Equipment wishlist for purchase by Ateneo

Hi all,

The dean’s office is asking us to produce a wish list of equipments that can be purchased by Ateneo. You may think of the criteria below to be used in prioritizing the purchase of the equipment:

  1. Interdisciplinary use for research;
  2. Can be both used for teaching and research;
  3. Long term use.

Lastly, please submit to the department as soon as possible the filled one pager research direction of research lab/group.



Satellite remote sensing products from JAXA that may serve the needs of Manila Observatory

by Nofel Lagrosas

Hi all,

I have attached the excel file that each program has to fill up to show MO’s needs to explore satellite remote sensing products from JAXA. I have partially filled the ITD/UAQ side.

Below are some Japanese (and collaborators’) earth observation satellites:
1. GOSAT (IBUKI satellite) data – for monitoring of carbon dioxide (or green house gases) in the atmosphere

2. ALOS (DAICHI satellite) –  A Japanese satellite designed to observe and map Earth’s surface, to enhance cartography, monitor natural disasters, and survey land use and natural resources to promote sustainable development. The four-ton ALOS follows JERS and ADEOS, and will extend the database of these earlier satellites using three remote-sensing instruments: the Panchromatic Remote-sensing Instrument for Stereo Mapping (PRISM) for digital elevation mapping, the Advanced Visible and Near Infrared Radiometer type 2 (AVNIR-2) for precise land coverage observation, and the Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) for day-and-night and all-weather land observation.


4. GCOM – Japanese Earth resources satellites planned for launch over the coming decade to improve the accuracy of global observations begun by ADEOS and collect data on worldwide environmental change over a period of up to 15 years. GCOM-A1 will carry instruments to monitor concentrations of ozone, CFCs, and major greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide. GCOM-B1 will study the large-scale circulation of energy and materials using the Second Generation ion Global Imager (SGLI) and the follow-on of the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer(AMSR). It may also carry NASA’s Alpha SCAT and CNES’s (the French Space Agency’s) Polarization and Directionality of Earth’s Reflectance (POLDER). GCOM-B1 will be able to study the distribution of aerosols and water vapor, and make measurements of ice coverage, phytoplankton concentrations, and sea surface wind directions.

5. GPM – precipitation. GPM is designed to make more accurate and frequent observation of tropical rainfall by expanding its observing areas to higher latitudes.

6. EarthCARE – cloud, aerosol and radiation. EarthCARE is a joint European-Japanese mission addressing the need for a better understanding of the interactions between cloud, radiative and aerosol processes that play a role in climate regulation. The EarthCARE mission aims to improve the representation and understanding of the Earth’s radiative balance in climate and numerical weather forecast models by acquiring vertical profiles of clouds and aerosols, as well as the radiances at the top of the atmosphere.

7. TRMM – precipitation

8. ADEOS – ADEOS 1, also known by its national name Midori meaning “green,” was the first resources satellite to observe our planet from space in an integrated way. Developed and managed by Japan’s NASDA (National Space Development Agency), it carried eight instruments supplied by NASDA, NASA, and CNES (the French space agency) to monitor worldwide environmental changes, including global warming, depletion of the ozone layer, and shrinking of tropical rainforests. Due to structural damage, the satellite went off-line after only nine months in orbit.

ADEOS 2 continued where its predecessor left off, but also studied the global circulation of energy and water. It contributed to NASA’s EOS (Earth Observing System) by carrying NASA’s Seawinds scatterometer, a microwave radar to measure near-surface wind velocity and oceanic cloud conditions, which scientists hoped would improve their ability to forecast and model global weather. However, all communication with ADEOS 2 was lost in October 2003, probably as a result of heightened solar flare activity at the time. Its active lifetime had been roughly the same as that of its predecessor.

9. GEOSTATIONARY METEOROLOGICAL SATELLITE (GMS – HIMAWARI) – A series of weather satellites managed by the Japanese Meteorological Agency and NASDA (National Space Development Agency); their indigenous name Himawari means “sunflower.” All have been located in geostationary orbit at 140° E. The first GMS was launched in 1977 and the most recent, GMS-5, on Mar. 18, 1995. GMS-5 is equipped with a VISSR (Visible and Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer), which scans Earth’s surface line by line, each line consisting of a series of pixels. For each pixel the radiometer measures the radiative energy at three different wavelengths bands ? one in the visible region and two in the infrared.

10. JAPANESE EARTH RESOURCES SATELLITE (FUYO) – Japanese Earth observation satellite launched by NASDA (National Space Development Agency); also known by the national name Fuyo. Following on the success of MOS, JERS tested the performance of optical sensors and a synthetic aperture radar, and made observations for use in land survey, agriculture, forestry, fishery, environmental preservation, disaster prevention, and coastal surveillance. Some of its data were shared with the University of Alaska for research purposes.

