BIG DATA! 24 hour near real time processing and computation for the JPL Airborne Snow Observatory

JPL's Airborne Snow Observatory is an integrated imaging spectrometer and scanning LIDAR for measuring mountain snow albedo, snow depth/snow water equivalent, and ice height (once exposed), led by PI Dr. Tom Painter. The team recently wrapped our "Snow On" campaign where over a course of 3 months, we flew the Tuolumne River Basin, Sierra Nevada, California above the O'Shaughnessy Dam of the Hetch Hetchy reservoir; focusing initial on the Tuolumne, and then moving to weekly flights over the Uncompahgre Basin, Colorado.

To meet the needs of its customers including Water Resource managers who are keenly interested in Snow melt, the ASO team had to develop and end to end 24 hour latency capability for processing spectrometer and LIDAR data from Level 0 to Level 4 ("ish") products. Fondly referring to these processing campaigns as "rodeos" the team rapidly constructed an open source data processing system at minimal cost and risk that not only met our processing demands, but taught the entire team many lessons about remote sensing of snow and dust properties, algorithm integration, the relationship between computer scientists, and snow hydrologist; flight and engineering teams, geographers, and most importantly lessons about camaraderie that will engender highly innovative and rapid data systems development, and quality science products for years to come.

Chris Mattmann is the Compute Lead for the ASO project and he will humbly tell the story of the Compute processing capability on behalf of the larger team, highlighting contributions of its key members along the way

Speaker: Chris Mattman
Date: Thursday November 14th, 2013 @ 7 pm
Location: Caltech - Downs 107.
The Downs building is across from the tennis courts on California at Arden.


Using Open-Source Tools for HW/SW Development at JPL

Please note that the previously advertised presentation "BIG DATA! 24 hour near real time processing and computation for the JPL Airborne Snow Observatory" is being rescheduled for another time. Big thanks to Dmitriy and Tom for being willing to put together a presentation for us on short notice. Cookies have been promised.

Tom and Dmitriy will present on how they use open source tools at JPL in their line of work. These tools include: Raspi, GStreamer, Mercurial/Trac, Wireshark, vi, and others.

BIO: Dmitriy Bekker and Thomas Werne are currently staff engineers in the Instrument Flight and GSE Software group in the Instrument Electronics and Sensors Section at JPL. They are working on FPGA-based data acquisition and processing designs for multiple prototype science instruments for ground, space, and airborne applications as well as technology development for small satellites. Their projects have been deployed to the Mojave Desert, on high altitude aircraft, at observatories, and on CubeSats.

Speaker: Dmitriy Bekker and Thomas Werne
Date: Thursday October 10th, 2013 @ 7 pm
Location: Caltech - Downs 107.
The Downs building is across from the tennis courts on California at Arden.


Introduction to Security using Raspberry Pis

We will demonstrate 4 basic security topics, all using the Rasberry Pi computer.

Topcs include:

  • "Change Default Passwords, or Else.....if"
  • "Clear Text Passwords and HTTP Make Jack a Sad Boy"
  • "Cookie Stealing with Joe Blackhat"
  • "Stack Smashing in the Real World".

Come to learn a taste of security, or simply enjoy the show.

(You can also come for the cookies and/or pie, which was what the presenters demanded as a bribe.)

Speaker: Michael Starch and Steven Doran
Date: Thursday, September 12th, 2013 @ 7 pm
Location: Caltech - Downs 107

NOTE: For those of you who skip the meeting but come to dinner, please be aware that Burger Continental has been shut down by the health department. Even if it were to reopen in time, there have been some rumblings about picking another post-LUG dinner place.


Open Mic/Mike Night

We will have short presentations/discussions

  • Defcon highlights
  • Practical awk
  • Steelbolt Hacking & Demo

Thanks to Junaid for reserving Downs 107.

Speaker: SGVLUG
Date: Thursday, August 8, 2013 @ 7 pm
Location: Caltech - Downs 107
The Downs building is across from the tennis courts on California at Arden.


Distributed Version Control & Mercurial

Lan will talk about distributed version control systems (DVCS) with a focus on Mercurial. The talk will be suitable for both beginners and advanced users.

She will go over the basic concept behind DVCS, such as directed acyclic graphs. She will highlight some of the differences between Mercurial and git, the other popular DVCS. For the beginners, she will go over some basic Mercurial commands. For the advanced users, she will share some interesting case studies from work.

Speaker: Lan Dang
Date: Thursday, June 13th, 2013 @ 7 pm
Location: Caltech - Downs 107
The Downs building is across from the tennis courts on California at Arden.


Mini Discussions, Python for Scientific Computing

We will have a few mini presentations:

  • Redirecting stdout and stderr
  • Using vim registers and visual selection for copy and pasting

Also if time permits there will be a presentation on Python for Scientfic Computing.

Date: Thursday, June 13th, 2013 @ 7 pm
Location: Caltech - Downs 107
The Downs building is across from the tennis courts on California at Arden.