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Is The Mars Rover Cam Life-Blind?

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posted on Feb, 14 2004 @ 05:57 PM
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Brilliant. So if it can't detect ALL POSSIBLE LIFE FORMS in any given presentation form, it must be "life-blind", right?


To the most likely forms of life?

Yes.




posted on Feb, 14 2004 @ 06:08 PM
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Originally posted by ArchAngel

Brilliant. So if it can't detect ALL POSSIBLE LIFE FORMS in any given presentation form, it must be "life-blind", right?


To the most likely forms of life?

Yes.


What leads you to believe that the "most likely" forms of life on Mars would EXCLUSIVELY be those containing only chlorophyll B?

You still seem to think that (or at least act as if) only an RGB presentation in the human vision space serves as an effective tool to get a clear and unambiguous signal that chlorophyll B is present.... and that both of the two absorption lines of chlorophyll B must be fully detected in order to "see" it.

Have you done any research AT ALL on how hyperspectral imaging is used to detect the different forms of chlorophyll in varying concentrations on EARTH from orbit?

[Edited on 2-14-2004 by BarryKearns]



posted on Feb, 14 2004 @ 06:18 PM
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Before you go too deep into your "most likely" argument, why not go back to the algae reference you provided, and look at the chart again.

Of the nine groups listed, only three of them list only chlorophyll B. Six of them don't, and four of those list chlorophyll A.



posted on Feb, 14 2004 @ 06:23 PM
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Of the nine groups listed, only three of them list only chlorophyll B. Six of them don't, and four of those list chlorophyll A.


The red absorption data for chlorophyll B cannot be detected by the cam with any filters.

That is why I focused on that. Without L3, which has not been used in any Press Page images you cannot see either A or B.



posted on Feb, 14 2004 @ 06:25 PM
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In reply to the original topic.

The rovers are life-blind other than having cameras and microscopes. As I understood it, the object of this mission was to find hematite and signs that there had been water on mars.


marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov...


So yes, you could be right.

[Edited on 14-2-2004 by Zzub]



posted on Feb, 14 2004 @ 06:32 PM
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Originally posted by ArchAngel

Of the nine groups listed, only three of them list only chlorophyll B. Six of them don't, and four of those list chlorophyll A.


The red absorption data for chlorophyll B cannot be detected by the cam with any filters.

That is why I focused on that. Without L3, which has not been used in any Press Page images you cannot see either A or B.


Again, why persist in this notion that the only way to "see" chlorophyll is via an RGB combination on a PRESS PAGE?

Do you really think life scientists spend time poring over the NASA press image RGB combinations with the naked eye when trying to find life signals?

Is the Pancam the perfect tool for trying to easily see chlorophyll B? No, of course not. Does that mean it is "blind" to it? Not by a country mile.

Still waiting for an answer regarding whether you've looked into how hyperspectral imaging is used on Earth to detect the different chlorophyll types.

Here's a hint: Some of the most reliable tests use narrow-band images that fall OUTSIDE the human visible spectrum, and miss that "red peak" you're obsessing over completely.



posted on Feb, 15 2004 @ 11:39 AM
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Is it theoretically possible that there might exist some hypothetical form of life on Mars that is not detectable using the tool? Sure, almost anything is possible.


Thank you for all the replies, and info. Other than the stage where the 'almost color' images are produced I understand what happens from the point the light leaves the sun, until the the light from the monitor reaches your eyes.
______________________

This was the begining of my 'rationalization'. The cam is, in a way, color blind. There are many parts of the spectrum absent in the gaps between. This does not mean that the cam cannot see most things, but that other methods must be used to see many things, and a few things will be very hard to identify because it is the missing part of the spectrum where they differ from the surroundings.

If you look through a colored filter certain colors seem to disappear. This is not the same way that the cam is color-blind, but shows that you can hide something in plain sight with the right selection of data.

If you had data from all filters for every perspective then the job of looking for specific signatures of life becomes easier. But of course we don't because of bandwidth considerations(?). If you look closer at the specific filters released for each perspective you will see a patern, but not a symmetrical pattern. Many times this is one or two filters, usually with L2 L7 Sometimes there is three as L257 L256 L456 etc...

There a few examples with all filters, but most are missing some, if not most of the data that could have been obtained.

The point being that by selectively excluding certain filters NASA could make the cam color-blind to specific things.

Blue-algae? Or red, or black...what about snow algae, and other simple plants, or even chemosynthetic microbes?

Certain kinds of Blue-green algae should look orange with L456 RGB. That is one example from one filter set.

What forms of life would be hidden with what filter sets?

