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SPACEBORNE IMAGING RADAR FOR MONITORING THE EARTH'S ENVIRONMENT - AN EDUCATIONAL PACKAGE
A Freeman and K. Crandall
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
California Institute of Technology
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has produced an educational package entitled 'The SIR-C Education Program' (SIR-CED), designed as a two- to three-week module for middle school and high school students. The SIR-CED package has also been used to teach college-level undergraduates, particularly those taking non-science majors, and by engineers and scientists with an interest in radar imaging, but who are not necessarily imaging radar specialists. The package includes two educational CD-ROMs called the SIR-C Education Pre-launch CD-ROM, Volume ID SIRCED01 and the SIR-C Education Post-launch CD-ROM, Volume ID SIRCED02. In the SIR-CED program students receive some training in understanding, displaying and analyzing radar images, then may choose their own research project to explore further. Students are given access to the same data and data analysis tools used by scientists who utilize radar images in their studies.
The SIRCED02 CD-ROM contains actual results and data from the two SIR-C/X-SAR missions. Some new features included on this second SIR-CED CD-ROM are movie visualizations from the missions and the data produced during them, a 'roadmap' to the CD-ROM which uses the Mosaic browse tool, a simplified top level directory structure, plus a sample project. Otherwise, the organization of the second SIR-CED CD-ROM is very similar to the first. To access the CD-ROM, you'll need a computer with a CD-ROM drive connected to it and properly installed. The SIR-CED CD-ROMs can be opened on Macintosh, PC, SUN and Indigo computer systems. Place the CD-ROM in the caddy of your CD drive, then gently insert the caddy into the drive itself, and off you go. On the Macintosh computer, when you open up the SIRCED02 CD-ROM, you should see four folders and two files arranged something like this:
Top level file organization of the SIRCED02 CD-ROM
On a PC or Unix computer, when you open the CD you'll see a directory listing something like this:
ReadmeTx.txt text file (ASCII)
ReadmeWd.txt text file (Microsoft Word)
The contents of these files and folders, and how to access the information they contain, are described below.
Roadmap - the contents of this folder let you take a look at the SIRCED02 CD-ROM using a browse tool called Mosaic developed by NCSA. If you are a regular World Wide Web user, you will probably have heard of Mosaic, which is a very powerful tool for accessing information (including text, images, videos, sound) on the Web. Mosaic can be run in local mode, to access information stored on your computer disk, or, as we have done on, a CD-ROM. We have provided versions of the Mosaic 'road map' for SIRCED02 for Macintosh, PC and Unix systems. These can be found in the folders Mac, PC and Unix inside the Roadmap folder.
ReadmeWd.txt - this text file describes the organization of the SIR-CED CD-ROM in more detail. Open this file first or take a look at the road map provided in the Roadmap folder. If you have the program Microsoft Word (5.0 or higher recommended for the Macintosh, 6.0 for PCs), you can open this file using it.
ReadmeTx.txt - this text file describes the organization of the SIR-CED CD-ROM in more detail. This file is an MS-DOS text file version of the ReadmeWd.txt file. It can be opened using the program Teachtext on the Macintosh (provided) or using almost any Word Processing program on PC, SUN or Indigo computers.
Document - this folder contains a complete set of the documents which form part of the overall SIR-CED package. They are a Teacher's Resource Guide, Lesson Plans and Presentation Slides, which are in separate folders labeled Teachers, Lessons and Slides. All of these documents were written in Microsoft Word for the Macintosh (v. 5.1).
Software - this folder contains the software for the Macintosh, PC, SUN and Indigo computers provided with the SIR-CED package, organized into folders which are labeled accordingly.
Data - this folder contains all the image data files used in the SIR-CED program. It is arranged into five sub-folders:
Mods1to4: contains all the data files referred to in the Lesson Plans
Supersit: contains all the image data for the SIR-C supersites
Othersit: contains all the image data for other sites of interest
FULLSIZE: contains some full size (12MByte) files from NASA/JPL's AIRSAR for selected scenes
gifs: contains GIF file format versions of the PICT files found in folders Mods1to4, Supersit and Othersit
How to use the SIR-CED CD-ROMs
The SIR-CED CD-ROMs can be opened using a CD reader on Macintosh, SUN, and IBM PC computers. They contain a User's guide, a guide for teachers, lesson plans, and images from sites all around the world covered by SIR-C. Software for displaying the images provided on all three supported computer platforms is included on the CD. The comprehensive data set incorporated into the SIR-CED CD-ROM may also be useful for some engineers and scientists, who wish to explore the potential of radar observation. The CDs are designed so that they can be used separately, so you don't have to have both of them to begin using the SIR-CED program. You'll find a description below of the contents of each of the two SIR-CED CD-ROMs, plus some frequently asked questions.