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Protein Microscope for International Space Station (PromISS)

Research project PX/8/LP/03 (Research action PX)

Persons :

  • Prof. dr.  DUBOIS Frank - Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
    Coordinator of the project
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2005-31/12/2005

Description :

The PromISS mission objective was to perform protein crystal growth experiment in microgravity conditions. The objectives of the present proposition is to develop high-level information processing tools in order to help the scientists in the data exploitation. The main different aspects that he will be developed are:

1. Crystal recognition: The aim is to be able to isolate and follow in time each crystal as a unique object to study it by using a ROI (Region Of Interest). This work is the continuation and the improvement of a previously published paper in Applied Optics by our team
2. Automatic segmentation: An automatic recognition of the focus plane of each ROI of the point (1) has to be implemented. Note that the automated recognition of the focus plane is a difficult problem that is depending on the application. Indeed, it can be shown that the total amount of information is an invariant with respect to the digital holographic refocusing. Therefore, general refocusing methods used in image processing, that are based on the lost of information when the defocusing distance is increased, cannot be used. It results a necessary extraction of the specific information from the particular objects that are under test. The second aspect is the 2d segmentation of the crystal in the focus plan (extraction of the crystal image from its context).
3. Tracking of crystal in the volume. When the crystals have been correctly identified, the objective is to follow their evolution in time. However, this implementation requires different high-level processing. Indeed, we have to take into account the possible temporal occlusion of crystal, its possible temporal stop, its size change and the typical blurred noise of digital holography.

Satellite(s) or flight opportunity(ies):

- International Space Station

Field of research:

Physical Science: Fluid Physics: Structure and Dynamics of Fluids and Multiphase Systems

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