Tech Briefs

Java Radar Analysis Tool

Java Radar Analysis Tool (JRAT) is a computer program for analyzing two dimensional (2D) scatter plots derived from radar returns showing pieces of the disintegrating Space Shuttle Columbia. JRAT can also be applied to similar plots representing radar returns showing aviation accidents, and to scatter plots in general. The 2D scatter plots include overhead map views and side altitude views. The superposition of points in these views makes searching difficult. JRAT enables three-dimensional (3D) viewing: by use of a mouse and keyboard, the user can rotate to any desired viewing angle. The 3D view can include overlaid trajectories and search footprints to enhance situational awareness in searching for pieces. JRAT also enables playback: time-tagged radar return data can be displayed in time order and an animated 3D model can be moved through the scene to show the locations of the Columbia (or other vehicle) at the times of the corresponding radar events. The combination of overlays and playback enables the user to correlate a radar return with a position of the vehicle to determine whether the return is valid. JRAT can optionally filter single radar returns, enabling the user to selectively hide or highlight a desired radar return. This program was written by Mariusz P. Zaczek of Johnson Space Center. For further information, contact the Johnson Technology Transfer Office at (281) 483-3809. MSC-23742