Special Coverage

Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines
Vibration Tables Shake Up Aerospace and Car Testing
Supercomputer Cooling System Uses Refrigerant to Replace Water

Providing Internet Access to High-Resolution Lunar Images

The OnMoon server is a computer program that provides Internet access to high-resolution Lunar images, maps, and elevation data, all suitable for use in geographical information system (GIS) software for generating images, maps, and computational models of the Moon. The OnMoon server implements the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Map Service (WMS) server protocol and supports Moon-specific extensions. Unlike other Internet map servers that provide Lunar data using an Earth coordinate system, the OnMoon server supports encoding of data in Moon-specific coordinate systems.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Cartography, Data exchange, Internet of things, Cartography, Data exchange, Internet of things
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Expressions Module for the Satellite Orbit Analysis Program

The Expressions Module is a software module that has been incorporated into the Satellite Orbit Analysis Program (SOAP). The module includes an expressions-parser submodule built on top of an analytical system, enabling the user to define logical and numerical variables and constants. The variables can capture output from SOAP orbital-prediction and geometric-engine computations. The module can combine variables and constants with built-in logical operators (such as Boolean AND, OR, and NOT), relational operators (such as >, <, or =), and mathematical operators (such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, modulus, exponentiation, differentiation, and integration). Parentheses can be used to specify precedence of operations.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Trajectory control, Mathematical analysis, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Satellites
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Virtual Satellite

Virtual Satellite (VirtualSat) is a computer program that creates an environment that facilitates the development, verification, and validation of flight software for a single spacecraft or for multiple spacecraft flying in formation. In this environment, enhanced functionality and autonomy of navigation, guidance, and control systems of a spacecraft are provided by a virtual satellite — that is, a computational model that simulates the dynamic behavior of the spacecraft.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences, Computer simulation, Flight control systems, Navigation and guidance systems, Flight control systems, Navigation and guidance systems, Satellites, Spacecraft, Vehicle dynamics
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Small-Body Extensions for the Satellite Orbit Analysis Program (SOAP)

An extension to the SOAP software allows users to work with tri-axial ellip-soid-based representations of planetary bodies, primarily for working with small, natural satellites, asteroids, and comets. SOAP is a widely used tool for the visualization and analysis of space missions. The small body extension provides the same visualization and analysis constructs for use with small bodies. These constructs allow the user to characterize satellite path and instrument cover information for small bodies in both 3D display and numerical output formats.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Trajectory control, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Flight management systems, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Flight management systems, Displays, Displays, Satellites
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Scripting Module for the Satellite Orbit Analysis Program (SOAP)

This add-on module to the SOAP software can perform changes to simulation objects based on the occurrence of specific conditions. This allows the software to encompass simulation response of scheduled or physical events. Users can manipulate objects in the simulation environment under programmatic control. Inputs to the scripting module are Actions, Conditions, and the Script. Actions are arbitrary modifications to constructs such as Platform Objects (i.e. satellites), Sensor Objects (representing instruments or communication links), or Analysis Objects (user-defined logical or numeric variables). Examples of actions include changes to a satellite orbit ( v), changing a sensor-pointing direction, and the manipulation of a numerical expression. Conditions represent the circumstances under which Actions are performed and can be couched in If-Then-Else logic, like performing v at specific times or adding to the spacecraft power only when it is being illuminated by the Sun.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Trajectory control, Computer simulation, Customization, Satellites
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Core Technical Capability Laboratory Management System

The Core Technical Capability Lab - oratory Management System (CTCLMS) consists of dynamically generated Web pages used to access a database containing detailed CTC lab data with the software hosted on a server that allows users to have remote access. Users log into the system with their KSC (or other domain) username and password. They are authenticated within that domain and their CTCLMS user privileges are then authenticated within the system. Based on the different user’s privileges (roles), menu options are displayed. CTCLMS users are assigned roles such as Lab Member, Lab Manager, Natural Neighbor Integration Manager, Organ - izational Manager, CTC Program Manager, or Administrator. The role assigned determines the users’ capabilities within the system. Users navigate the menu to view, edit, modify or delete laboratory and equipment data, generate financial and managerial reports, and perform other CTC lab-related functions and analyses.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Internet, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Internet, Data management, Logistics
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MRO SOW Daily Script

The MRO SOW daily script (wherein “MRO” signifies “Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter” and “SOW” signifies “sequence systems engineer of the week”) is a computer program that automates portions of the MRO daily SOW procedure, which includes checking file-system sizes and automated sequence processor (ASP) log files. The MRO SOW daily script effects clear reporting of (1) the status of, and requirements imposed on, the file system and (2) the ASP log files.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Artificial intelligence, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Artificial intelligence, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Documentation
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NASA Celebrates 50 Years

“The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join it or not, and it is one of the greatest adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in this race for space. “We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for all people. “We choose to go to the Moon. We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because the goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.”

President John F. Kennedy
Rice University
September 12, 1962

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Education, Education and training, Historical reference, People and personalities, Spacecraft
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50 Years of Inspiration

We wanted NASA Tech Briefs readers to be a part of our special issue celebrating NASA’s 50th anniversary. So, we asked you to tell us how NASA, and NASA Tech Briefs, have inspired you over the past 50 years. We wanted to know how NASA helped you in your career or business, or improved your everyday life. What benefits have you derived from NASA technologies?

Although space prohibits publishing every comment here, we thank all of you who shared your stories of inspiration with us.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Human factors, Career and professional development, Education, Education and training, Historical reference, People and personalities
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Tool for Inspecting Alignment of Twinaxial Connectors

Misalignment can be detected before damage is done.

A proposed tool would be used to inspect alignments of mating twinaxial-connector assemblies on interconnecting wiring harnesses. More specifically, the tool would be used to inspect the alignment of each contact pin of each connector on one assembly with the corresponding socket in the corresponding connector on the other assembly. It is necessary to inspect the alignment because if mating of the assemblies is attempted when any pin/socket pair is misaligned beyond tolerance, the connection will not be completed and the dielectric material in the socket will be damaged (see Figure 1).

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Mechanics, Connectors and terminals, Wiring, Connectors and terminals, Wiring, Tools and equipment, Inspections
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