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SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program. Additional AOs for the Amgen Scholars program can be found here.

Specific GROWTH projects being offerred for summer 2018 can be found here.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be
U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

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Project:  Investigating Infrared Images to Track Cloud Features on Venus
Disciplines:  Planetary Science, Physics/Applied Physics
Mentor:  Attila Komjathy, (JPL),, Phone: (818) 393-6828
Background:  Venus is Earth's planetary twin, but very little is known about the structure of its lower atmosphere, surface or interior. The planet has extremely slow rotation and a super-rotating atmosphere. The origin of both these phenomena is unknown. A thick layer of clouds composed mostly of sulfuric acid droplets envelops the entire planet. The top layer of the clouds can be observed at certain specific infrared wavelengths, which appears to reveal a rich structure. The Japanese JAXA mission Akatsuki recently observed stationary planetary-scale features in the clouds, likely driven by interactions between features on the surface (such as high mountain ranges) and the atmosphere. This is one example of how we can study the lower atmosphere and its interactions with the surface by studying the motion of the clouds.

Description:  This project will involve investigating infrared images of Venus collected from the NASA InfraRed Telescope Facility (IRTF) in Hawaii over a period of two weeks. The selected candidate will scan infrared images taken through various spectral windows, transform them into a dataset suitable for scientific examination and use image processing algorithms for tracking stationary and moving features in the cloud layers on Venus. The selected candidate will also take part in science discussions that arise from the results of their image processing work.
Student Requirements:  Must know a high-level programming language (Python or MATLAB preferred) and have some prior experience with image processing techniques. Experience with machine learning is not required but is favorable.
Location / Safety:  Project building and/or room locations: . Student will need special safety training: No.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    Caltech students only 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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