Software Learns to Recognize Spring Thaw

July 14, 2005

JPL — Spring thaw in the Northern Hemisphere was monitored by a new set of eyes this year — an Earth-orbiting NASA spacecraft carrying a new version of software trained to recognize and distinguish snow, ice, and water from space.

Using this software, the Space Technology 6 Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment autonomously tracked changes in the cryosphere, the section of Earth that is frozen, and relayed the information and images back to scientists.