IF you already knew the type of life on Mars and you wanted to hide it you could do so by not releasing certain filters for areas where it is visible. For other areas full sets could be released.

By design the system can hide many things. Look at what could be hidden, rather than what can be seen. I have not looked into all possibilities of filter sets for all types of simple life but I know that from the released raw data there must be something that can be hidden.

If NASA had been more open from the start, and followed the plan then they would have had some credibility. I don't trust them, and I can see how they could hide things by selective release of data.

The cam is color blind, and NASA chooses what it can, or cannot see.



posted on Feb, 15 2004 @ 12:00 PM
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You know thats how every digital camera works though right?

Also, blue-green algae, or any form of chlorophyll is an extremely long way from being 'the most likely form of life' that we will find on Mars. Apart from the obvious fact that the proteins in Chlorophyll (at least as we know it) would be unable to stand conditions on the Martian surface. Chlorophyll requires H2O as well as CO2 and gives off O2 as a byproduct.

Neither H2O or O2 is available on the surface in any quantity that would sustain or indicate the presence of any Chlorophyll or photosynthesis as we know it at all.

Remember, it is a geological mission. The PanCam is absolutely not Life-Blind, as shown many times in this thread. It is in fact a lot better at identifying life than any digital camera you might buy. As it is able to register a lot more points on the objects reflectance spectra than any regular RGB camera.

Also you will notice that different filter combinations are used for different tasks if you browse the RAW images folder. One of the first images of Mimi was infact taken in L357 or L356 I think.

[Edited on 15-2-2004 by Kano]



posted on Feb, 15 2004 @ 12:26 PM
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Does anyone know the exact route of the Mars mission data stream? Are the primary antennas in Pine Gap, for example?

"Any space mission that included Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Mariner, Voyager, Clementine, and all the rest. All data initially came transmitted to Pine Gap then it was relayed to JPL or wherever after sanitizing. " - John Lear

[Edited on 15-2-2004 by Condorcet]



posted on Feb, 15 2004 @ 12:45 PM
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The data from Rovers is recieved via the Deep Space Network, this can be direct from the Rovers or via the NASA (and now the ESA) orbiters around Mars.

What mission was Pine Gap supposedly the downlink for? I don't recall that ever being the case?

[Edited on 15-2-2004 by Kano]



posted on Feb, 15 2004 @ 12:58 PM
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Thanks for the link Kano, that's what I was looking for. I don't know that Pine Gap was ever used as a downlink for any missions. According to the link below the facility is used to intercept data from and determine telemetry of satellites.

www.geocities.com...

Photos of the facility appear to show gigantic radar arrays

www.rense.com...



posted on Feb, 15 2004 @ 01:05 PM
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"Also, blue-green algae, or any form of chlorophyll is an extremely long way from being 'the most likely form of life' that we will find on Mars. Apart from the obvious fact that the proteins in Chlorophyll (at least as we know it) would be unable to stand conditions on the Martian surface. Chlorophyll requires H2O as well as CO2 and gives off O2 as a byproduct."

There are many odd forms of life in very cold, and sometimes dark places on earth. What is required for 'life' on Mars is not proven to be lacking. Chlorophyll is not the only photosynthetic molecule. The rings are a wonder not matched by technology, but this is not the only method of using sunlight to separate C02. What happens with the carbon is just as important in the reaction.

I was not exculding any possible types of life, only taking a close look at one example with one set of filters.

Certain types of blue-green algae looking Orange with L456 is one example.

"Neither H2O or O2 is available on the surface in any quantity that would sustain or indicate the presence of any Chlorophyll or photosynthesis as we know it at all."

There is plenty of CO2, and there just might be water. We cannot exclude it.

"Remember, it is a geological mission."

Convenient.

"The PanCam is absolutely not Life-Blind, as shown many times in this thread. It is in fact a lot better at identifying life than any digital camera you might buy. As it is able to register a lot more points on the objects reflectance spectra than any regular RGB camera."

It can be life-blind to specific forms of life through simple control over what filters are released for what area's. By excluding a few they can hide what they need to.

"Also you will notice that different filter combinations are used for different tasks if you browse the RAW images folder. One of the first images of Mimi was infact taken in L357 or L356 I think."

I have looked through it all looking for patterns. What is there, and what is not there, and why is it there. NASA is doing a much better job releasing data now, but we will never get all filters from all perspectives.



posted on Feb, 15 2004 @ 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by ArchAngel
"Remember, it is a geological mission."

Convenient.

Uh, it has has always been a geological mission and was planned as such. Rovers designed for a Biological search would be entirely different beasts. But theres no point sending rovers to search for life when we have no clue where or what form Martian life might take, we have to start with the basic search for water. This is achieved by investigating the geological history of the Planet.


