Tim Nagle-McNaughton ’18, a PhD student in the Earth and Planetary Science program at the University of New Mexico, was selected for the 2019 NASA MUREP Doctoral Fellowship Program for his proposal: Automated Recognition and Classification of Martian Transverse Aeolian Ridges.
NASA’s MUREP fellowship “is designed to support independently conceived research or senior designed projects by highly qualified graduate students, in disciplines needed to help advance NASA’s missions, thus affording students the opportunity to directly contribute to advancements in STEM-related areas of study. NASA Fellowship opportunities are focused on innovation and the generation of measurable research results, which contribute to NASA’s current and future science and technology goals.”
Tim’s project will use single-band (ie. black-and-white) imagery and machine learning techniques to recognize and classify transverse aeolian ridges (TARs) on Mars. TARs are ancient, dune-like sand ridges. Though common on Mars, TARs do not occur on Earth and very little is know about their origin. Tim adds that “The texture-based image classification technique we’re using has broad applications in the identification of other features on both Mars and Earth in high-resolution single-band imagery, and applications to other problems such as autonomous driving.”
Congratulations, Tim, and good luck in your research!