan motors and we are really watching the head life. Unfortunately we have to run each of the Goldstone tapes at least a bit. For tapes G1-004-020 they did not put the sequence numbers on them, making it extremely difficult and time consuming to figure out what was on the tapes. These are also mostly Scotch brand tapes, which have major problems with head clogs.

And so it goes.

NASA Could Try To Contact ISEE-3/ICE - But It Won't

From the ISEE-3 Returns Facebook page: Communication involves speaking, listening and understanding what we hear. One of the main technical challenges the ISEE-3/ICE project has faced is determining whether we can speak, listen, and understand the spacecraft and whether the spacecraft can do the same for us. Several months of digging through old technical documents has led a group of NASA engineers to believe they will indeed be able to understand the stream of data coming from the spacecraft.

NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) can listen to the spacecraft, a test in 2008 proved that it was possible to pick up the transmitter carrier signal, but can we speak to the spacecraft? Can we tell the spacecraft to turn back on its thrusters and science instruments after decades of silence and perform the intricate ballet needed to send it back to where it can again monitor the Sun? The answer to that question appears to be no.

The transmitters of the Deep Space Network, the hardware to send signals out to the fleet of NASA spacecraft in deep space, no longer includes the equipment needed to talk to ISEE-3. These old-fashioned transmitters were removed in 1999. Could new transmitters be built? Yes, but it would be at a price no one is willing to spend. And we need to use the DSN because no other network of antennas in the US has the sensitivity to detect and transmit signals to the spacecraft at such a distance.

This effort has always been risky with a low probability of success and a near-zero budget. It is thanks to a small and dedicated group of scientists and engineers that we were able to get as far as we have. Thank you all very much.

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) Status 6 February 2014

Dennis Wingo Status, February 6th, 2014

Another productive yet frustrating day. We had three tapes that had a lot of RF noise on them from the NASA ground station so three of the medium images today are going to be decidedly suboptimal.

Other than that we started the day with G1-009 and ended with G1-030. That is 22 tapes today!

My brain is too fried to put out the image numbers. I will do it in the morning before I start...

153 tapes to go!

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) Status 5 February 2014

Dennis Wingo Lunar Orbiter Status, February 5, 2014

Well, we finished the Lunar Orbiter 1 Woomera tapes this morning. At the end there were a couple of test tapes and a couple of captures that were not recorded in any of the NASA documents. We were able to pinpoint which images they were though so we have completed the Woomera captures with an almost 100% capture rate for the medium images and just a few lost frame lets from the few high resolution images that we can make up with the other ground stations.

We started with the Goldstone captures today. The tapes G1-001, 003, and 004 are missing so those are not going to get captured obviously. Since we know very accurately what we have from Woomera we don't have to do any repeat captures so we were able to eliminate G1-002, 004,5,6, and 007. We captured G1-008 so we got that far today.

I have recalculated how many tapes we have to go based on LO 1 tapes we have captured in the past and the total number of tapes left.

We now have 175 tapes to go!!

Happy...

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) Status 4 February 2014

Dennis Wingo Status, late afternoon February 4th, 2014

Well, I almost finished the Woomera tapes for LOI today. Made it through W1-80. Only one tape with images left as it seems that W1-82-84 are training tapes. Will be interesting to see what is on them though!

Will get the numbers out after I get back to work tomorrow. I am speaking at a Google Glass developers event tonight in San Francisco.

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) Status 3 February 2014

Dennis Wingo Short status, February 3rd, 2014 evening.

Got through tape W1-068 today. That is 19 tapes today, bringing the total number of tapes left down to 219... Sixteen more to go to finish Woomera! I will post the tapes numbers and images in the morning....

Dennis Wingo Status, mid afternoon February 3, 2014

Just a few thoughts before the end of day status this evening. In January of 2014 we set a project record for tapes processed. We did 241 tapes in Jan. That is a LOT of tapes and we will never equal it because as of Friday, there were only 238 tapes left to go in the project!

Today we started with W1-049 and captured it again just in case as it is a spectacular image that we will be showing this week. Right now I am about to mount W1-060, meaning that this is the 11th tape of the day, bringing the total left to go down to 227. Since there are only 84 Woomera tapes in theory I will complete the last Woomera tapes of the project (except for cleanup).

Wow....

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