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Data Assimilation Cycling for Weather Analysis

This software package runs the atmospheric model MM5 in data assimilation cycling mode to produce an optimized weather analysis, including the ability to insert or adjust a hurricane vortex. The program runs MM5 through a cycle of short forecasts every three hours where the vortex is adjusted to match the observed hurricane location and storm intensity. This technique adjusts the surrounding environment so that the proper steering current and environmental shear are achieved. MM5cycle uses a Cressman analysis to blend observation into model fields to get a more accurate weather analysis. Quality control of observations is also done in every cycle to remove bad data that may contaminate the analysis. This technique can assimilate and propagate data in time from intermittent and infrequent observations while maintaining the atmospheric field in a dynamically balanced state.

Posted in: Briefs

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PyPele Rewritten To Use MPI

A computer program known as “PyPele,” originally written as a Python-language extension module of a C++ language program, has been rewritten in pure Python language. The original version of PyPele dispatches and coordinates parallel- processing tasks on cluster computers and provides a conceptual framework for spacecraft-mission- design and -analysis software tools to run in an embarrassingly parallel mode. The original version of PyPele uses SSH (Secure Shell — a set of standards and an associated network protocol for establishing a secure channel between a local and a remote computer) to coordinate parallel processing. Instead of SSH, the present Python version of PyPele uses Message Passing Interface (MPI) [an unofficial de-facto standard language-independent application programming interface for message-passing on a parallel computer] while keeping the same user interface.

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Remote-Sensing Time Series Analysis, a Vegetation Monitoring Tool

The Time Series Product Tool (TSPT) is software, developed in MATLAB®, which creates and displays high signal-to-noise Vegetation Indices imagery and other higher-level products derived from remotely sensed data. This tool enables automated, rapid, large-scale regional surveillance of crops, forests, and other vegetation. TSPT temporally processes high-revisit-rate satellite imagery produced by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and by other remote-sensing systems. Although MODIS imagery is acquired daily, cloudiness and other sources of noise can greatly reduce the effective temporal resolution. To improve cloud statistics, the TSPT combines MODIS data from multiple satellites (Aqua and Terra). The TSPT produces MODIS products as single time-frame and multitemporal change images, as time-series plots at a selected location, or as temporally processed image videos. Using the TSPT program, MODIS metadata is used to remove and/or correct bad and suspect data. Bad pixel removal, multiple satellite data fusion, and temporal processing techniques create high-quality plots and animated image video sequences that depict changes in vegetation greenness. This tool provides several temporal processing options not found in other comparable imaging software tools. Because the framework to generate and use other algorithms is established, small modifications to this tool will enable the use of a large range of remotely sensed data types.

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JAVA Stereo Display Toolkit

This toolkit provides a common interface for displaying graphical user interface (GUI) components in stereo using either specialized stereo display hardware (e.g., liquid crystal shutter or polarized glasses) or anaglyph display (red/blue glasses) on standard workstation displays. An application using this toolkit will work without modification in either environment, allowing stereo software to reach a wider audience without sacrificing high-quality display on dedicated hardware.

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Improved CLARAty Functional-Layer/Decision-Layer Interface

Improved interface software for communication between the CLARAty Decision and Functional layers has been developed. [The Coupled Layer Architecture for Robotics Autonomy (CLARAty) was described in “Coupled-Layer Robotics Architecture for Autonomy” (NPO-21218), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 26, No. 12 (December 2002), page 48. To recapitulate: the CLARAty architecture was developed to improve the modularity of robotic software while tightening coupling between planning/execution and basic control subsystems. Whereas prior robotic software architectures typically contained three layers, the CLARAty contains two layers: a decision layer (DL) and a functional layer (FL).] Types of communication supported by the present software include sending commands from DL modules to FL modules and sending data updates from FL modules to DL modules.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Supplier Management System

Supplier Management System (SMS) allows for a consistent, agency-wide performance rating system for suppliers used by NASA. This version (2.0) combines separate databases into one central database that allows for the sharing of supplier data. Information extracted from the NBS/Oracle database can be used to generate ratings. Also, supplier ratings can now be generated in the areas of cost, product quality, delivery, and audit data. Supplier data can be charted based on real-time user input. Based on these individual ratings, an overall rating can be generated.

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Miniature, Lightweight, One-Time-Opening Valve

A small solder plug is melted to release a pressurized gas. The figure depicts the main parts of a prototype miniature, lightweight, one-time- opening valve. Like some other miniature one-time-opening valves reported in previous issues of NASA Tech Briefs, this valve is opened by melting a material that blocks the flow path. This valve is designed to remain closed at some temperature between room temperature and cryogenic temperature until the time of opening.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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