It can be life-blind to specific forms of life through simple control over what filters are released for what area's. By excluding a few they can hide what they need to.

As pointed out, noone will rely on the RGB images for identification of any possible findings of life. There is a great deal of Mission data that is not being released to the public at present. In fact all data that is not from the cameras. This will all become available post-mission.


I have looked through it all looking for patterns. What is there, and what is not there, and why is it there. NASA is doing a much better job releasing data now, but we will never get all filters from all perspectives.

Noone is relying on the PanCam to identify everything it sees. It is a marvel in itself, but is mainly used to decide where to go and what to investigate. The rovers have a swag of other instruments with which to get the nitty gritty on what it is seeing. The PanCam images are released to the public more as a courtesy because the public want to see whats going on up there. The PanCam is not Life-Blind at all.

Again regarding the chlorophyll. The conditions on the surface are too extreme for chlorophyll. Also as pointed out, chlorophyll needs as much H2O as it does CO2 to Generate the sugars that it needs. Having abundant CO2 is useless without readily available liquid H2O. Which there is none of apparent around the rovers, so why waste bandwidth taking extra shots of everything with different filters looking for chlorophyll?

You can however be sure that if any free liquid water was found then the area would be hit with everything the Rovers have got. Just in case.

[Edited on 15-2-2004 by Kano]



posted on Feb, 15 2004 @ 02:16 PM
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"As pointed out, noone will rely on the RGB images for identification of any possible findings of life. "



Consider it with only L257.

What if this is a dual mission? The geologists get what they want, and are focused on it so do not worry about the other side, and the biologists are not upset when they do not get the data they could have used because they know it is a geology mission.

We know NASA was holding back pics before, why not now? How do we know there is not some time lag from receiving raw data till it is published?

If they wanted to hide a dual mission from everyone involved there is a method of doing it within the system.

[Edited on 15-2-2004 by ArchAngel]



posted on Feb, 15 2004 @ 08:53 PM
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Originally posted by ArchAngel
It can be life-blind to specific forms of life through simple control over what filters are released for what area's. By excluding a few they can hide what they need to.


I'm sorry, but this has got to be one of the most obtuse usages of the term "blind" I've ever heard. By this logic, I'm blind for about eight hours every night because I'm sleeping, and I'm blind thousands of times per day because I blink.

Blind does not mean CURRENTLY NOT LOOKING. Blind means INCAPABLE OF SEEING.

If you have a complaint about the choice of filters that the team is using at any given moment, then frame the complaint as that... poor choices by the team.

For the love of all that's holy, stop blaming the damned tool just because it can be used in different ways, and someone is using it in a way that is not to your satisfaction!

That's not the tool's fault. That's the fault of how the users are CHOOSING TO USE THE TOOL.

The tool is not blind to life. There are a huge number and variety of life forms that could be detected by the tool, in a variety of methods. I doubt that you can come up with a single life form that the Pancam is utterly unable to detect IN SOME MANNER OR ANOTHER.

That doesn't mean that it has to detect it in EVERY form or manner... if it can detect it AT LEAST ONE WAY, then it is not "blind".

Choosing to close your eyes is not the same as being blind. Please learn the difference, and adjust your language accordingly. The builders of the Pancam deserve no less.

If you want to blame the team for mis-using the tool, by all means, go ahead... but for the umpteenth time, the tool is not to blame if it produces inappropriate results when improperly used.

Have you looked into hyperspectral imaging of chlorophyll B on Earth yet?

[Edited on 2-15-2004 by BarryKearns]



posted on Feb, 15 2004 @ 08:57 PM
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Originally posted by ArchAngel
The cam is color blind, and NASA chooses what it can, or cannot see.


Your monitor is color blind by that logic, too. Which conspiracy caused that?

Shall we sue all monitor manufacturers, since not every color can be produced? What if life forms on Earth show up in those non-displayable colors... does that mean that there is a worldwide conspiracy to prevent any pictures of them from being shared and viewed via the Web?

Alert the media!



posted on Feb, 15 2004 @ 09:04 PM
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"Your monitor is color blind by that logic, too. Which conspiracy caused that?"

Not if you start with an RGB set of filters....

"Shall we sue all monitor manufacturers, since not every color can be produced?"

Nothing wrong with the monitor. The problem is the filters.

"What if life forms on Earth show up in those non-displayable colors... does that mean that there is a worldwide conspiracy to prevent any pictures of them from being shared and viewed via the Web?"

Only if they use something other than an RGB set of filters.

"Alert the media!"

