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Are FAA drone rules too restrictive?

This week's Question: This month, the Federal Aviation Administration proposed long-awaited rules on the commercial use of small drones, requiring operators to be certified, fly only during daylight, and keep their aircraft in sight. The ruling, for now, prevents drones from being used for a range of possible other commercial uses, including crop inspection and package delivery. What do you think? Are FAA drone rules too restrictive?

Posted in: Question of the Week

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Multivariate Time Series Search Capability to Identify Complex Patterns in Large Datasets

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California There exist many datasets that can be viewed as multivariate time series, such as the daily high temperature at a locality, sensor recordings in diagnostic systems and scientific data, and music and video recordings. These time series reside in large repositories, and there is often a need to search for particular time series exhibiting certain types of behaviors. Many current approaches to time series search are too slow on large repositories, or constrain the range of possible queries.

Posted in: Briefs, Data Acquisition, Mathematical/Scientific Software

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NGDCS Linux Application for Imaging-Spectrometer Data Acquisition and Display

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A simple method of controlling recording and display of imaging spectrometer data in (airborne) flight was needed. Existing commercial packages were overly complicated, and sometimes difficult to operate in a bouncing plane. The software also was required to keep up with the imaging data rate, while still running on commodity hardware and a desktop operating system. Finally, the software needed to be as robust as possible — repeating a flight because of lost data is sometimes impossible, and always expensive.

Posted in: Briefs, Displays/Monitors/HMIs, Data Acquisition

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Kepler Community Data Analysis Tools

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California A series of scripts stitch together existing open-source Python modules for the purpose of displaying, cleaning, and measuring photometric properties within public Kepler data. The intent of these tools is to provide convenience to the Kepler science community, and to increase cost efficiency for the project. With 500+ users in the community, an open-source development provides the best resource for sharing tools, while minimizing cost and duplicated effort.

Posted in: Briefs, Data Acquisition, Mathematical/Scientific Software

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Detection of Carried and Dropped Objects in Surveillance Video

This software analyzes a video input stream and automatically detects carried and dropped objects in near-real-time. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California DARPA’s Mind’s Eye Program aims to develop a smart camera surveillance system that can autonomously monitor a scene and report back human-readable text descriptions of activities that occur in the video. An important aspect is whether objects are brought into the scene, exchanged between persons, left behind, picked up, etc. While some objects can be detected with an object-specific recognizer, many others are not well suited for this type of approach. For example, a carried object may be too small relative to the resolution of the camera to be easily identifiable, or an unusual object, such as an improvised explosive device, may be too rare or unique in its appearance to have a dedicated recognizer. Hence, a generic object detection capability, which can locate objects without a specific model of what to look for, is used. This approach can detect objects even when partially occluded or overlapping with humans in the scene.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Cameras, Electronics & Computers, Data Acquisition, Detectors

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Signal Processing Software for Remote Vital Sign Monitoring

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California This software provides the processing for a non-contact system that remotely estimates the heart rate and respiration rate of individuals as they carry on daily activities, and also enables detection of heart and respiration rate through walls.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Patient Monitoring, Data Acquisition

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Visualization of fMRI Network Data

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Functional connections within the brain can be revealed through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which shows simultaneous activations of blood flow in the brain during response tests. However, fMRI specialists currently do not have a tool for visualizing the complex data that comes from fMRI scans. They work with correlation matrices that table what functional region connections exist, but they have no corresponding visualization.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Visualization Software, Electronics & Computers, Data Acquisition

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