Special Coverage

Iodine-Compatible Hall Effect Thruster
Precision Assembly of Systems on Surfaces (PASS)
Development of a Novel Electrospinning System with Automated Positioning and Control Software
2016 Create The Future Design Contest Open For Entries
Clamshell Sampler
Shape Memory Alloy Rock Splitter
Deployable Extra-Vehicular Activity Platform (DEVAP) for Planetary Surfaces
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Algorithm-Based Fault Tolerance Integrated With Replication

In a proposed approach to programming and utilization of commercial off-the-shelf computing equipment, a combination of algorithm-based fault tolerance (ABFT) and replication would be utilized to obtain high degrees of fault tolerance without incurring excessive costs. The basic idea of the proposed approach is to integrate ABFT with replication such that the algorithmic portions of computations would be protected by ABFT, and the logical portions by replication.

Posted in: Briefs

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Targeting and Localization for Mars Rover Operations

A design and a partially developed application framework were presented for improving localization and targeting for surface spacecraft. The program has value for the Mars Science Laboratory mission, and has been delivered to support the Mars Exploration Rovers as part of the latest version of the Maestro science planning tool. It also has applications for future missions involving either surface-based or low-altitude atmospheric robotic vehicles.

Posted in: Briefs

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Terrain-Adaptive Navigation Architecture

A navigation system designed for a Mars rover has been designed to deal with rough terrain and/or potential slip when evaluating and executing paths. The system also can be used for any off-road, autonomous vehicles. The system uses more sophisticated terrain analysis, but also converges to computational complexity similar to that of currently deployed navigation systems when the terrain is benign. The system consists of technologies that have been developed, integrated, and tested onboard research rovers in Mars analog terrains, including goodness maps and terrain triage, terrain classification, remote slip prediction, path planning, high-fidelity traversability analysis (HFTA), and slip-compensated path following.

Posted in: Briefs

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An Efficient Reachability Analysis Algorithm

A document discusses a new algorithm for generating higher-order dependencies for diagnostic and sensor placement analysis when a system is described with a causal modeling framework. This innovation will be used in diagnostic and sensor optimization and analysis tools. Fault detection, diagnosis, and prognosis are essential tasks in the operation of autonomous spacecraft, instruments, and in-situ platforms. This algorithm will serve as a power tool for technologies that satisfy a key requirement of autonomous spacecraft, including science instruments and in-situ missions.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Method of Cross-Linking Aerogels Using a One-Pot Reaction Scheme

A document discusses a new, simplified method for cross-linking silica and other oxide aerogels, with a polymeric material to increase strength of such materials without adversely affecting porosity or low density. The usual process is long and arduous, requiring multiple washing and soaking steps to infiltrate oxide with the polymer precursor after gelation. Additionally, diffusion problems can result in aerogel monoliths that are not uniformly cross-linked.

Posted in: Briefs

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Industry Update: Analysis & Simulation Software

In our annual poll of executives at leading analysis and simulation software companies, we posed questions dealing with virtual prototyping, multiphysics, the roles of the designer and analyst, and how software vendors are helping their customers remain competitive. Here’s what they had to say about major changes in their market, and how new technology will benefit users.

Posted in: Articles

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Phase Matching of Diverse Modes in a WGM Resonator

Phase matching is necessary for exploitation of nonlinear optical phenomena. Phase matching of diverse electromagnetic modes (specifically, coexisting optical and microwave modes) in a whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) resonator has been predicted theoretically and verified experimentally. Such phase matching is necessary for storage of microwave/terahertz and optical electromagnetic energy in the same resonator, as needed for exploitation of nonlinear optical phenomena.

Posted in: Photonics, Briefs, TSP

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