When you do don't place the blame on the monitors. It is the filters, and what NASA shows, and does not show.



posted on Feb, 15 2004 @ 10:25 PM
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As Barry has pointed out, that is a different proposition to what you started with Arch. It is also back into the realms of speculation, weakened by the fact that there is quite a good deal of images taken with many filters on the raw images pages.



posted on Feb, 15 2004 @ 10:31 PM
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Originally posted by ArchAngel
"Your monitor is color blind by that logic, too. Which conspiracy caused that?"

Not if you start with an RGB set of filters....


YES, if you start with an RGB set of filters!

I've already explained that there are a massively larger number of colors that CANNOT BE DISPLAYED IN RGB ON COMPUTER SCREENS, then there are colors that can be displayed.

There are literally TRILLIONS of colors that your monitor can never display, despite the fact that your eye can see them. By the logic you've used so far, all monitors are "blind" to any lifeform that uses those colors.

The crux of your argument is that the colors will be "wrong" on shots of certain life forms. But the monitors themselves produce pictures that are the "wrong" color too, in almost every single case... the overlap of displayable colors to true colors is VANISHINGLY SMALL.

Despite the fact that the colors are almost always wrong on computer screens, the underlying data IS STILL USEFUL. That's the fundamental point that you need to understand... just because you don't get easy, pretty pictures without any work, doesn't mean that the tool is broken, or that anything is "blind".

The data is good, and the tool CAN BE USED to detect any arbitrary form of life you'd care to name. By any logical and reasonable definition, it therefore cannot be considered "blind".

You seem to have taken to heart the old adage "there are none so blind as those who choose to not see"... and act as if it were literally, physically true.

What I find even sadder, though, is that while railing about its apparent adoption at NASA, you seem to have adopted it as a personal credo yourself... why else would you so steadfastly refuse to educate yourself on known ways that the tool can be used for CLEAR, UNAMBIGUOUS DETECTION OF CHLOROPHYLL B?

"And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" -- Matthew 7:3

Why persist in railing about what the Pancam allegedly "cannot" be used for, when it's clear that you're simply too poorly informed on the subject to know whether your allegation is anywhere close to true or not?

Are you interested in the truth, or just interested in slinging mud because it makes for a good read?

You cannot judge the truth if you are ignorant to what it actually is.

I've done more than enough to educate you on the subject, but you steadfastly refuse to accept the implications. I've just about given up.

It's clear to me that the only thing you're remotely likely to accept is knowledge that you discover for yourself, since you reject the truth when it's offered by others.

That's why I've been encouraging you to go learn for yourself how hyperspectral imaging is used today as a highly effective tool, despite the fact that the filters used for detection with it are narrow and do not overlap... and are therefore "blind" in your lexicon.

I can't force you to learn... but I can stop wasting my time trying to educate someone who doesn't WANT TO LOOK AT THE TRUTH when it is shown to them.

When you show that you're able to look at and accept as true evidence that CONTRADICTS your pet conspiracy theory, and stop erroneously slandering the makers of the Pancam just because you don't like the way the team is using it... then I'll consider resuming the discussion with you.

But not before. I consider the work that I've done so far on the subject more than sufficient to immunize most reasonable people from the specious arguments you're presenting. I'll not waste any more of my time and effort on a lost cause without good reason.



posted on Feb, 15 2004 @ 11:10 PM
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I can't force you to learn... but I can stop wasting my time trying to educate someone who doesn't WANT TO LOOK AT THE TRUTH when it is shown to them.


If there were a terra-forming project on Mars, and they wanted to use the rover to check on progress they could hide the dual nature with the system by excluding certain filters from area's they wanted to hide without drawing too many questions.

The cam can be effectively blind to many things, in the raw data, or color pictures. Starting from what you want to hide it would be simple to place the gaps between the filters where they need to be, and excluding certain filter shots where needed. The nature of trasmittance filters allows this.

From any single filter you would not be able to detect many forms of life. From two the number would go down, but you would never reach zero with the filters that are published for many area's.

The cam CAN be used to find life, but it is not simple, and you must know what you are looking for first...

Those who control it can stop everyone else from doing that by simply excluding the right filters from the right scenes.

It is all rationalization, but I think it is clear that IF this is a dual mission then there is a method of hiding what they are looking for without witholding so much data that questions are asked.

I understand what you are saying.

You do not understand what I am saying.

There is a way to hide things if you start from knowing what is to be hidden, choose the filters, and choose what filters are published for what areas.

There is a built in method that can work. The only question is if this was the goal, and if this is what is really happenening, not if it is possible. Do I have any proof other than it is possibile? No.

Long shot? Not at all. It is the simplest way to achieve what I describe.

Hide it in plain sight and no one will even think to look for it.



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