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A new Moon crater database has been generated by using advanced deep learning and transfer learning methodologies applied to lunar images. More than 109,000 previously unrecognized craters have been identified on the Moon’s surface, dozens of times larger than the number previously recognized, and the ages of 18,996 of these has been estimated. The article has been published on “Nature Communications” this week.

RSLab is part of this research through the activity of  Prof. Bruzzone. Moreover, the main author, Prof. Yang Chen, spent few years  at RSLab before as visiting PhD student and then as Post-doc researcher.

NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

Nature Press Release

Planetary science:  Over 100,000 new craters identified on the Moon

More than 109,000 previously unrecognized craters have been identified on the Moon’s surface, reports a study published in Nature Communications this week.

Craters occupy most of the surface of the Moon. However, manual and automatic methods to detect the number of craters have resulted in inconsistencies as to the precise total. For example, it is often hard to detect irregular or degraded craters using automatic methods.

Chen Yang and colleagues set out to identify lunar impact craters using a transfer learning strategy — a machine learning approach in which previous knowledge gained is used to solve a further problem. The authors first trained a deep neural network using data from 7,895 previously identified and 1,411 dated craters. Using data from the Chang’E-1 and Chang’E-2 orbiters, the network was able to identify 109,956 new craters — dozens of times larger than the number previously recognized throughout the mid- and low-latitude regions of the Moon — including 46 with diameters ranging from 200 to 550 kilometres. Of the craters with a diameter larger than 8 kilometres, the network estimated the ages of 18,996 of these. The findings have resulted in the creation of a new lunar crater database of the mid- and low-latitude regions of the Moon.

The authors suggest that their approach could be adapted for use with other bodies in the Solar System and could help extract more information than is possible with manual analysis methods.

Read the full article on nature communications: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-20215-y

Read the interview on POPULAR SCIENCE: https://www.popsci.com/story/science/bot-counted-new-moon-craters/

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The development of the JUICE mission (for which RSLab has the responsibility of the RIME instrument) is progressing fast despite the pandemic situation. A video showing the activities in progress at spacecraft level can be found here.

 

Lorenzo Bruzzone and Francesca Bovolo are in the top most cited researchers worldwide according to “World Ranking of Scientists” .

Lorenzo Bruzzone is in the top 0.4 % of the most cited scholars on the number of published papers and citations at global level in all the disciplines (the 2nd in the raking at University of Trento) and he is in the top 0.07% in his research area. The analysis considers the period 1996 – 2017.

Francesca Bovolo is the top 1.25% percent of the most cited scholars ranking in 2017. This ranking has been done to capture and compare performance of younger and more senior researchers.

The “World Ranking of Scientist” is a database created by Stanford University using a novel computing strategy. The database was compiled using six standardized citation metrics, and examining 22 scientific fields between 1996 and 2017. The result is a photograph of nearly 160,000 of the most influential scientists in the world, which represent 2 percent of over more than 6 million people and is based on data from Scopus (the main database for scientific publications). The study, conducted by John P. A. Ioannidis of Stanford University with Kevin W. Boyack and Jeroen Baas, appeared days ago in Plos Biology.

More info about this:

Thales Alenia Space recently delivered the protoflight model (PFM) of Radar for Icy Moon Exploration (RIME) that will explore Jupiter’s icy moons Europa, Ganymede and Callisto onboard the ESA’s JUICE mission. These are the final units of the instrument that now will be integrated inside the JUICE spacecraft to complete a long set of tests to ensure that every part is working nominally and, finally, being ready for the launch scheduled on June 2022.

RSLab has a leading role in this mission. Lorenzo Bruzzone is the RIME Principal Investigator while Francesca Bovolo is the instrument manager.

“Many theories have been proposed on the subsurface structure of Jupiter’s icy moons since their discovery by Galileo, theories that have sparked the imagination of so many scientists”, said Lorenzo Bruzzone. “This is a first step in the direction of advancing our scientific understanding of the Jupiter moons. For the first time, we may be able to solve some mysteries and take a look under the surface, searching for water”.

The JUICE spacecraft (right) and part of the RIME team together the EQM units of the instrument (left).

More info about this:

On November 12, 2020 Francesca Bovolo attended “Senti che Scienza” on the topic “Remote sensing to study the Earth evolution”. “Senti che scienza” runs every Thursday on Radio Dolomiti (regional radio channel)  within “pianoM” program. It tells about research activities at Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK) and is conducted by Michelangelo Felicetti, with the support of Matteo Serra (FBK e Cittadini per la scienza).

Watch it on FaceBook.
Listen to the podcast.

The development  of the  JUICE mission (for which RSLab has the responsibility of the RIME instrument) is progressing fast despite the pandemic situation. A video showing the activities in progress at spacecraft level can be found here.

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory recently delivered the radio frequency subsystem of  the Radar for Icy Moon Exploration (RIME, of which Lorenzo Bruzzone is the Principal Investigator) that will explore Jupiter’s icy moons Europa, Ganymede and Callistion onboard the ESA’s JUICE mission.

JPL’s responsibility was to make and deliver the transmitter and receiver – the pieces that send out and pull in radio signals – as well as the electronics that help those pieces communicate with RIME’s antenna. Now that the components have been delivered to ASI in Rome, the next steps are to test and integrate them before assembling the instrument.

More info here:
https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7750

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The SPIE (International Society for Optics and Photnics) Conference on Image and Signal Processing for Remote Sensing 2020 will run in a virtual mode, September 21-24, 2020 with free registration.

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A research developed at RSLab by analyzing satellite images acquired by the planet constellation points out that the amount of total suspended matter in the Venice lagoon has been halved after the first 10 days of lockdown due to COVID-19 in March 2020. The same study also points out that the amount of total suspended matter has been doubled during the exceptional tides of November 2019. The study (which has been published on an international scientific journal) has spread to the general public by different newspapers.

The study has been published here.

The past week the  EQM (Engineering Qualification Model) of the Radar for icy Moon Exploration (RIME, of which Lorenzo Bruzzone is the Principal Investigator) was delivered to Airbus in Toulouse for the final integration on the spacecraft EM (Engineering Model). This is an important milestone before the PFM (Protoflight Model, the version that will fly) delivery. RIME is onboard the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer (JUICE) of the European Space Agency that will be launched on 2022 to explore the Jupiter system.

More details on the EQM delivery here

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