RIT Imaging Science Doctoral Students Win National Awards
Canham, Pahlevan win use of novel imaging instrument
Access to a specialized imaging device that measures reflectance was awarded to two doctoral students at Rochester Institute of Technology in support of their thesis research.
Kelly Canham and Nima Pahlevan, students in the Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Laboratory in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, won temporary use of spectralradiometers. These instruments measure the amount of light reflected from a material at each wavelength along the electromagnetic spectrum. The awards were made through the Alexander Goetz Instrument Program, co-sponsored by Analytical Space Devices Inc. and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society. A total of seven 2011 award winners were named.
Canham, a resident of Palmyra, Mo., shares her award with David Messinger, director of the Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Laboratory, and William Middleton, associate professor of sociology and anthropology. They are developing image-processing tools that will aid Middleton’s archeological research pertaining to the Zapotec civilization in Oaxaca, Mexico.
In December, Canham will use the spectralradiometer, a Field Spec Pro, in Oaxaca to measure the amount of light reflected from soils and vegetation common to the area. The library of spectral signatures—not images—she builds will help the archeological team decide where to dig. Distinct spectral signatures or “fingerprints” will help Canham distinguish between different vegetation and minerals in the soil in Oaxaca.
The team will compare the spectra to images processed in an earlier stage of the project using data collected by NASA’s Earth Observing 1 satellite and its Hyperion hyperspectral sensor. Hyperspectral imaging combines bands of spectral information from the electromagnetic wavelength into three-dimensional data cubes.
“The overall result of this research is to predict archeologically interesting locations using the hyperspectral imagery,” Canham says. “This will help Dr. Middleton and other archaeologists focus their time and efforts in their research. They will not need to rely only on time- and resource-consuming ground surveys to determine a site. Instead, they may simply look at a map created from this research to determine where they would like to focus a more extensive dig-site.”
Pahlevan, a resident of Tehran, Iran, and John Schott, the Fredrick and Anna B. Weidman Professor in the Center for Imaging Science, also won temporary access to a spectralradiometer through the Alexander Goetz Instrument Program. Pahlevan and Schott will use the hand-held device in July to analyze optical properties of coastal waters.
“We will investigate the water quality of the southern shores of Lake Ontario at the mouth of the Genesee and the Niagara rivers,” Pahlevan says.
Their research will also examine the potential of a new generation of the Earth-observing satellite sensor, Landsat, scheduled for launch in December 2012.
“This effort introduces a different approach, based on satellite remote sensing, to provide environmentalists and decision makers with better insights on the state of the ecosystem in coastal waters on a regular basis,” Pahlevan says.
“The neat part of this project is establishing a link between satellite imagery and modeling efforts to improve our ability to monitor water quality in the receiving waters near the river discharge.”
In addition to the award from the Goetz program, Pahlevan was recognized for having the best presentation in the engineering/modeling session at the 21st annual Great Lakes Research Consortium student-faculty conference in March in Syracuse. He presented “The Potential of Landsat/LDCM Coupled with a Hydrodynamic Model for Quantitative Mapping of Water Constituents in Inland Waters.”
April 23, 2019
RIT researchers help conduct experiment to study how the first stars and galaxies formed
While many people flock to warm destinations for spring break, two RIT experimental cosmologists spent theirs 6,800 feet high on snow-covered Kitt Peak at the Arizona Radio Observatory. They were deploying an instrument to a 12-meter telescope for a project called the Tomographic Ionized-carbon Mapping Experiment (TIME), which aims to study the universe’s first stars and galaxies.
April 23, 2019
RIT cyber fighters go deep on Tor security
Recognizing that the internet is not always secure, millions of people are turning to the Tor anonymity system as a way to browse the World Wide Web more privately. However, Tor has been found to have its own vulnerabilities. This has a team of faculty and students from RIT’s Center for Cybersecurity researching the extent of the problem and ways to address it.
April 23, 2019
Drones are coming soon to a farm near you
Drones are adding a new level of precision to agriculture, giving farmers digital tools for cultivating better and more profitable crops.
April 23, 2019
Informing the preservation of cultural heritage collections
Current Image Permanence Institute research initiatives include projects that will inform the recovery of water-damaged inkjet prints in cultural institutions that have experienced water emergencies, and improving preservation environmental management strategies.