Tracking Moons of Saturn in Cassini Narrow-Angle-Camera Images

Sushant (Major) Kc’22, a 3-2 engineering student, tracked Saturn’s moons using Cassini images.

Navigating the NAC images in this observation is a challenge because spacecraft pointing telemetry is not of sufficient precision to track orbiting ring features, and the images lack context markers such as the ring ansa or background stars. This research will use NASA Planetary Data System Rings Node ephemerides to identify and track moons appearing in the images, with a goal of constructing Python programs to determine the pointing in each image, interpolating to estimate pointing in images that do not contain moons.

Major’22, who hails from Kathmandu, Nepal, is pursuing a 3-2 dual degree in engineering. After completing an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, Major plans to obtain a graduate degree in Aerospace Engineering. Major’s advisor is Britt Sharringhausen.

June 15, 2020

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