Kel Markert Earns UAH Earth System Science Graduate Student Researcher Award
Published: Nov 13 2015
On 22 October 2015, Dr. Larry Carey, Atmospheric Science Department Chair at the University of Alabama Huntsville, and Dan Irwin, SERVIR Project Director, presented SERVIR Graduate Research Assistant Kel Markert with the UAH Earth System Science Graduate Student Researcher Award. Markert earned the award based on his work developing the ISERV Cloud Forecasting System (ICFS) to assist the ISS SERVIR Environmental Research and Visualization System (ISERV) in acquiring Earth observation data from the International Space Station.
Approximately 50% of the images collected by ISERV from 2013-2014 were unusable because ground targets were obscured by clouds. To mitigate this problem and optimize the acquisition of usable data from ISERV, Markert created ICFS, a set of algorithms that creates cloud cover predictions at specific geographic locations for times when the ISS is passing overhead.
The system will soon be implemented in ISERV mission planning, helping to prioritize target acquisition based on forecast cloud cover. This will reduce the number of cloudy images ISERV captures and increase the usable science data gathered during each targeting session. A reduction in the number of images initially captured containing cloud cover will also increase processing efficiency.
Dan Irwin stated, “Clouds have been a major issue on the ISERV project. Mr. Markert’s contribution to mitigating this problem makes a huge difference in our ability to capture and process relevant, useful images.”