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Fusing Image Data for Calculating Position of an Object

A computer program has been written for use in maintaining the calibration, with respect to the positions of imaged objects, of a stereoscopic pair of cameras on each of the Mars Explorer Rovers Spirit and Opportunity. The program identifies and locates a known object in the images. The object in question is part of a Mössbauer spectrometer located at the tip of a robot arm, the kinematics of which are known.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs, TSP

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Balloon Design Software

PlanetaryBalloon Version 5.0 is a software package for the design of meridionally lobed planetary balloons. It operates in a Windows environment, and programming was done in Visual Basic 6. By including the effects of circular lobes with load tapes, skin mass, hoop and meridional stress, and elasticity in the structural elements, a more accurate balloon shape of practical construction can be determined as well as the room-temperature cut pattern for the gore shapes. The computer algorithm is formulated for sizing meridionally lobed balloons for any generalized atmosphere or planet. This also covers zero-pressure, overpressure, and super-pressure balloons. Low circumferential loads with meridionally reinforced load tapes will produce shapes close to what are known as the “natural shape.”

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs, TSP

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Automated Identification of Nucleotide Sequences

STITCH is a computer program that processes raw nucleotide-sequence data to automatically remove unwanted vector information, perform reverse-complement comparison, stitch shorter sequences together to make longer ones to which the shorter ones presumably belong, and search against the user’s choice of private and Internet-accessible public 16S rRNA databases. [“16S rRNA” denotes a ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) sequence that is common to all organisms.] In STITCH, a template 16S rRNA sequence is used to position forward and reverse reads. STITCH then automatically searches known 16S rRNA sequences in the user’s chosen database(s) to find the sequence most similar to (the sequence that lies at the smallest edit distance from) each spliced sequence.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs, TSP

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Rocket Science 101 Interactive Educational Program

To better educate the public on the basic design of NASA’s current mission rockets, Rocket Science 101 software has been developed as an interactive program designed to retain a user’s attention and to teach about basic rocket parts. This program also has helped to expand NASA’s presence on the Web regarding educating the public about the Agency’s goals and accomplishments.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs

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Modeling and Grid Generation of Iced Airfoils

SmaggIce Version 2.0 is a software toolkit for geometric modeling and grid generation for two-dimensional, singleand multi-element, clean and iced airfoils. A previous version of SmaggIce was described in “Preparing and Analyzing Iced Airfoils,” NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 8 (August 2004), page 32. To recapitulate: Ice shapes make it difficult to generate quality grids around airfoils, yet these grids are essential for predicting ice-induced complex flow. This software efficiently creates high-quality structured grids with tools that are uniquely tailored for various ice shapes.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs, TSP

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Handling Input and Output for COAMPS

Two suites of software have been developed to handle the input and output of the Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Prediction System (COAMPS), which is a regional atmospheric model developed by the Navy for simulating and predicting weather. Typically, the initial and boundary conditions for COAMPS are provided by a flatfile representation of the Navy’s global model. Additional algorithms are needed for running the COAMPS software using global models. One of the present suites satisfies this need for running COAMPS using the Global Forecast System (GFS) model of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The first step in running COAMPS — downloading of GFS data from an Internet file-transfer-protocol (FTP) server computer of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) — is performed by one of the programs (SSC-00273) in this suite. The GFS data, which are in gridded binary (GRIB) format, are then changed to a COAMPS-compatible format by another program in the suite (SSC-00278). Once a forecast is complete, still another program in the suite (SSC-00274) sends the output data to a different server computer.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs

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