2006 SESDA II News Archive

SESDA II Staff Help GSFC Win the Supercomputing 2006 Bandwidth Challenge

SC06 logo

SESDA II staff helped the NASA GSFC High End Computer Network (HECN) Laboratory win the Bandwidth Challenge at the SC06 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking and Analysis on November 16, 2006. The winning entry, "Transporting Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data using SECTOR" was led by a team from the National Center for Data Mining from the University of Illinois at Chicago. The GSFC HECN Lab. hosted 10-GE connections for four of NCDM's data servers and provided their connection across the DRAGON regional optical network to McLean. They transported the 1.3 TB Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data (SDSS) from the University of Illinois at Chicago to the SC 06 floor at Tampa with a sustained data transfer rate of 8Gb/s over a 10Gb/s link, and a peak rate of 9.18Gb/s. This was a major new milestone that demonstrated that it is now practical for working scientists to transfer large data sets from disk to disk over long distances using a 10 Gb/s network.
Download Records – Teraflow Testbed 2 Optical Core

SESDA II Staff Observe a Rare Transit of Planet Mercury

Rare Transit of Mercury

During November 8 and 9, SESDA II staff supporting the SOHO and the Transition Region Coronal Explorer (TRACE) spacecraft successfully observed the rare transit of Mercury across the solar disk. The event occurs 13 times during each century. Capturing the event required meticulous pre-planning and coordination between instrument teams and flight operations engineers to prepare detailed timelines and observing sequences. Staff worked late into the evening to acquire and process images in near real-time for rapid dissemination online. The image at left shows Mercury silhouetted against the backdrop of a TRACE ultraviolet wavelength image taken near the solar limb.
Click here for a larger image.

Congratulations to the STEREO Team on a Successful Launch

STEREO launches at night

The STEREO spacecraft launched successfully at 8:53 pm EDT on October 25, 2006 from Cape Canaveral on a Boeing Delta II rocket. The two year mission will study the physics of Coronal Mass Ejections (CME's) by using twin observatories to provide unique stereoscopic views of the Sun. SESDA II staff members played key roles in the hardware and software development efforts for several STEREO instruments, and will be directly supporting STEREO science operations, data analysis, and education and public outreach activities.

SESDA II team member Bill Thompson was officially named by NASA as a Co-Investigator to the STEREO SECCHI instrument team. Congratulations, Bill!
STEREO Web site

SESDA Staff Contributed to Nobel Prize Work Awarded for Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE)

COBE logo

Dr. John C. Mather of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center has won the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physics, awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the first Nobel ever awarded to a NASA scientist. Mather shares the prize with George F. Smoot of the University of California for their collaborative work on understanding the Big Bang via the Cosmic Background Explorer satellite. We are delighted to note that a number of current SESDA II staff directly participated on the COBE project. These include:

  • Richard Isaacman (Project Manager, COBE Science Software team; currently SESDA II Program Manager)
  • Karin Loya (Project Manager, COBE Operational Software team; currently SESDA II DISC Group Manager)
  • Henry Freudenreich
  • Robert Kummerer
  • Nils Odegard
  • Joel Offenberg
  • Urmila Prasad
  • Janet Weiland
  • Anthony Young
  • Matt Elliott

More information on Mather and Smoot's groundbreaking work

Black Brant Test Rocket Returns To Flight

Blank Brant 11 Test Rocket

On Saturday, September 23, 2006, a Black Brant XI "return to flight" test rocket was successfully launched by NASA at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. This launch represents a milestone in the NASA sounding rocket program as it demonstrates the capability of a new rocket motor after a failure about a year ago. A number of Goddard experiments were flown aboard this test rocket and provided valuable data sets of electric and magnetic field measurements as well as ion density and temperature in the day side ionosphere. SESDA II staff members were involved in the design of the experiments and are actively analyzing the data.
Wallops Flight Facility Web Site


2006 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge

Frame from Cryosphere animation

SESDA II staff were part of the team that created "A Short Tour of the Cryosphere", a five minute animation that won Honorable Mention in the 2006 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge. The contest was sponsored by Science Magazine and the National Science Foundation. Portions of the animation were shown in an ABC news cast.
View the ABC News Cast

Solar Terrestrial Probes Informal Education Workshop

In August 2006, SESDA II staff held an Informal Education Workshop. Educators from the US east coast gathered together at the Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academies of Sciences to develop strategies in how to promote, use and engage the general public on the importance of heliophysics to our society. The educators learned how to use various NASA resources and mission themes in their informal education programs.

GSFC Peer Awards

Science on a Sphere

A number of SESDA II personnel have received GSFC Peer Awards. One of the awards recognized an employee for the procurement and installation of the Science on a Sphere display (left) in the Goddard Visitor Center.

EOS Day 2006

SESDA II staff manned the EOSDIS Display Booth at Goddard Space Flight Center on July 13, 2006 as part of the EOS Day 2006 activities.

Successful SESDA II Phase-in

The SESDA II contract Phase-in was successfully completed on July 1, 2006. We received many compliments from NASA officials for the smooth transition. Here are some sample comments:

  • "…transition to the new contract went smoothly."
  • "…successfully and smoothly transitioned from GST to ADNET Systems, Inc., with minimal impact on the task activities. All the required weekly and monthly reports were delivered in a timely manner."
  • "The highlight for ECHO during the first month of SESDA-II has been that the routines that we had established for the project before coming over to ADNET have continued without fail."
  • "…went very well…no disruption to our task."
  • "…smoothest transition I have ever seen."

TEAM ADNET is now ready to move on and keep the customers happy with outstanding contract performance.