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JWST IV&V Simulation and Test (JIST) RT Logic T501 Emulator

Emulator using only software implements the behavior of a processor. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland In order to develop a software-only test environment for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) mission, a solution was needed to send commands and receive telemetry between the TCTS (Telemetry and Command Test Set) and CMM-S card. The as-is solution requires the utilization of commercial off-the-shelf hardware (RT Logic Telemetrix T501 processor) and custom CMM-S hardware.

Posted in: Articles, Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers

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New Navigation Software Cuts Self-Driving Car Costs

A new software system developed at the University of Michigan uses video game technology to help solve one of the most daunting hurdles facing self-driving and automated cars: the high cost of the laser scanners they use to determine their location.Ryan Wolcott, a U-M doctoral candidate in computer science and engineering, estimates that the new concept could shave thousands of dollars from the cost of these vehicles. The technology enables them to navigate using a single video camera, delivering the same level of accuracy as laser scanners at a fraction of the cost."The laser scanners used by most self-driving cars in development today cost tens of thousands of dollars, and I thought there must be a cheaper sensor that could do the same job," he said. "Cameras only cost a few dollars each and they're already in a lot of cars. So they were an obvious choice."Wolcott's system builds on the navigation systems used in other self-driving cars that are currently in development, including Google's vehicle. The navigation systems use three-dimensional laser scanning technology to create a real-time map of their environment, then compare that real-time map to a pre-drawn map stored in the system. By making thousands of comparisons per second, they are able to determine the vehicle's location within a few centimeters.The software converts the map data into a three-dimensional picture much like a video game. The car's navigation system can then compare these synthetic pictures with the real-world pictures streaming in from a conventional video camera.SourceAlso: See more Software tech briefs.

Posted in: News, Cameras, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics

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Design and Analysis Software Ensures Safety of Launch Vehicle Structures

NX‘and Teamcenter® software Siemens PLM Software Plano, TX 800-498-5351 www.siemens.com/plm One of ATK Aerospace Group’s current projects involves the Space Launch System (SLS). The SLS is the largest rocket ever built for entirely new human exploration missions beyond Earth’s orbit, and will take astronauts farther into space, eventually including missions to Mars. Its first flight is scheduled for 2017.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Articles, Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE)

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Brainwave Monitoring Software Helps Distracted Minds

Software designed to help pilots stay attentive now improves workplace, school, and sports performance. Imagine moving an object using only your mind. Software company Unique Logic’s Time on Task exercise makes that possible, at least on a computer screen. The game is one of the company’s Play Attention educational line, and is designed to teach people how to sustain their attention in order to complete tasks. It involves getting a forklift operator to transport a stack of crates from the ground onto the back of a truck. Instead of using a remote control to dictate the action, you use your concentration — measured by sensors that detect patterns of brainwave activity — to induce the operator to complete the job.

Posted in: Articles, Simulation Software

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Product of the Month: January 2015

SpaceClaim Corp., Concord, MA, released ANSYS® SpaceClaim™ 2015 software for the creation, editing, and repair of 3D data. It provides editing and management of faceted models, improved toolpath functionality for the machinist, and more complex geometry creation upgrades for editing or creating 3D models. Additional improvements include imprint and wrap tools for easier simulation edits, clean and detection functionality, and improved integration with ANSYS Workbench™. A 3D Printing module includes tools for repairing models and analyzing print success. Intuitive Pull and Move tools enable direct editing of meshes. Other enhancements were made to concept design, manufacturing preparation, detailing, and interoperability.

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Enhanced Project Management Tool

The system monitors the progress of multiple activities and generates management reports at different detail levels. Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California A complex project having many tasks and sub-tasks, many phases, and many workers will often require an evaluation of completion of the tasks and sub-tasks at several times during the project’s duration. Initially and throughout the duration, suitability of the technical and inter-personal characteristics of the workers, managers, and teams should also be evaluated. What is needed is a system that allows a user to specify a type of report, to specify one or more classes of information within this type of report, to specify a time interval, to specify one or more projects, and to receive the status and/or comparisons of performance for the specified projects.

Posted in: Articles, Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers

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Advanced Navigation Strategies for Asteroid Sample Return Missions

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland Sample-return missions to primitive solar system bodies (asteroids, comets, and planetary satellites) can provide a wealth of scientific information and insight into the composition and origins of the solar system. Recent interest in primitive body missions has been driven by the possibility of human near-Earth object missions, Earth conjunction analysis, and scientific discovery. Precision navigation to acquire a sample from a primitive solar system body and return it to Earth presents unique challenges beyond traditional Earth-based and interplanetary missions.

Posted in: Articles, Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers

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