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Telescience Resource Kit, Release 3

Release 3 of the Telescience Resource Kit (TReK) has become available. TReK 3 is a suite of application programs that can be used to monitor and control a payload aboard the International Space Station. TReK provides both local ground support system services and an interface to utilize remote services provided by the Payload Operations Integration Center.

Posted in: Software, Briefs

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Software Tools for Fault Management Technologies

The ability to detect, diagnose, and respond to faults and anomalies in a timely fashion is a major concern in space missions. Fault Management (FM) primarily concerns operational mitigations of spacecraft failures. Qualtech Systems worked towards development of software tools for facilitating FM by using TEAMS (Testability Engineering and Maintenance System) as the underlying platform. The software tools will aid in satisfying a large subset of FM objectives: Determining completeness and appropriateness of FM designs and implementations; decreasing the labor and time required to develop and test FM models and algorithms; improving visualization of FM designs and analytic results; aiding testing and V&V (verification and validation) of FM designs and determining residual risk resulting from incomplete coverage; and increasing reliability of FM systems are major areas of focus.

Posted in: Software, Briefs

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Atmospheric Turbulence Modeling for Aero Vehicles

An accurate way was developed to model atmospheric turbulence that will help improve new vehicle design. Atmospheric turbulences are fractional order, and because of that, it is difficult to simulate these disturbances. Past models fall short in providing sufficiently accurate simulation of atmospheric turbulence, especially at high altitudes, for control designs of high-speed atmospheric vehicles. In this innovation, fractional order approximations representative of actual atmospheric turbulence have been formulated that fit measured atmospheric turbulence. This is accomplished by scaling the Kolmogorov spectral factorizations to convert them into finite energy von Karman forms, and then by deriving an explicit fractional circuit-filter analog for this model.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Electronics & Computers, Briefs

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Autonomic Quiescence

An alternative method to self-destruct shuts down an agent or craft that is in danger or endangering a mission. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland Biologically inspired autonomous and autonomic systems (AAS) are essentially about creating self-directed and self-managing systems based on metaphors such as that of the autonomic nervous system. Agent technologies have been identified as a key enabler for engineering autonomy and autonomicity in systems, both in terms of retrofitting into legacy systems and designing new systems. Handing over responsibility to the systems raises concerns for humans. This invention is a result of continued investigation into a strand of research on how to engineer self-protection mechanisms into the systems to assist in providing mechanisms to control the scope and consequences of using autonomy and autonomicity.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Briefs

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Optimization of OT-MACH Filter Generation for Target Recognition

A substantial improvement in detection performance has been achieved. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California An automatic Optimum Trade-Off Maximum Average Correlation Height (OT-MACH) filter generator for use in a gray-scale optical correlator (GOC) has been developed for improved target detection. While the OT-MACH filter has been shown to be an optimal filter for target detection, actually solving for the optimum is too computationally intensive for multiple targets. Instead, an adaptive step gradient descent method was tested to iteratively optimize the three OT-MACH parameters a, b, and g. The feedback for the gradient descent method was a composite of the performance measures, correlation peak height, and peak to side-lobe ratio.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs

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A Decision Support Tool to Assess Upper-Level Winds for Space Launch

Faster, more reliable forecasts have been developed. An Excel-based graphical user interface (GUI) was developed for the 45th Weather Squadron (45 WS) Launch Weather Officers (LWOs), allowing them to assess numerical weather prediction model forecasts of upper-level winds and compare the forecasts to observations from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station meteorological soundings and the Kennedy Space Center 50-MHz Doppler Radar Wind Profiler in support of space launch operations at the Eastern Range. The GUI allows the LWOs to first initialize the models by comparing the 0-hour model forecasts to the observations, and then to display model forecasts in 3-hour intervals from the current time through 12 hours.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Electronics & Computers, Briefs

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Change Detection in Orbital Images Using Relative Landmark Graphs

A method was developed for comparing the set of landmarks extracted from two images of the same location. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Traditional methods for change detection involve the pixel-wise registration of two images and a subsequent differencing operation that highlights any changes at the individual pixel level. These methods have two limitations: (1) they are computationally expensive, and (2) they are extremely sensitive to misregistration and any changes in illumination.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs

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