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New York City Research Initiative

Research Projects at LaGuardia Community College

Go to projects in: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

LaGuardia Community College — 2015

Satellite Earth Surface Temperature: Data Corrections and Validation Processes Using MATLAB
Team Members

Principal Investigator/Mentor: Dr. Yasser Hassebo

Co-Principal Investigator/Mentor: Dr. Reginald Eze

Educator: Dana Hojnowski

Undergraduate Intern: Anjeza Arapi

High School Intern: Karina Shah

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Remote sensing is the acquisition of information from a distance. Remote sensing instruments installed on satellites launched by NASA, along with many other international space agencies, can collect data on carbon dioxide, aerosols, biomass, temperature, and precipitation. Analysis of global maps of Earth Surface Temperature (EST) are required for many applications, including climate change research, global warming studies, and weather prediction. This paper focuses on the correction and validation of EST data received from satellites, in an effort to investigate global warming. In this research, 992 satellite EST data files (a total of 10,285,056 data points from four years) were provided. Anomalies and errors in the raw data are represented as ‘-1000’. To investigate the EST data, outliers were determined and corrected, data files were re-shaped, summarized, and analyzed statistically through five steps of averaging and validation processes using MATLAB. Through the five-step data correction process, data sets were expressed in histograms, contour maps, and tables of all calculated statistical parameters (mean, standard deviation (StD), skewness (Sk), and kurtosis). For validation, results of each step were compared with the corresponding statistical value of NASA as a reference for the same period of time. Results show the EST calculated statistical parameters shifted closer to NASA’s EST reference values as anomalies in the raw data are replaced with zeros, and subsequently with NaNs as placeholders. The closest calculated statistical parameters to the NASA references occurred when the outliers were replaced with NaNs. Further data correction steps will be introduced and the global warming hypothesis will be analyzed and discussed.

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Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) Lighting Towards a Sustainable Environment
Team Members

Principal Investigator/Mentor: Dr. Reginald Eze

Co-Principal Investigator/Mentor: Dr. Yasser Hassebo

Educator: Angelo Angeles

Undergraduate Intern: Colleen Cleary

High School Intern: Leo Panish

Final Research Presentation
Summary

OLEDs are flexible and ultrathin area light sources that can be produced as large sheets. Versatile and portable, potential uses include OLEDs are flexible and ultrathin area light sources that can be produced as large sheets. Versatile and portable, potential uses include direct application to clothing, as displays in glass windshields, and as self-illuminating TVs. Within an OLED, there are emissive and conductive layers sandwiched between an anode and a cathode. The emissive layer has extra electrons When a voltage is applied, electrons flow from the cathode to recombine with holes in the emissive layer, thus producing light. In order to produce various colors of light, different materials are used in the emissive and conductive layers. This research project focuses on changing the parameters of a simulated OLED and analyzing the effects of these changes on OLED emission patterns. Programs written in MATLAB modeled the layers of the OLED simulation and imitated a micro-resonator cavity and distributed Bragg reflector mirrors (DBRs) comprised of various materials. By changing the parameters of the microcavity and the DBRs (devices that amplify light), the emission patterns were altered. Through this study, it is possible to engineer an OLED that can maximize the emission pattern of the model.

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Optimizing Geometric Phase Sensitivity of an Area Chirped Array of Ring Interferometers
Team Members

