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SPICE Module for the Satellite Orbit Analysis Program (SOAP)

A SPICE module for the Satellite Orbit Analysis Program (SOAP) precisely represents complex motion and maneuvers in an interactive, 3D animated environment with support for user-defined quantitative outputs. (“SPICE” stands for Spacecraft, Planet, Instrument, Camera-matrix, and Events). This module enables the SOAP software to exploit NASA mission ephemeris represented in the JPL Ancillary Information Facility (NAIF) SPICE formats. Ephemeris types supported include position, velocity, and orientation for spacecraft and planetary bodies including the Sun, planets, natural satellites, comets, and asteroids. Entire missions can now be imported into SOAP for 3D visualization, playback, and analysis.

Posted in: Briefs

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Enhanced Reporting of Mars Exploration Rover Telemetry

Figure 1. This top view of a METERS Auto-Generated Main Web Pageincludes a motion summary in plain textMars Exploration Rover Enhanced Telemetry Extraction and Reporting System (METERS) is software that generates a human-readable representation of the state of the mobility and arm-related systems of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) vehicles on each Martian solar day (sol). Data are received from the MER spacecraft in multiple streams having various formats including text messages, sparsely-sampled engineering quantities, images, and individual motorcommand histories. Typically, only parts of this data generated on Mars are received the same day they were created, so the summary report tools have to work well even when data is missing. All information is grouped by type into easilybrowsable Web pages (see Figure 1).

Posted in: Briefs

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Facilitating Analysis of Multiple Partial Data Streams

Robotic Operations Automation: Mechanisms, Imaging, Navigation report Generation (ROAMING) is a set of computer programs that facilitates and accelerates both tactical and strategic analysis of time-sampled data — especially the disparate and often incomplete streams of Mars Explorer Rover (MER) telemetry data described in the immediately preceding article. As used here, “tactical” refers to the activities over a relatively short time (one Martian day in the original MER application) and “strategic” refers to a longer time (the entire multi-year MER missions in the original application).

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Service-Oriented Architecture for NVO and TeraGrid Computing

The National Virtual Observatory (NVO) Extensible Secure Scalable Service Infrastructure (NESSSI) is a Web service architecture and software framework (see figure) that enables Web-based astronomical data publish - ing and processing on grid computers such as the National Science Foun - dation’s TeraGrid. Charac ter istics of this architecture include the following:

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Wrapper Script

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on the launch padThe MRO OLVM wrapper script software allows Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) sequence and spacecraft engineers to rapidly simulate a spacecraft command product through a tool that simulates the onboard sequence management software (OLVM). This script parses sequence files to determine the appropriate time boundaries for the sequence, and constructs the script file to be executed by OLVM to span the entirety of the designated sequence. It then constructs script files to be executed by OLVM, constructs the appropriate file directories, populates these directories with needed input files, initiates OLVM to simulate the actual command product that will be sent to the spacecraft, and captures the results of the simulation run to an external file for later review. Additionally, the tool allows a user to manually construct the script, if desired, and then execute the script with a simple command line.

Posted in: Briefs

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Using Laser Vibrometry to Validate Gossamer Space Structures

NASA has been developing large ultra-lightweight structures commonly referred to as Gossamer space structures for many years to reduce launch costs and to exploit the unique capabilities of particular concepts. For instance, dish antennas are currently being pursued because they can be inflated in space to sizes as large as 30 meters and then rigidized to enable high data rate communications.

Posted in: Articles, Features, ptb catchall, Photonics

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Nanophotonics Principles and Applications

The term “nanophotonics” is used to encompass the scientific study of the interaction of matter and light at the nanometer scale. It is possible to design nanometer scale devices to slow down, enhance, produce, or manipulate light by understanding how light behaves as it travels through, or otherwise interacts with, materials at the nanometer scale. Two applications where nanophotonics have had an impact on society are devices used in optical switching for telecommunications and Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) used in display technology and lighting.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, ptb catchall, Photonics

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