Enhanced Auditory Alert Systems

Spatial modulation is used to improve the detectability of an alert signal. Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California Auditory warning systems for human interfaces are often designed around criteria that depend primarily upon signal loudness. It is well understood from the auditory literature that, by making an alert signal substantially louder than the measured background noise level, one can insure that an alert signal will be detectable. Such auditory alert systems have been used in the aviation industry for a number of years in order to raise the awareness of the crew for terrain proximity, for example. However, if an alert signal amplitude is too loud, the alert signal may produce a “startle effect” that hinders performance in some high-stress situations.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs

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Carbon Monoxide Silicate Reduction System

This system generates high oxygen yields from lunar soil and can be used for the production of ferrosilicon and high-grade silicon metal. Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas Oxygen produced from lunar resources is a very desirable product to greatly reduce the mass lifted from the Earth’s surface in support of exploration activities. The ability to obtain high yields of oxygen from undifferentiated lunar soils enables planning for near-term piloted missions to the Moon. One technology tested for the production of lunar oxygen has been hydrogen reduction of lunar soils. Oxygen yields from hydrogen reduction are generally between one and four percent of un-beneficiated lunar soil.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs

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Modeling Lunar Surface Systems Concepts of Operations

The plans that are generated can be optimized for a specific set of goals, such as maximizing science data or minimizing power consumption. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California The goal of this work was to model lunar surface systems using a declarative planning system (ASPEN — Activity Scheduling/Planning Environment), provide a parameterizable Excel document to aid in the model generation, and deliver both Mac and PC versions. An adaptation of Microsoft Excel and ASPEN for Lunar Surface System concepts of operations was used. The goal of the system is to enable searching through several concepts of operations. A concept of operations consists of a proposed schedule of high-level activities and parameterization of resources (e.g., power, communications, oxygen, water, etc.) where three distinct phases of development occurred: (1) initial system development for Lunar, (2) planning system development for Lunar, and (3) planning system development for NASA’s 13th Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) live trial.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Electronics & Computers, Briefs

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Portable Distributed Scripts (PoDS)

A Python application enables a user to execute a series of independent tasks on multicore clusters. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland “Portable Distributed Scripts” (PoDS) is a Python application that allows users to execute serial independent tasks concurrently across nodes on multicore clusters. The package consists of a set of scripts working together through a simple text-based interface. A user only needs to provide minimal information to perform the desired tasks.

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Portable Distributed Scripts (PoDS)

A Python application enables a user to execute a series of independent tasks on multicore clusters. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland “Portable Distributed Scripts” (PoDS) is a Python application that allows users to execute serial independent tasks concurrently across nodes on multicore clusters. The package consists of a set of scripts working together through a simple text-based interface. A user only needs to provide minimal information to perform the desired tasks.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Electronics & Computers, Briefs

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Slot-Sampled Optical PPM Demodulation

Algorithms enable a post-processing receiver architecture that uses a fixed-rate ADC sample capture technology as an alternative to real-time receiver architecture. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California In order to demodulate an optical PPM signal, the receiver must align its slot clock to that of the received waveform to count the number of arrivals within each slot. The large bandwidth expansion factor of PPM, M/log2(M) requires a prohibitively large sample rate when a fixed sample clock N times greater than the slot frequency is used to provide a slot timing resolution of 1/Nth of a slot period. Alternative techniques that achieve slot alignment resolution through adjustment of the phase of the sample clock to align with the slot boundary require custom hardware and are not compatible with post-processing receiver architectures that use fixed-rate analog-to-digital (ADC) sample capture technology.

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Small-Object Detection via Fast Discrete Curvelet Transform

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California The detection of distant objects in an image is relevant to applications in defense, security, and robotics. Successfully detecting objects of interest has been a common problem with respect to intelligent computer vision. Automatic target recognition (ATR) systems have been formulated and employed in numerous ways to tackle the difficulty of unsupervised targeting.

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