Principal Investigator/Mentor: Dr. R.E John Toland

Educator: Dianna Marino

High School Intern: Manhar Khanna

Final Research Presentation
Summary

The ability to detect inertial rotations via the Sagnac effect with an atom interferometer has been a strong stimulus for the development of atom interferometry because of the potential 1010 enhancement of the rotational phase shift in comparison to optical Sagnac gyroscopes of the same effective area. In our project we analyze ballistic transport of matter waves in a one dimensional chain of N coherently coupled quantum rings, our overall goal is to determine how the rotational sensitivity of the matter waves through the chain of rings changes as the distance between rings increases. We determine the rotational sensitivity of the chain by analyzing the transmission probability of atomic waves as they traverse the array. The transmission probability exhibits zero transmission stop gaps as a function of phase interspersed with regions of rapidly oscillating finite transmission. With increasing number of rings, the transition from zero transmission to the oscillatory regime becomes increasingly sharp, the slope of this transition indicates the region of the transmission that is most sensitive to phase shifts. We will parameterize the distance between rings as a product of the wavenumber and distance between ring, which will vary between 0 and 2n. We will investigate the effects of how changing this distance affects the phase sensitivity of atomic transmission through the array of rings as the number of rings increases. Although the results presented her on rotational phase shifts, it is significant to note that all of the results presented here will hold for any geometric phase shift, in other words interferometer paths separated in position space.

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LaGuardia Community College — 2014

Satellite Earth Surface Temperature: Averaging Process and Validation
Team Members

Principal Investigator (PI):
Dr. Yasser Hassebo
Dr. Reginald Eze

Team Members:
Krysztof Wasilewski, Undergraduate
Sejal Jain. High School Student
Angelo Angeles, High School Teacher

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Measuring and monitoring Earth’s accelerated climate change is vital in order to visualize and anticipate potential environmental issues. NASA, along with many other international space agencies, measures this change through satellite remote sensing installed on satellite platforms orbiting the Earth. Satellite remote sensing is the science of obtaining information about the Earth’s surface without being in physical contact with it. For this research project, 248 data files were provided by NASA for surface temperature over the course of the month July in 2004. As with any data collection, there were errors in the readings. MATLAB®, a high-level language and interactive environment for numerical computation, visualization, and programming, was used to correct the data through an averaging and validation process. It was hypothesized that the surface temperature of the Earth would follow a Gaussian distribution pattern. Ultimately, the goal of this research is to develop a model of the climate over any given period using single files which give the weather at a particular points in time. This will provide a valuable tool in predicting changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts.

Remote Sensing of Subsurface Electromagnetically Penetrable Objects: Landmine and Improvised Explosive Device Detection
Team Members

Principal Investigator (PI):
Dr. Reginald Eze
Dr. Yasser Hassebo

Team Members:
Haider Nafees, Undergraduate
George Sivulka. High School Student
Angelo Angeles, High School Teacher

Final Research Presentation
Summary

The detection, analysis, and characterization of subsurface objects have been a very important goal of the international scientific community in recent years. Current subsurface detection technology and methods, invasive and expensive, have grown obsolete and inaccurate as landmine cloaking technology advances and increases in sophistication. Through various advances in technology, more efficient and safer techniques of detecting objects underground are being implemented. One such imaging technique based on Finite Element Modeling analyzes the scattering of electromagnetic waves based on the microphysical parameters of different molecules and materials. The objective of this project is to successfully apply the Finite Element Modeling method in COMSOL Multiphysics to create a more efficient computational simulation of real world environmental situations for further study. The present study examines numerous simulations of many real world situations, especially those concerning the variables of frequency, depths of landmines, shapes of objects, surface types, boundary conditions, and other relevant variations in hypothetical real world situations as modeled and tested in COMSOL. Comparing the different scattering effects of each material with all its variations, while noting the optimal wavelength (1GHz) for each scenario, comparative amplitude feedback signal maps were developed.

Theoretical Investigations of Magnetic Field Sensitivity of an Area Chirp Array of Atom Interferometers via the Aharonov Bohm Effect
Team Members