11. MARINE OBSERVATION SATELLITE (MOS) – Japan’s first Earth resources satellites, also known by the national name Momo (“peach blossom”). MOS-1A and -1B, launched by NASDA (National Space Development Agency), monitored ocean currents and chlorophyll levels, sea surface temperature, atmospheric water vapor, precipitation, and land vegetation, and also acted as data relays for remote surface sensor platforms. Both measured 2.4 × 1.5 m and were launched from Tanegashima.

12. IONOSPHERE SOUNDING SATELLITE (ISS) – A pair of Japanese satellites, launched by NASDA (National Space Development Agency) and also known by their national name Ume (“plum”), that collected data on the ionosphere to aid in short-wave radio communication. Their instruments included an ionospheric sounder, a radio noise receiver, plasma measuring equipment, and an ion mass spectrometer. Both measured 3.9 × 0.8 m and were launched by N-1 rockets from Tanegashima.



Global ionospheric structure, dynamics, and system effects

by Quirino Sugon Jr.

I found another good report about the SCINDA system and ionospheric scintillation:

Robert C. Livingston, “Global ionospheric structure, dynamics, and system effects,” SRI International, 24 June 2002 (Final Report)

What interests me is only on the part on the ionspheric scintillation in the equatorial region.  The SCINDA system is treated in detail: what are the what are the frequency receivers and how the SCINDA computer processes the data.  There are no computer code, of course, but you get the idea how the system works.



Water Vapor Tomography with Low Cost GPS Receivers

C. Rocken, J. Braun, C. Meertens, R. Ware, S. Sokolovskiy, T. VanHove, “Water Vapor Tomography with Low Cost GPS Receivers,” GPS Research Group, University Corporation For Atmospheric Research, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder CO 80308

We propose to apply low cost single frequency GPS receivers, deployed in a dense array, to tomographic estimation of small scale three-dimensional (3-D) atmospheric water vapor fields. The proposed proof-of-concept experiment will be conducted during the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program’s Intensive Observation Period (IOP) of July 1999 near the Lamont Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART). The system will utilize 25-30 GPS receivers deployed at 1 to 3 km spacing in a 10 x 10 km or larger area. Carrier phase data from this array will be analyzed to determine line-of-sight tropospheric delays caused by atmospheric water vapor. These line-ofsight delays shall be inverted, using tomographic techniques, and optionally first guess fields based on other atmospheric data available at the ARM CART site, to estimate 3-D atmospheric water vapor fields at 30 min or smaller time intervals. An alternative approach will be to assimilate the slant measurements into a high resolution numerical weather model like MM5. The purpose of the proposed effort is to develop and demonstrate a new atmospheric sensing technique to measure small scale atmospheric water vapor fields, which are important to provide the initial and boundary conditions for the Single Column Modeling (SCM) efforts conducted under the ARM program.

Key terms:

  • Precipitable water vapor
  • neutral atmosphere
  • zenith delay
  • refractivity
  • water vapor pressure
  • slant water vapor
  • dual frequency receivers
  • high multipath suppression

Manila Observatory’s bagyo page for Typhoon Juaning (Nock-ten)

by Quirino Sugon Jr.

Typhoon Juaning (Meari) tracks from Joint Typhoon Warning Center

Typhoon Juaning (Nock-ten) tracks from Joint Typhoon Warning Center

The Manila Observatory has a new typhoon or bagyo page for Typhoon Juaning (Meari).  It contains several plots from other sources and also those developed in-house:

  • Latest typhoon track from Joint Typhoon Warning Center
  • Infrared-water vapor difference from  Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS).
  • Hourly accumulated rain from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
  • Modeled sea level pressure
  • Animation of satellite image of cloud formation
  • Accumulated rainfall from Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM)
  • Philippine population density map as of 2007
  • Observations from Manila Observatory’s meteorological station: rainfall, barometric pressure, wind speed, Ondoy’s 24 hour rainfall data.
  • Observations from Manila Observatory’s other meteorological stations in Nangka, Marikina City,  Manila Observatory, Davao CityXavier University,Cagayan de Oro City, and Ateneo de Zamboanga, Zamboanga City
  • Links to other weather forecast.

Remote sensing of water vapor using GPS receivers

by Quirino Sugon Jr.

I am currently writing a proposal on the use of GPS for water vapor measurements in behalf of Fr. Daniel McNamara, SJ for the Asia Pacific Network.  We have GPS data from our SCINDA and JPL systems at the Manila Observatory, but I have not used them or requested them yet.  Since I know nothing about GPS and water vapor measurements, I surveyed the existing literature.  Below are some useful resources:

Michael Gabor, Remote sensing of water vapor using  GPS receivers (University of Texas, 5 May 1997).

