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Active Aircraft Pylon Noise Control System
Unmanned Aerial Systems Traffic Management
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Sonar Inspection Robot System
Applying the Dynamic Inertia Measurement Method to Full-Scale Aerospace Vehicles
Method and Apparatus for Measuring Surface Air Pressure
Fully Premixed, Low-Emission, High-Pressure, Multi-Fuel Burner
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Robust Software Architecture for Robots

Generalized software can be readily tailored for specific applications. “Robust Real-Time Reconfigurable Robotics Software Architecture” (“R4SA”) is the name of both a software architecture and software that embodies the architecture. The architecture was conceived in the spirit of current practice in designing modular, hard, real-time aerospace systems. The architecture facilitates the integration of new sensory, motor, and control software modules into the software of a given robotic system. R4SA was developed for initial application aboard exploratory mobile robots on Mars, but is adaptable to terrestrial robotic systems, real-time embedded computing systems in general, and robotic toys.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences

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R4SA for Controlling Robots

The R4SA GUI mentioned in the immediately preceding article is a user-friendly interface for controlling one or more robot(s). This GUI makes it possible to perform meaningful real-time field experiments and research in robotics at an unmatched level of fidelity, within minutes of setup. It provides such powerful graphing modes as that of a digitizing oscilloscope that displays up to 250 variables at rates between 1 and 200 Hz. This GUI can be configured as multiple intuitive interfaces for acquisition of data, command, and control to enable rapid testing of subsystems or an entire robot system while simultaneously performing analysis of data.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences

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Bio-Inspired Neural Model for Learning Dynamic Models

This model could be a basis for fast speech- and image-recognition computers. A neural-network mathematical model that, relative to prior such models, places greater emphasis on some of the temporal aspects of real neural physical processes, has been proposed as a basis for massively parallel, distributed algorithms that learn dynamic models of possibly complex external processes by means of learning rules that are local in space and time. The algorithms could be made to perform such functions as recognition and prediction of words in speech and of objects depicted in video images. The approach embodied in this model is said to be “hardware-friendly” in the following sense: The algorithms would be amenable to execution by special-purpose computers implemented as very-large-scale integrated (VLSI) circuits that would operate at relatively high speeds and low power demands.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences

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Evolutionary Computing Methods for Spectral Retrieval

Solutions to the inverse problem of spectral retrieval are found in a computationally efficient process. A methodology for processing spectral images to retrieve information on underlying physical, chemical, and/or biological phenomena is based on evolutionary and related computational methods implemented in software. In a typical case, the solution (the information that one seeks to retrieve) consists of parameters of a mathematical model that represents one or more of the phenomena of interest.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences

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Monitoring Disasters by Use of Instrumented Robotic Aircraft

Real-time synoptic data would help in coordinating and planning responses. Efforts are under way to develop data- acquisition, data- processing, and data- communication systems for monitoring disasters over large geographic areas by use of uninhabited aerial systems (UAS) — robotic aircraft that are typically piloted by remote control. As integral parts of advanced, comprehensive disaster-management programs, these systems would provide (1) real-time data that would be used to coordinate responses to current disasters and (2) recorded data that would be used to model disasters for the purpose of mitigating the effects of future disasters and planning responses to them.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences

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Complexity for Survival of Living Systems

Interactions between systems and their mental images enable unlimited increase of complexity. A logical connection between the survivability of living systems and the complexity of their behavior (equivalently, mental complexity) has been established. This connection is an important intermediate result of continuing research on mathematical models that could constitute a unified representation of the evolution of both living and non-living systems. Earlier results of this research were reported in several prior NASA Tech Briefs articles, the two most relevant being “Characteristics of Dynamics of Intelligent Systems” (NPO- 21037), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 26, No. 12 (December 2002), page 48; and “Self-Supervised Dynamical Systems” (NPO- 30634) NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 27, No. 3 (March 2003), page 72.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences

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Using Drained Spacecraft Propellant Tanks for Habitation

A document proposes that future spacecraft for planetary and space exploration be designed to enable reuse of drained propellant tanks for occupancy by humans. This proposal would enable utilization of volume and mass that would otherwise be unavailable and, in some cases, discarded. Such utilization could enable reductions in cost, initial launch mass, and number of launches needed to build up a habitable outpost in orbit about, or on the surface of, a planet or moon. According to the proposal, the large propellant tanks of a spacecraft would be configured to enable crews to gain access to their interiors.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Mechanical Components, Mechanics

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