Principal Investigator (PI):
Dr. John R.E. Toland

Team Members:
Tabitha Rivera, Undergraduate
Angelo Angeles, High School Teacher

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Interferometry is a fundamental technique used in physics that has been around for over a century. An interferometer splits a wave source into two paths and recombines these paths at a detector, where a phase shift occurs if there is a difference in the lengths of the paths. This project focused on simulating Aharonov Bohm phase shifts of matter waves passing through a multi-ring interferometer to determine the sensitivity of these structures to changes in magnetic fields. The matter waves that pass through the interferometer are split in position space in order to properly analyze the geometric phase shift that occurs at the detector. Using the solutions to the appropriate Schrodinger equation, transfer matrices were acquired for the system from which transmission as a function of phase can be obtained. The slopes of the rapidly oscillating transmission graphs were analyzed to determine their sensitivity to phase. The parameters that were varied include kl (wave number * circumference), N (Number of Rings), and γ (Chirp Factor). By introducing various chirp factors into the system, the optimal geometry can be found. The minimum phase shift found from the analysis of the transmission function can be used to determine the structures’ limits for detecting changes in magnetic fields.

LaGuardia Community College — 2013

Remote Sensing and Subsurface Imaging of Near Surface Environmental Hazards
Team Members

Principal Investigator (PI):
Dr. Yasser Hassebo

Principal Investigator (PI):
Dr. Reginald Eze

Team Members:
Oluomachukwu Agwai, High School Student

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Subsurface sensing and imaging is the non-invasive recovery of shape and topological characteristics of an object buried underneath or embedded within a dielectric region. The imaging technique involves propagating electromagnetic waves of known frequency and amplitude on the computational geometry, measuring the fields scattered by the dielectric surface and the object, and quantifying the electromagnetic parameters of the scatterer.

The present study investigates the use of radiation boundary condition in infinite space, different geometric shapes of the environmental hazard, and material properties to model the propagation of electromagnetic wave introduced into the computational domain non-invasively. Two quantities of interest are investigated and are analyzed numerically.; the depth and structure of the buried environmental hazard .The depth can be used to quantify whether a buried hazardous object, for example a land mine, can be safely defused without the risk of causing collateral damage on explosion. The structure or material content of the subsurface object can readily be used for identifying the object type prior to being defused or removed.

Satellite Earth Surface Temperature: Averaging Process and Validation
Team Members

Principal Investigator (PI):
Dr. Yasser Hassebo

Team Members:
Jumel Villaroel, Undergraduate Student
Tuan Thai, Undergraduate Student
Myesha Blanchard, High School Student
Steven Ligator, High School Teacher

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Scientists consider temperature the most important variable to define the state of the atmosphere. Global maps of Earth Surface Temperature (EST) are required for many applications such as climate change research, global warming studies, weather prediction, etc. According to Berkely Earth "Global land temperatures have increased by 1.5 degrees C over the past 250 years, and about 0.9 degrees in the past 50 years". Performing in situ temperature measurement for the global EST is almost impossible. Alternatively, the relationship between an object's internal kinetic heat and its radiant energy (external energy) help to utilize satellites remote sensing technology to measure true temperature for most real objects.
LaGCC Earth Surface Temperature project (L-ESTP) was created to develop a sequential algorithm to organize, correct, analyze, and summarize satellite data for estimating the average Earth Surface Temperature (EST) using Matlab and Python software. In addition, LESTP objectives included: (1) conduct five stages of systematic data corrections, including determining, eliminating, and interpolating outliers, in addition to geometric (map and longitude) correction; (2) validate the L-ESTP algorithm result with the ongoing temperature results from NASA and NOAA; (3) improve students' skills and knowledge (research, satellite remote sensing, programming, statistical calculations and tools, communication, team work, reading/writing in discipline, etc).

LaGuardia Community College — 2012

Earth Surface Temperature Analysis: Satellite Remote Sensing and Considerations
Team Members

Principal Investigator (PI):
Dr. Yasser Hassebo

Team Members:
Yassine Mhandi, Undergraduate Student
Anderson Valencia, Undergraduate Student
Yusef Esa, Undergraduate Student
Reina Trumpet, High School Student
George Vaitsos, High School Teacher

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Temperature, as a biophysical variable, is a powerful variable critical to many investigators. Scientists consider it the most important variable to define the state of the atmosphere. Global maps of Earth Surface Temperature (EST) are required for many applications such as climate change research, global warming studies, weather prediction, etc. Performing in situ (in-place) temperature measurement for the global EST is almost impossible. On the other hand, the relationship between an object's internal kinetic heat and its radiant energy (external energy) help to utilize remote sensing technology for most real objects. Such relationships, allow scientists to use satellites to measure an object's true kinetic temperature. Thermal infrared remote sensing has been widely used to measure earth surface temperature from satellites.
In this project, students were given datasets, collected from satellites of global maps of EST for six years. A total of 17,520 files representing 181 million real data points was provided. Students used two programming tools to organize, summarize, and analyze the given data.