C. Rocken, J. Braun, C. Meertens, R. Ware, S. Sokolovskiy, T. VanHove, “Water Vapor Tomography with Low Cost GPS Receivers,” GPS Research Group, University Corporation For Atmospheric Research, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder CO 80308.  Note: Gabor uses dual frequency data while Rocken et al uses only single frequency data but compensated by an array of receivers.

Michael Bevis, Steven Businger, Thomas A. Herring, Chritian Rocken, Richard A. Anthes, and Randolph H. Ware, “GPS Meteorology: Remote sensing of atmospheric water vapor using the Global Positioning System,” in Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 97, no. D14, pp. 15787-15801 (Oct 20, 1992). The physics of atmospheric propagation delay is discussed here.  There is also a nice appendix on the ionospheric effects on GPS signals.

J. Braun, T. Van Hove, S. Y. Ha, and C. Rocken, GPS Water Vapor Projects Within the ARM Southern Great Plains Region, Twelfth ARM Science Team Meeting Proceedings, St. Petersburg, Florida, April 8-12, 2002. GPS Science and Technology Program University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado. There is an interesting technology here: slant water vapor (SWV), which is water vapor along the line of site path between a transmitting satellite and a ground-based GPS receiver. I wonder if this is applicable to the SCINDA data.  Btw, there are no equations in the article.

Alexander E. MacDonald*, and Yuanfu Xie*, and Randolph H. Ware**, “Diagnosis of Three-Dimensional Water Vapor Using a GPS Network,” Monthly Weather Review, vol. 130. *Forecast Systems Laboratory, NOAA/OAR, Boulder, Colorado. **GPS Science and Technology Program, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado. (Manuscript received 26 June 2000, in final form 5 January 2001).  This contains details of the theory behind slant water vapor measurements.  There is no actual network, only a theoretical network.  The meteorological data is simulated using MM5.

SONG Shuli, ZHU Wenyao, DING Jincai, PENG Junhuan, “3D water-vapor tomography with Shanghai GPS network to improve forecasted moisture field,” Chinese Science Bulletin 2006 Vol. 51 No. 5 607—614. DOI: 10.1007/s11434-006-0607-5.  This is an actual GPS network.  The results show promising results.  MM5 model is needed for the background field.

Tobias Nilsson and Lubomir Gradinarsky, “Water Vapor Tomography Using GPS Phase Observations: Simulation Results,” IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING, VOL. 44, NO. 10, OCTOBER 2006 2927. Some quotes: “we apply the voxel discretization of the wet refractivity field already in the GPS processing step. Hence, slant wet delays are described as linear combinations of the refractivities of voxels in GPS processing….. It can be shown that apart from the refractivity of the voxels, the parameters needed to be estimated will be errors in the satellite and the receiver clocks.”

C. Champollion, F. Masson, M.-N. Bouin, A. Walpersdorf, E. Doerflinger, O. Bock, J. Van Baelen, “GPS water vapour tomography: preliminary results from the ESCOMPTE field experiment,” Atmospheric Research 74 (2005) 253–274. This is from France. Used Kalman filtering. Some quotes: “During the ESCOMPTE field experiment, a dense network of 17 dual frequency GPS receivers was operated for 2 weeks within a 2020-km area around Marseille (southern France). The network extends from sea level to the top of the Etoile chain (~700
m high). Optimal results have been obtained with time windows of 30-min intervals and input data evaluation every 15 min. The optimal grid for the ESCOMTE geometrical configuration has a horizontal step size of 0.0580.058 and 500 m vertical step size.”


Equatorial Scintillation and the SCINDA System

by Quirino Sugon Jr.

The Manila Observatory operates three SCINDA systems deployed in Manila, Baguio, and Davao.  Dr. Keith Groves, AFRL is the PI of the SCINDA project.  Fr. Daniel J. McNamara, SJ is the PI of the Philippine SCINDA project.  I found a useful description of the SCINDA system from a publicly available report of the Institute for Scientific Research at Boston College on ionosphere modelling:

Patricia H. Doherty, Leo F. McNamara, William J. Burke, William J. MNeil, Louise C. Gentil, “Ionospheric Modeling: Development, Verificaton and Validation,” Institute for Scientific Research, Boston College (2007).

