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In September 2012 five Aerosonde unmanned aircraft were used to make measurements of the atmospheric state over the Terra Nova Bay polynya, Antarctica, to explore the details of air - sea ice - ocean coupling. A total of 14 flights were completed in September 2012. Ten of the flight missions consisted of two unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) sampling the atmosphere over Terra Nova Bay on five different days, with one UAS focusing on the downwind evolution of the air mass and a second UAS flying transects roughly perpendicular to the low level winds. The data from these coordinated UAS flights provide a comprehensive three-dimensional data set of the atmospheric state (air temperature, humidity, pressure, and wind) and surface skin temperature over Terra Nova Bay. The remaining UAS flights during the September 2012 field campaign included two local flights near McMurdo Station for flight testing, a single UAS flight to Terra Nova Bay, and a single UAS flight over the Ross Ice Shelf and Ross Sea polynya. A dataset containing the atmospheric and surface data as well as operational aircraft data has been submitted to the United States Antarctic Program Data Coordination Center (USAP-DCC, -data.org/) for free access ( -ANT10-43657, doi:10.15784/600125).
NASA has often stated (e.g. MSL Science Corner1) that it's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), "Curiosity," Mission to Mars carries no life detection experiments. This is in keeping with NASA's 36-year explicit ban on such, imposed immediately after the 1976 Viking Mission to Mars. The space agency attributes the ban to the "ambiguity" of that Mission's Labeled Release (LR) life detection experiment, fearing an adverse effect on the space program should a similar "inconclusive" result come from a new robotic quest. Yet, despite the NASA ban, this author, the Viking LR Experimenter, contends there are "stealth life detection instruments" aboard Curiosity. These are life detection instruments in the sense that they can free the Viking LR from the pall of ambiguity that has held it prisoner so long. Curiosity's stealth instruments are those seeking organic compounds, and the mission's high-resolution camera system. Results from any or all of these devices, coupled with the Viking LR data, can confirm the LR's life detection claim. In one possible scenario, Curiosity can, of itself, completely corroborate the finding of life on Mars. MSL has just successfully landed on Mars. Hopefully, its stealth confirmations of life will be reported shortly.
Working collaboratively, NASA and NOAA are producing data from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), a NASA Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC), is distributing VIIRS snow cover, ice surface temperature, and sea ice cover products. Data is available in .nc and HDF5 formats with a temporal coverage of 1 January 2012 and onward. VIIRS, NOAA's latest radiometer, was launched aboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) satellite on October 28, 2011. The instrument comprises 22 bands; five for high-resolution imagery, 16 at moderate resolution, and one panchromatic day/night band. VIIRS is a whiskbroom scanning radiometer that covers the spectrum between 0.412 μm and 12.01 μm and acquires spatial resolutions at nadir of 750 m, 375 m, and 750 m, respectively. One distinct advantage of VIIRS is to ensure continuity that will lead to the development of snow and sea ice climate data records with data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments on the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) Aqua and Terra satellites. Combined with the Advanced Very-High-resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), the AVHRR-MODIS-VIIRS timeline will start in the early 1980s and span at least four decades-and perhaps beyond-enabling researchers to produce and gain valuable insight from long, high-quality Earth System Data Records (ESDRs). Several options are available to view and download VIIRS data: Direct download from NSIDC via HTTPS. Using NASA Earthdata Search, users can explore and download VIIRS data with temporal and/or spatial filters, re-format, re-project, and subset by spatial extent and parameter. API access is also available for all these options; Using NASA Worldview, users can view Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS) from VIIRS data; Users can join a VIIRS subscription list to have new VIIRS data automatically ftp'd or staged on a local server as it is archived at NSIDC.
The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor aboard the Suomi-NPP satellite is designed to provide data continuity with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors aboard NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites. VIIRS data products are generated in a similar format as MODIS using modified algorithms and aim to extend the data lifecycle of MODIS products, which are widely used in a variety of scientific disciplines. However, there are differences in the characteristics of the instruments that could influence decision making when conducting a study involving a combination of products from both sensors. Inter-sensor comparison studies between VIIRS and MODIS have highlighted some of the inconsistencies between the sensors, including calibrated radiances, pixel sizes, swath widths, and spectral response functions of the bands. These differences should be well-understood among the science community as these inconsistencies could potentially effect the results of time-series analyses or land change studies that rely on using VIIRS and MODIS data products in combination. An efficient method to identify and better understand differences between data products will allow for the science community to make informed decisions when conducting analyses using a combination of VIIRS and MODIS data products. NASA's Application for Extracting and Exploring Analysis Ready Samples (AppEEARS) tool enables users to efficiently compare MODIS and VIIRS data products, including surface reflectance from 2012 to present. AppEEARS is a user-friendly image extraction tool used to order spatial and temporal data subsets, reproject data, and visualize output sample results before data download. AppEEARs allows users to compare MODIS and VIIRS data products by providing interactive visualizations and summary statistics of each dataset-either over a specific point or region of interest across a period of time. This tool enhances decision-making when using newly
Scientists in the Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications within the Microgravity Research Division oversee studies in important physical, chemical, and biological processes in microgravity environment. Research is conducted in microgravity environment because of the beneficial results that come about for experiments. When research is done in normal gravity, scientists are limited to results that are affected by the gravity of Earth. Microgravity provides an environment where solid, liquid, and gas can be observed in a natural state of free fall and where many different variables are eliminated. One challenge that NASA faces is that space flight opportunities need to be used effectively and efficiently in order to ensure that some of the most scientifically promising research is conducted. Different vibratory sources are continually active aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Some of the vibratory sources include crew exercise, experiment setup, machinery startup (life support fans, pumps, freezer/compressor, centrifuge), thruster firings, and some unknown events. The Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMs), which acts as the hardware and carefully positioned aboard the ISS, along with the Microgravity Environment Monitoring System MEMS), which acts as the software and is located here at NASA Glenn, are used to detect these vibratory sources aboard the ISS and recognize them as disturbances. The various vibratory disturbances can sometimes be harmful to the scientists different research projects. Some vibratory disturbances are recognized by the MEMS's database and some are not. Mainly, the unknown events that occur aboard the International Space Station are the ones of major concern. To better aid in the research experiments, the unknown events are identified and verified as unknown events. Features, such as frequency, acceleration level, time and date of recognition of the new patterns are stored in an Excel database. My task is to