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Virtual Windows to Supplement Conventional Spacecraft Windows

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas Legacy NASA spacecraft windows suffer from specialized costs and operational constraints associated with embedding optically transparent apertures within structures that are designed to maximize strength, safety, and environmental integrity. A new approach to the legacy window solution may lead to a substantial decrease in program costs, while also enhancing crew safety and functional capability. The project includes integration of tiled displays, scene-stitching software, multiple cameras with real-time video imagery, and alternative display configurations and control input methods for scene and perspective change.

Posted in: Briefs, Tech Briefs, Imaging, Software

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Optical Correlation Receiver

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland Precise distance, time, and pulse width measurements are required for many areas of science and engineering. Time-of-flight methods are often used to measure remote distances. Optical signals are attractive because the small wavelength allows small transmit and receive telescopes. Short pulsed lasers are attractive sources that can provide high-distance measurement precision. Fast optical detectors are typically used at the receiver. Measurement precision is usually limited by the detectors’ temporal bandwidth. Picosecond and sub-picosecond pulses are difficult to measure and resolve. Optical autocorrelators have been used that employ nonlinear crystals. The optical autocorrelators require strong optical signals that can limit or preclude their use for remote, long-distance measurements.

Posted in: Briefs, Tech Briefs, Imaging, Software

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Exploration Visualization Environment

A system was designed to integrate engineering data with a virtual environment in support of the design and planning of space-based missions. Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia The Exploration Visualization Environment (EVE) is a simulation, visualization, and analysis system designed to integrate engineering data with a virtual environment in support of the design and planning of space-based missions. Through the integration of time-dependent data with detailed graphical models within a full-scale three-dimensional solar system or independent reference frame, the analyst can gain valuable insight into the correlation of data with simulation events. EVE provides a rich set of navigation tools (both in time and space) to enable the user to analyze the data. EVE has been developed to run crossplatform under Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X, and draws upon the experience and use of the Synergistic Engineering Environment (SEE).

Posted in: Briefs, Tech Briefs, Imaging, Software

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Ultrasound Competence Test Metrics

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas Diagnostic medical ultrasound requires psychomotor skill in image acquisition and cognitive skill in image interpretation. There is a lack of an objective, quantitative, and standardized method to assess psychomotor skill. In traditional radiology and cardiology training programs, physicians are certified based on duration of training and number of procedures performed. However, assessment of trainee skill is now mandated by the worldwide shift toward competencebased medical education. The benefits of skill assessment are: 1) it provides trainees with feedback on their progress, 2) faculty can identify which trainees require additional help, and 3) hospitals have a standard for credentialing.

Posted in: Briefs, Tech Briefs, Imaging, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Software

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Advanced Numerical Integration Techniques for High-Fidelity SDE Spacecraft Simulation

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland Simulation study is an integral part of the validation of navigation algorithms for spacecraft. While it is possible to come up with an estimate of a navigation algorithm’s performance with a low-fidelity system model, the mathematical analysis is intractable for higher-fidelity models that include fuel slosh, flexible booms, sensor saturation, etc. Thus simulation study is a vital step in validating navigation algorithms before an actual satellite is launched.

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

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Launch Environment Water Flow Simulations Using Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics

This method has been used in applications involving ocean modeling, volcanic lava, sloshing, and fuel pumps.One of the crucial ground structures employed at the launch pad during the Space Shuttle program is the rainbird nozzle system, whose primary objective is to suppress acoustic energy generated by the launch vehicle during pad abort and nominal operations. It is important that the rainbird water flow does not impinge on the rocket nozzles and other sensitive ground support elements. For the new Space Launch System (SLS) vehicle, the operation is similar, regardless of the new mobile launcher and new engine configurations. The goal of the rainbird nozzle system remains sound suppression (SS), and the rocket engines still cannot get wet. However, the rearrangement of the rainbird water system for the SLS mobile launcher locates the rainbirds closer to the first-stage rocket engines, which are positioned above the exhaust hole. The close proximity of the rainbird nozzle system could potentially cause vehicle wetting during liftoff.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software

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Seismometer Simulation Software

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Seismometer Simulation Software (SEISim) is written to provide a simulation for the seismometer instrument in the Insight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport) mission so that flight software developers can use it to develop and test their software applications. It can generate science data packets, generate housekeeping data packets, and simulate certain instrument behaviors such as leveling, re-centering, and calibration. It has fault injection capabilities that allow flight software developers to inject faults through SEISim to test their software in various scenarios. It also allows users to run multiple instances of SEISim for batch and overnight testing.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Software

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