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A Long Awaited Update.

Let me begin by apologizing profusely for the status of the DISR Team over the past few months. Questions have been pouring in, e-mail has been backing up, and we have been working away. But that's no excuse. As webmaster, I have failed you, and I'm sorry. Will you ever forgive me? Read on...

Some of your most important questions, answered...

1. Will we be able to recover the lost data from Channel A?
I'm afraid that the answer to this one is still 'no.' The 300+ images are long gone. Even though some of the tracking stations on Earth were able to pick up Huygens' signal, the data was transmitted back to Cassini--where the problem was--so that information was lost as soon as it was transmitted. The fact that we are missing data from throughout the descent has made mosaicking more difficult. We have not been able to form a full panorama because of the gaps in images, which--I think--makes the data look less spectacular than it truly is.

2. Why haven't there been any updates/new images?
We have been working to remove artifacts from the raw images and assemble the thumbnails into mosaics, however, we plan to release these new pictures in an upcoming Nature publication. The co-investigators have decided that they would prefer for these new images to be released in the publication before being released on the web. So, as soon as I get the "go-ahead" I will post the new images, however, we have just submitted our initial copy of the publication to Nature for editing (my apologies to you whom I told that the actual publication would be this month) so the publication won't appear for a while longer. (In the past few weeks, we have all been busy reviewing the hefty thing, and it seems promising, at least.) My sincerest apologies.

3. How come the mosaics are taking so long?
I am a member of the aerosol part of the DISR team, so I have no experience mosaiking, although I understand that it is very tedious and time-consuming. I believe that there were some early software problems, but those have been worked out now. The imaging team has been working on a model of the probe's descent and ground-track, which will help them to place the images in the panorama more accurately. As stated above, the co-investigators have decided to hold-off on the release of mosaics until the Nature publication. However, at the release, we should have several new and impressive mosaics.

4. I submitted an 'Ask an Expert' question about a year ago...
Yes! I have received your questions. However, I'm not as familiar with the DISR hardware as other members of the team, so I do not answer those questions. Ask me a question about tholins, and I'll get back to you right away. Getting others to answer them on their busy schedules has been difficult, although I should have a new list of answers posted/e-mailed by the end of next week.

5. Why has this site not been updated in forever?
Because there hasn't been much worth posting going on. However, I'll try to keep the web community posted about our progress from now on, so that you are never left wondering what we're up to...

 

Web Updates:

29 Nov: New content including an animation (large) and several new image pans.

08 Sep: A new surface picture colored using the DLVS data.

09 Jun: An animated video clip of a stereo model produced by Larry Soderblom (Co_Investigator).

18 Jan: A bit more commentary and hopefully a mosaic was added. 'Ask an Expert' questions are being answered by the team...

16 Jan: All unprocessed triplets posted!!!

11 Jan: As requested by the General Motors Corporation, the "Featured Member" has been changed and will duly be changed weekly (or so) henceforth. Also, a new counter and guestbook were added to the main page.

10 Jan: "DISR Quick Facts" added to 'DISR Overview' page

07 Jan: The site is up!

 

DISR in The News:

For UA professors, 17-year space dream is at hand; Arizona Republic

Sleep? Forget it: It's antacid time for Saturn team; Arizona Daily Star

UA Scientists Prepare for Huygens Descent on Titan

A Snapshot of Earth's Evolution; Tucson Weekly