Home

Automated Detection of Events of Scientific Interest

A report presents a slightly different perspective of the subject matter of “Fusing Symbolic and Numerical Diagnostic Computations” (NPO-42512), which appears elsewhere in this issue of NASA Tech Briefs. Briefly, the subject matter is the X-2000 Anomaly Detection Language, which is a developmental computing language for fusing two diagnostic computer programs — one implementing a numerical analysis method, the other implementing a symbolic analysis method — into a unified event-based decision analysis software system for realtime detection of events. In the case of the cited companion NASA Tech Briefs article, the contemplated events that one seeks to detect would be primarily failures or other changes that could adversely affect the safety or success of a spacecraft mission. In the case of the instant report, the events to be detected could also include natural phenomena that could be of scientific interest. Hence, the use of X-2000 Anomaly Detection Language could contribute to a capability for automated, coordinated use of multiple sensors and sensor-output-data-processing hardware and software to effect opportunistic collection and analysis of scientific data.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs, TSP

Read More >>

GIS Methodology for Planning Planetary-Rover Operations

A document describes a methodology for utilizing image data downlinked from cameras aboard a robotic ground vehicle (rover) on a remote planet for analyzing and planning operations of the vehicle and of any associated spacecraft. Traditionally, the cataloging and presentation of large numbers of downlinked planetary-exploration images have been done by use of two organizational methods: temporal organization and correlation between activity plans and images. In contrast, the present methodology involves spatial indexing of image data by use of the computational discipline of geographic information systems (GIS), which has been maturing in terrestrial applications for decades, but, until now, has not been widely used in support of exploration of remote planets. The use of GIS to catalog data products for analysis is intended to increase efficiency and effectiveness in planning rover operations, just as GIS has proven to be a source of powerful computational tools in such terrestrial endeavors as law enforcement, military strategic planning, surveying, political science, and epidemiology. The use of GIS also satisfies the need for a map-based user interface that is intuitive to rover-activity planners, many of whom are deeply familiar with maps and know how to use them effectively in field geology.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs, TSP

Read More >>

Decision-Tree Formulation With Order-1 Lateral Execution

Some decision trees can be transformed into objects executable by simple table lookups. A compact symbolic formulation enables mapping of an arbitrarily complex decision tree of a certain type into a highly computationally efficient multidimensional software object. The type of decision trees to which this formulation applies is that known in the art as the Boolean class of balanced decision trees. Parallel lateral slices of an object created by means of this formulation can be executed in constant time — considerably less time than would otherwise be required.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs, TSP

Read More >>

Integrated Hardware and Software for No-Loss Computing

Computations on parallel processors can continue, even if one processor fails. When an algorithm is distributed across multiple threads executing on many distinct processors, a loss of one of those threads or processors can potentially result in the total loss of all the incremental results up to that point. When implementation is massively hardware distributed, then the probability of a hardware failure during the course of a long execution is potentially high. Traditionally, this problem has been addressed by establishing checkpoints where the current state of some or part of the execution is saved. Then in the event of a failure, this state information can be used to recompute that point in the execution and resume the computation from that point.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs, TSP

Read More >>

Software for Allocating Resources in the Deep Space Network

TIGRAS 2.0 is a computer program designed to satisfy a need for improved means for analyzing the tracking demands of interplanetary space-flight missions upon the set of ground antenna resources of the Deep Space Network (DSN) and for allocating those resources. Written in Microsoft Visual C++, TIGRAS 2.0 provides a single rich graphical analysis environment for use by diverse DSN personnel, by connecting to various data sources (relational databases or files) based on the stages of the analyses being performed. Notable among the algorithms implemented by TIGRAS 2.0 are a DSN antenna-load-forecasting algorithm and a conflict-aware DSN schedule-generating algorithm. Computers running TIGRAS 2.0 can also be connected using SOAP/XML to a Web services server that provides analysis services via the World Wide Web. TIGRAS 2.0 supports multiple windows and multiple panes in each window for users to view and use information, all in the same environment, to eliminate repeated switching among various application programs and Web pages. TIGRAS 2.0 enables the use of multiple windows for various requirements, trajectory-based time intervals during which spacecraft are viewable, ground resources, forecasts, and schedules. Each window includes a time navigation pane, a selection pane, a graphical display pane, a list pane, and a statistics pane.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs, TSP

Read More >>

Expert Seeker

Expert Seeker is a computer program of the knowledge- management-system (KMS) type that falls within the category of expertise-locator systems. The main goal of the KMS system implemented by Expert Seeker is to organize and distribute knowledge of who are the domain experts within and without a given institution, company, or other organization. The intent in developing this KMS was to enable the re-use of organizational knowledge and provide a methodology for querying existing information (including structured, semistructured, and unstructured information) in a way that could help identify organizational experts. More specifically, Expert Seeker was developed to make it possible, by use of an intranet, to do any or all of the following:

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs

Read More >>

Automated Monitoring With a BSP Fault-Detection Test

This test is sensitive to subtle statistical changes in monitored signals. The figure schematically illustrates a method and procedure for automated monitoring of an asset, as well as a hardware-and- software system that implements the method and procedure. As used here, "asset" could signify an industrial process, power plant, medical instrument, aircraft, or any of a variety of other systems that generate electronic signals (e.g., sensor outputs). In automated monitoring, the signals are digitized and then processed in order to detect faults and otherwise monitor operational status and integrity of the monitored asset. The major distinguishing feature of the present method is that the fault-detection function is implemented by use of a Bayesian sequential probability (BSP) technique. This technique is superior to other techniques for automated monitoring because it affords sensitivity, not only to disturbances in the mean values, but also to very subtle changes in the statistical characteristics (variance, skewness, and bias) of the monitored signals.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs

Read More >>