Launch Trajectory Acquisition System (LTAS) Simulator

The objective of the LTAS Simulator application is to transmit one or more streams of simulated LTAS data frames in User Datagram Protocol (UDP) packets to the network. Each LTAS data frame is filled with simulated data values, with each data field determined using several methods: 1) constant value from the user’s input via a graphical user interface (GUI), 2) internal generated counter from a start value, 3) internally generated random value using uniform probability that is set by the user, and 4) internally generated modified value using uniform probability that is set by the user.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Trajectory control, Computer simulation, Spacecraft guidance, Human machine interface (HMI), Displays

Inductive Monitoring System Graphical User Interface (IMS GUI) for Processing, Analyzing, and Cleaning Datasets

The Inductive Monitoring System (IMS) software uses data mining techniques to automatically characterize nominal system operation by analyzing archived system data. These nominal characterizations are then used to perform near-realtime system health monitoring or analyze archived system data to detect anomalies in system behavior as compared with previous nominal behavior. To operate most effectively for system monitoring, the archived system data used to build the system models for IMS should contain only nominal operations data. Most available data sets contain contaminated data, data transients, or other data that does not represent nominal operations. Finding and removing these undesirable off-nominal data points manually is an error-prone and time-consuming task. Along with a variety of data extraction and program controls, the IMS graphical user interface (IMS GUI) allows the user to visually examine results of IMS monitoring analyses, and graphically select segments of data and outlier data points using a mouse or similar input device. The GUI will then automatically process the candidate dataset to remove undesired data points, leaving a clean dataset containing nominal data to use for building IMS system monitoring models.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Computer software and hardware, Human machine interface (HMI), Displays, Vehicle health management, Data management, Reliability

Computer Models Could Help Design Physical Therapy Regimens

After a stroke, patients typically have trouble walking, and few are able to regain the gait they had before suffering a stroke. Researchers funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) in Bethesda, MD have developed a computational walking model that could help guide patients to their best possible recovery after a stroke.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Computer simulation, Mathematical models, Kinematics, Medical equipment and supplies, Biomechanics

ISO 26262 & Automotive Electronics Development

Compliance standards, especially those that involve relatively new functional safety elements, will likely add additional requirements to the development process. But ISO 26262, in particular, will add more than new requirements to the product life cycle for automotive hardware-software systems. This Functional Safety standard will act as a framework impacting integrated requirements traceability, risk management, validation, verification, documentation and collaboration throughout the systems engineering “V” model life cycle process (see Figure). ISO 26262 will also require the qualification of tools used to create automotive systems. This paper examines the impact of the standard on the development process and support tool chains for automotive electronics.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Semiconductors & ICs, Software, Computer software and hardware, Life cycle analysis, Safety regulations and standards

BPTables DTN Bundle Filtering Framework

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standardized Bundle Protocol (BP) enables data transfer using “bundles” over a Delay/Disruption Tolerant Network (DTN). BPTables is a bundle filtering framework that enables the establishment of barriers between more and less trusted BP network domains, and complements a security framework that includes the Simplified Bundle Security Protocol (SBSP). BPTables is implemented for the Linux port of the Interplanetary Overlay Network (ION) Bundle Protocol (BP) implementation of the DTN protocol stack. BPTables blocks forwarding of bundles whose source and destination node numbers are not explicitly allowed by the filtering policy, and by default all IPN bundles will be blocked. The current implementation presents a minimal resource footprint on embedded systems. The bundle filtering policy is determined by the contents of a rule file. Rules consist of ordered pairs (A, B) where traffic is permitted to flow from node A to node B. The rule parser understands wildcards (to simplify rule construction), and is able to optimize and combine rules to speed up evaluation.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Architecture, Communication protocols, Data exchange

A Systems Engineering Approach to Architecture Development

Architecture development often is conducted prior to system concept design when there is a need to determine the best-value mix of systems that works collectively in specific scenarios and time frames to accomplish a set of mission area objectives. Conducted prior to Pre-Phase A of the project lifecycle, the scope of architecture studies is broader and shallower than that of concept design studies conducted in Pre-Phase A. Results are used to advise senior planners on recommended capabilities and investment profiles for mission areas 15-25 years in the future.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Architecture, Life cycle analysis, Systems engineering

Timeline Builder Assistant

Current human spaceflight requirements limit the number of hours a crewmember can be outside of the habitation unit to 8 hours in a 48-hour period, and 24 hours in a seven-day period. This time must be appropriately balanced to complete science, exploration, and maintenance tasks. Off-days can be used for site transit (traverse), crew rest, or intra-vehicular activities (IVA). The “building blocks” approach to mission design organizes crewmember activities for extra-vehicular activities (EVA) at each investigation site based on the types of tasks that must be completed and the tools required to complete each task. Building blocks colocate payload and crewmember information for timeline construction. Similar tasks or tasks that accomplish similar goals are grouped into blocks and distributed according to EVA requirements for a specified number of days, including allocations for site arrival activities and departure preparations.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Computer software and hardware, Logistics, Personnel, Spacecraft

JPF-NAS Extension of Java Pathfinder

Java PathFinder (JPF) version 7 provides basic support for verifying the distributed Java applications. It can receive a distributed Java application as input that is perceived as multiple Java processes. However, JPF does account for communication between processes of the distributed application, and it thus cannot be used to verify any realistic distributed Java application. Applying JPF on distributed applications requires a model of inter-process communication (IPC) and process aware scheduling.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Architecture, Communication protocols, Computer software and hardware

Institutional Budgeting Tool (IBT)

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Institutional Budgeting Tool (IBT) was designed and developed to meet the needs of JPL's budget planners, numbering 1,600, who required a robust and state-of-the-art budgeting application. JPL's budgeting process had been constrained by legacy tools that presented usability and performance issues and lacked critical innovative budgeting features. IBT delivered superior user experience, system performance, and modern features necessary for essential laboratory budgeting.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Computer software and hardware, Financial management

Tubes Standards-Compliant C Header Library

Due to limitations imposed by transistor physics as device geometries continue to get finer and finer, the time when each new generation of processors was clocked faster than its predecessors is largely over. Nevertheless, as individual processor cores get smaller, chip manufacturers have turned instead to cramming a large number of cores onto a single die. Consequently, nearly all commercially available CPUs (central processing units), even those used in smartphones, already depend upon a multicore architecture. Unfortunately, the programming languages used for nearly all commercial software projects are really intended for generating code for a single CPU core. Though extensions exist that support multiple cores, it is something that is essentially tacked on, not part of the core language's constructs.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Architecture, Computer software and hardware, Transistors, Terminology

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