Special Coverage

Clamshell Sampler
Shape Memory Alloy Rock Splitter
Deployable Extra-Vehicular Activity Platform (DEVAP) for Planetary Surfaces
2016 Create The Future Design Contest Open For Entries
The Future of Exploration Starts With 3D Printing
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Real-Bogus Machine Learning Systems at the Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California The intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) is a wide-field sky survey of the optical transient sky (e.g., supernovae, variable stars) that uses image subtraction for the discovery of astronomical transients. Astronomical transients, such as supernovae, are only observable on a timescale of weeks to months. In order to thoroughly study supernova physics, it is important to detect the supernova as early as possible to trigger follow-up assets that can begin observing the event in multiple wavelengths prior to its decline.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers

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Scalable Gaussian Process Regression

For multimodal data, this method gives higher prediction accuracy than a single approximate model. Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California Block GP is a Gaussian Process regression framework for multimodal data that can be an order of magnitude more scalable than existing state-of-the-art nonlinear regression algorithms. The framework builds local Gaussian Processes on semantically meaningful partitions of the data and provides higher prediction accuracy than a single global model with very high confidence. The method relies on approximating the covariance matrix of the entire input space by smaller covariance matrices that can be modeled independently, and can therefore be parallelized for faster execution.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers

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MBSE-Driven Systems Engineering Visualization Suite

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California There is a need to define the information architecture, ontologies, and patterns that drive the construction and architecture of Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) models, but less clarity is given to the logical follow-on of that effort: how to practically leverage the resulting semantic richness of a wellformed populated model.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers

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Python Turbulence Detection Algorithm (PyTDA)

Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama This software, written in the Python programming language, estimates turbulence from Doppler radar data. It ingests radar data using the Department of Energy’s Py-ART open-source radar software toolkit.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers

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The Future of Exploration Starts With 3D Printing

Last year, engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, tested an additive manufacturing process that is being used to make some of the parts for NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), more efficiently and affordably without compromising performance and safety. Selective laser melting (SLM) is a 3D printing process used to create complex parts for the engine and other components of the rocket. Four RS-25 engines and two solid rocket boosters will power the core stage of the SLS.

Posted in: Articles

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Solar Orbiter Instrument Filters Powered by Brushed Motor

maxon RE 13 brushed DC motors maxon precision motors Fall River, MA 508-677-0520 www.maxonmotorusa.com In 2018, the European Space Agency (ESA) will send the Solar Orbiter into space. A joint project of the ESA and NASA, the Solar Orbiter will be an important milestone in the exploration of the Sun. An American rocket will take the probe into space, and it will travel for three years until it can begin its work.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Editor’s Choice: May 2016

A non-explosive rock splitter uses high-temperature shape memory alloys (SMAs) as the driving member. The SMAs, in the form of cylindrical pellets, generate extremely large forces to fracture rock-like materials and minerals when used with DC voltage heaters placed in boreholes. The devices can be used for breaking rocks where the fracture of large samples is required, or where explosive or impact techniques can’t be used because of the damage they could cause to the underlying sample. Find out more HERE.

Posted in: UpFront

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