DAY 1 2 3
Notes from Day 1
Lead NASA scientist for the expedition Peter Wasilewski provided an overview for our 3-day visit to the Goddard Space Flight Center and stated the most current plans and issues for the expedition.  Peter outlined the goals of the expedition and reviewed technology used thus far and during the upcoming mission to verify the Iturralde site as an impact structure.  Peter introduced the field and home support staff that will collaborate with the teacher scientist home team.
Australian teacher and scientist Peter Hardy discussed the procedure for ground truth validation of the LANDSAT images.  This will primarily be accomplished using GLOBE protocols and an ALTA II reflectant spectrometer.  The ALTA II will be used to develop signatures for soil and moisture.  In satellite images, there are 7 color filters that take images.  On a computer, you mix 3 colors (red, blue, yellow) and in so doing you can ground truth at a specific location and verify the pixel area on the satellite image.
Bob Gabrys gave an inspiring presentation on the NASA educational enterprise, philosophy, and program categories.  Mr. Gabrys identified NASA support for this project as a new focus to expand the "Teacher as Scientist" program.  This project focuses on truly collaborative inquiry-based research with research- and teacher-scientists jointly developing the research protocols for the initial phase of the expedition.
Jim Heirtzler gave an overview of magnetic surveys and techniques.  A brief introduction was given on Earth's magnetic field and how the magnetic properties recorded in sediments will assist in locating anomalies to either prove or disprove the Iturralde structure as an impact site.  Data acquisition and transmission were also discussed.  The magnetic signatures from specimens of volcanic- and impact-origin were also specified.  The site specific problems associated with the magnetic equator were also addressed.
Gunther Kletetschka trained the home team on the use of both the proton magnetometer and the flux-gate magnetometer, both of which will be part of the actual expedition equipment and used on site.  A test survey of the training building was conducted by the teacher-scientists to familiarize them with the equipment.  The flux-gate magnetometer will be part of an aerial package conducting the survey, with the proton magnetometer primarily being used to gather reference data.