LaGuardia Community College — 2011

Spectral Analysis of Jupiter's Atmosphere with Hubble Telescope Data
Team Members

Principal Investigator (PI):
Dr. James Frost

Team Members:
Brendan Smyth, Undergraduate Student
Jaquelin Erazo, High School Student

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Our research concerns the study of Jupiter's atmosphere through spectral analysis. In particular Jupiter's "Great Dark Spot", which is roughly twice the size of Earth, located near the north pole of Jupiter. The phenomenon that is the great dark spot is ephemeral, and was only observed for two short periods of time. First it was captured in 1997 by the Hubble Space Telescope using its Wideview Planetary Camera, and then again in 2000 by NASA's Cassini flyby of Jupiter. The Great Dark Spot was observed by Hubble Space Telescope in both September and November of 1997, at wavelengths of 218, 255, 336, 410, 673, 890, and 953 nanometers. Using the programming software IDL(Interactive Data Language), we are taking this September and November data and performing a spectral analysis of each wavelength at different locations on the planet. Creating spectral plots for each region of Jupiter (north pole, south pole, equator, and the dark spot) as a function of the different wavelengths at different CML locations. In performing this spectral analysis of the different regions of Jupiter's atmosphere and the great dark spot, we will help bring about a better understanding of Jupiter's atmosphere. The results show that as we move towards the poles the concentration of aerosols increases. Also, there are differences in the concentration and composition of the aerosols in the north and in the south poles. The aerosols in the South pole are thicker than the ones in the North. We also found that the aerosols in the North were the same all around with respect to longitude, whereas in the South pole they are more concentrated at CML=0. The data analysis of the Great Dark Spot showed no differences from that of any other region.

LaGuardia Community College — 2007

Aerosols in Jupiter's Poles
Team Members

Principal Investigator (PI):
Dr. James Frost

Team Members:
Carla Brathwaite, High School Teacher
Juan Rodriguez, Undergraduate Student
Irving Andino, Undergraduate Student
Akil Joseph, High School Student

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Jupiter's North pole has a dark spot which was first seen by the Hubble Space Telescope in September 1997 and then in 2000 by the Cassini space craft on its way to Saturn. This research will look at Jupiter in the filters 218nm, 255nm, 336nm, 410nm, 673nm, 890nm (methane absorption filter), and 953nm. Data will be looked at from 5 to 6 locations in the dark spot. Also data at times when the spot is not present (Aug '99, Nov '97, Jun '96) will be looked at for comparison. Spectral transmission (brightness) plots of these points will be made. It is hoped to obtain clues as to the composition of the aerosols in the North Polar Region because we believe aerosols created the dark spot.

Light Polarization Studies of Sunlight and its Relationship to Aerosols in the Earth's Atmosphere
Team Members

Principal Investigator (PI):
Dr. James Frost

Team Members:
Carla Brathwaite, High School Teacher
Juan Rodriguez, Undergraduate Student
Irving Andino, Undergraduate Student
Ilana Lefkovitz, High School Student

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Aerosols are solid or liquid particles suspended in the atmosphere. They reflect and scatter light, causing some of the radiation from the sun to bounce back into space, generating a cooling effect on the atmosphere. Our goal is to evaluate the role aerosols play in earth's climate change. Aerosols vary in size, composition, and lifetime. This makes it extremely hard to quantify their cooling effect, which is comparable in magnitude to the warming effect of greenhouse gases. Various remote sensing instruments retrieve information about aerosol properties, which include the size distribution, Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT) also denoted by τ, and the refractive index of the aerosols. The ongoing project at LaGuardia Community College involves the use of a handheld polarimeter, a CIMEL sunphotometer, and two handheld Microtop sunphotometers to characterize the aerosols in our atmosphere. The studies that we conduct will ultimately help scientists make better computer models which make predictions about future climate change.

