Distributed Image-Sensor Web Management for Bandwidth Constrained Environments

Daniel Marconett, Skylar Bemus, Samuel Johnson, Ryan Jarvinen, Daniel Potter, and Lawrence C. Freudinger

“The California State University, Sacramento I-Scan Group was an undergraduate senior project group tasked with the research and creation of a Video-On-Demand distributed network computing system for NASA Earth Sciences. As the group lead, Dan directed the research and development of this distributed sensor web system-of-systems, which links multiple geographically distributed image-sensor locations and makes them available for observation over the internet in near real-time. Furthermore, the system is somewhat tolerant of narrow bandwidth constraints. This functionality is crucial to successful implementation, which will occur onboard a NASA Earth Sciences unmanned aerial vehicle for environmental mapping of a particularly inhospitable location in Antarctica.”


“Remote and in situ observation is an essential ingredient of understanding of our Earth and its processes. Observed data greatly improve the ability of Earth and Environmental scientists to model and predict various events and patterns which transpire in the environment and around the globe. Unmanned aircraft, with onboard instruments which enable such data collection, are an essential part of the future remote observing infrastructure. These platforms will contain imaging instruments capable of producing far more data that can be transferred to decision-makers for near real-time use in a cost-effective manner although narrowband communications can be assumed. In this paper, we discuss a prototype system to manage metadata for mobile cameras similar to systems that could be installed on suborbital Earth observation platforms. Network cameras simulate a distributed system of imagers on one or more platforms. A software system is described that integrates the webcam imagery with time-varying metadata. This paper offers an overview of design and performance of this system in a benign communication environment, and discusses data management challenges as it applies to implementation of such a system on unmanned airborne observation platforms for Earth science missions.”

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