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Layer Analyzing
Sponsored by JPL
Ken Luo, Christopher Pierre Nguyen, Kimberly Reyes, Edwin Ruiz, Elizabeth Sanchez, Alyssa Solon
Advisor: Elaine Kang, Yuqing Zhu


Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a federally funded research facility and development center managed for NASA by Caltech that carries out robotic space and Earth science missions. JPL has conducted robotic missions to study all the planets in the solar system as well as asteroids, comets and the Earth's moon. Today JPL continues its world-leading innovation, implementing programs in planetary exploration, Earth science, space-based astronomy, and technology development.

There have been various missions to the moon such as Apollo 15, 16, and 17 just to name a few. Through those missions, data about elements and terrain were gathered. Some instruments were more precise in gathering information and thus produced larger data files. Some data was only collected from a landing site while others were gathered from the entire moon. That also contributes to disparity of the data files.

Through the missions involving collecting data from Earth's moon JPL has created Moon Trek, a mapping and modeling portal for the Moon. There are over 2500 layers available on Moontrek, which store information about the moon such as elevation, element concentration, and roughness. Not all of the layers contain raw data which can be analyzed. Moreover, Moontrek does not allow for statistical analysis of layers besides the elevation layer. Visuals of data through graphs is also lacking. To address this issue, JPL is partnering with California State University - Los Angeles, College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology to create an analytical tool consisting of functions that will analyze a single or multiple layers. Such calculations will include minimum, maximum, average, median, standard deviation, variance, histogram, etc. for a single layer. Analysis of multiple layers will include correlation, covariance, clustering, and visual representation of the results. Such analysis will provide more insight about the Moon and the elements there to the user and perhaps more importantly to scientists. 

Group Members

Team Leader - Edwin Ruiz (

Documentation Lead - Alyssa Solon (

Communication Lead - Kimberly Reyes (

Visualization Lead - Elizabeth Sanchez (

Team Member - Christopher Nguyen (

Team Member - Ken Luo (


Emily Law -

Shan Malhotra -

Mike Rueckert -

George Chang -


Yuqing Zhu -

Elaine Kang -


[Private Resource] Original Trek Code
Jupyter Notebook
Software Requirements Specification
Software Design Document
Project Poster
Code Zip
Layer Analyzing Project Report
[Private Resource] Layer Analyzing Project Report Word Document
Fall 2017 Layer Analysis PPT
Spring 2018 Layer Analysis Presentation