LaGuardia Community College — 2006

Aerosol Remote Sensing
Team Members

Principal Investigator (PI):
Dr. James Frost

Researchers:
Juan Rodrigez
Irving Andino
Karol Baldyga

Ilana Lefkovitz, SHARP Apprentice

Final Research Presentation
Summary

This project involves the use of a hand-held polarimeter, a rotating shadowband radiometer, and a CIMEL sunphotometer. By analyzing the data from all three ground instruments accurate values for the optical depth, the size, and refractive index of the aerosols can be obtained. Such information will be used by scientists to develop better computer models which make predictions about future climate change.

Conclusion:
Both the data from the LaGuardia Community College MFR and the hand-held polarimeter seem to confirm the data from the CIMEL at CCNY, since all instruments measured a tau near .30.

On July 17, as shown by the CIMEL radius plot, most of the aerosols were comprised of either two sizes: .1 (fine) or 5 (coarse) microns. Since the polarimeter cannot account for these coarse aerosols due to its being monomodal, variations existed in the data for each of the color wavelengths. This is also why an exact refractive index could not be obtained but instead approximated at a range of 1.35-1.45.

LaGuardia Community College — 2005

The Effect of Aerosols on the Climate
Team Members

Principal Investigator (PI):
Dr. Tim Hall

Researchers:
Juan Rodrigez
Irving Andino
Johan Toloza

Hugh Alvarado, SHARP Apprentice

Final Research Presentation
Summary

The greatest uncertainty in the forecasting of future climate is probably the role that aerosols play in the energy budget of the planet. They can either heat up or cool down the atmosphere depending on their composition. The magnitude of their forcing is somewhere between +0.5 to –0.5 Watts/sqm which is comparable to the magnitude of the warming produced by the greenhouse gases. Due to the wide range of their possible compositions, their variability of time being suspended in the atmosphere, and their wide variations in temporal and spatial characteristics, their role in the role climate remains unknown both on a local and global scale.

Satellites are currently being used to investigate aerosols properties. However their retrieval algorithms give values for the aerosol optical depth, a value related to the concentration, their size distribution, and refractive index, but ground measurements are needed for calibration and validation of these results. Sunphotometer networks are currently being used and it is found that they can accurately verify optical depths of the aerosols, but beyond that their values for size distributions and refractive index are questionable.

The Hand-Held Polarimeter Project seeks to aid in the verifications of satellite and sunphotometer parameter retrievals by offering another ground based method of obtaining the aerosol optical depth, particle size, and refractive index. The project will consider a new technique for data collection and analysis which will combine the sunphotometer and polarimeter techniques. The sunphotometer value for the optical depth will be used as an input into the polarimeter retrieval algorithm and from this the polarimeter values for refractive index and particle size will be derived. Initial results indicate this will give superior values for the refractive indices. This project seeks to investigate this technique further. The polarimeter instruments are student built at a cost of about $55. The project involves student data collection and data analysis.

LaGuardia Community College — 2004

The Great Dark Vortex on Jupiter
Team Members

Principal Investigator (PI):
Dr. James Frost

Researchers:
Harry Charalambous, SHARP Apprentice

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Study of the Great Dark Vortex on Jupiter is meant to discover how and why the vortex forms and what factors contribute to its formation. The Great Dark Vortex, also known as the Great Dark Spot is currently under investigation for its peculiar formation and deterioration. The three dates studied are on September 1997 with the dark spot clearly visible, November 1997 with signs of the deterioration of the Great Dark Spot and its trail, and on August 1999 with no sign of the Great Dark Spot. This information is gathered using the Hubble Space Telescope.

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