The SCINDA part is pages 11-12:

5.1. Scintillation Effects on GPS

Equatorial scintillation is a phenomenon in which small-scale irregularities in the F region of the ionosphere interrupt radio communications between the Earth and orbiting satellites. The process occurs only at night and is limited to a region from the magnetic equator to about 20˚ to the North and South. The process results in large-scale scintillation bubbles which obliterate some regions of the sky to communication. The disruptions are greatest at low frequency and decrease in severity as frequency increases, but during solar moderate and maximum years, they are significant at the 1.5-GHz range at which the Global Positioning System operates. The end result, insofar as positioning with GPS is concerned, is loss of information from some or all satellites. It has been documented that under certain conditions, complete loss of GPS capability can result from scintillations. Therefore, equatorial scintillations are extremely important for systems that rely upon GPS, which, in this day and age, encompasses the better part of both civilian and military systems.

The Scintillation Network Decision Aid (SCINDA) is a nowcasting tool that provides a specification of the current scintillation conditions over a chosen theater. The system works like this. First, sensors placed at various strategic points around the globe monitor the power levels of signals from Earth-orbiting satellites. When scintillation along these links is detected, the measured scintillation intensity level is used along with empirical models of the scintillation bubble structure and evolution to generate regions of predicted communication outages which are then projected onto maps for chosen theatres. The current number of SCINDA stations at this writing is fourteen. Since the previous version of WBMod relied on only three stations in the equatorial region, it is clear that the addition of the SCINDA data constitutes a major improvement in WBMod reliability.

5.2. Scintillation and Frequency

There are two basic frequencies monitored by the SCINDA network. The first is the region around 250 MHz, which will be called the UHF here. This is monitored by listening to beacons from geostationary satellites using standard receivers. The second frequency monitored is around 1.5 GHz, which we will call the L-Band frequency. These data are obtained by NOVATEL single-frequency GPS receivers which have been specially modified to produce scintillation parameters. Both of these are used in the production of the SCINDA outage maps, although outage maps are currently produced only for the UHF. The GPS data are downshifted in frequency through an ad hoc algorithm to compliment the UHF data. There are, however, two stations that listen to fixed geostationary satellites at the L-Band. These are Ascension Island and Antofagasta. What is important, though, is that scintillation data from both systems is collected and archived continuously. It is therefore all available for incorporation into WBMod.

The climatology of UHF and L-Band scintillation differ substantially. First, LBand scintillation essentially goes away at solar minimum while UHF scintillation stays strong. Second, the UHF scintillation extends pretty much uniformly over the magnetic equator while the L-Band scintillation peaks at the Appleton anomaly crests at about 12˚ to 15˚ geomagnetic. This behavior is shown in Figure 4 for the Atlantic sector. Also of note is that the seasonal behavior of UHF and L-band scintillation are somewhat different. UHF scintillation persists pretty much unabated through the winter months while L-Band scintillation is much more peaked around the equinoxes.

Read more on the SCINDA and the Wide Band Scintillation Model.

SOSE Research Dossier

Hi all,

After the planning yesterday, the next in line in terms of paper work is for each faculty member to fill up his/her research plan for the SOSE research dossier. This is just a one pager. Dr. De Las Penas suggested the following format:

1. Name of research/research group
2. Description of research
3. Representative Publications the past 5 years
4. Contact person
5. Pictures of research in action

Attached is the softcopy of the Research Compedium sent by Dr. De Las Penas. May we have the filled template by Wednesday?



DOST Expo 2011 Poster Template for Ateneo de Manila University

As we agreed at the Dean’s Council meeting, for the Expo Science 2011 on July 27-30, we need to come up with a uniform look for the posters.

Attached is the dost_expo_2011_poster_template in powerpoint.  Kindly put in your project data/info in the template following the instructions stated therein and send it back.  Our GA Mariciris will take care of editing evrything and converting it into a Jpg file for printing.

Please send it to me or maricris by tomorrow or early Monday, so that we have time to edit and print in time for Ingress on Tuesday.


University Research Council: Call for Proposals extended to 2 August 2011

University Research Council

25 April 2011

As part of the Ateneo’s continuing mission to address poverty alleviation and in creating positive social impact in the country, the University Research Council is pleased to announce funding for research projects focused on the following themes:

  • public health
  • public education
  • family and migration
  • disaster management and mitigation
  • Filipino leadership and governance

The research projects may be of theoretical or applied nature, interdisciplinary, and with a clear social relevance in either of the themes mentioned above. Funding per project is up to P400,000 and will be awarded on a competitive basis. The primary criteria for selection of the projects to be funded are:

  • social significance
  • strength of the conceptual framework
  • project design and methodology
  • expected output in terms of publishable works in indexed journals.

The policies and guidelines and application form may be downloaded from the following website. Three items need to be submitted:

  • a detailed proposal as outlined in the guidelines
  • a completed application form with a 100-word abstract and noted by the chair or the dean
  • a short curriculum vitae of the lead proponent.

The deadline for submission has been extended until August 2, 2011. Awards will be announced by the end of September, and projects under this grant may start in October 2011 with a one- or two-year time frame.