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Product Lifecycle Management System Aligns Manufacturer's Design and Development

An aerospace equipment manufacturer uses PLM to improve collaboration among design and development systems worldwide. Smiths Aerospace, a leading trans-Atlantic aerospace equipment manufacturer, has grown dramatically in recent years through a combination of strategic acquisitions and major program wins. To maintain its key position in the supply chains of all major military and civil aircraft and engine manufacturers, the company needed to align its heterogeneous design and development systems around the world. In addition to aligning these systems,the company also wanted to integrate new divisions into its Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs

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Real-Time Adaptive Color Segmentation by Neural Networks

Changing images would be analyzed to detect features of interest. Artificial neural networks that would utilize the cascade error projection (CEP) algorithm have been proposed as means of autonomous, real-time,adaptive color segmentation of images that change with time.In the original intended application,such a neural network would be used to analyze digitized color video images of terrain on a remote planet as viewed from an uninhabited spacecraft approaching the planet.During descent toward the surface of the planet, information on the segmentation of the images into differently colored areas would be updated adaptively in real time to capture changes in contrast, brightness, and resolution, all in an effort to identify a safe and scientifically productive landing site and provide control feedback to steer the spacecraft toward that site. Potential terrestrial applications include monitoring images of crops to detect insect invasions and monitoring of buildings and other facilities to detect intruders.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs, TSP

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Masked Proportional Routing

This procedure enables adaptation to changing network conditions. Masked proportional routing is an improved procedure for choosing links between adjacent nodes of a network for the purpose of transporting an entity from a source node (“A”) to a destination node (“B”). The entity could be, for example, a physical object to be shipped, in which case the nodes would represent waypoints and the links would represent roads or other paths between waypoints. For another example, the entity could be a message or packet of data to be transmitted from A to B, in which case the nodes could be computer-controlled switching stations and the links could be communication channels between the stations. In yet another example, an entity could represent a workpiece while links and nodes could represent, respectively, manufacturing processes and stages in the progress of the workpiece towards a finished product. More generally, the nodes could represent states of an entity and the links could represent allowed transitions of the entity.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs, TSP

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Feature-Identification and Data-Compression Software

A report discusses the continuing development of Windows Interface for Nominal Displacement Selection (WINDS), a computer program for automated analysis of images of the Sun and planets acquired by scientific instruments aboard spacecraft. WINDS is intended to afford capabilities for identification of features, measurement of displacements and velocities, analysis of terrain and of atmospheres, and synthesis of animation sequences of images of terrains and atmospheres from small sets of samples by use of velocity based interpolation. A major element of WINDS will be a nonlinear correlator capable of tracking small features in complex image sequences. For dynamic image sequences, the correlator will enable compression of data by factors >100. In processing image data, WINDS will take account of such factors as texture in image data, rotation of features during measurement intervals, effects of viewing and solar illumination angles, and vertical structures of atmospheres. WINDS will also take account of positions, aiming directions, and fields of view of cameras to determine three-dimensional feature structures by use of triangulation and stereoscopic analysis techniques.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs, TSP

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Algorithm Determines Wind Speed and Direction FromVenturi-Sensor Data

Speed and direction are calculated from the spatial distribution of pressure readings. An algorithm computes the velocity of wind from the readings of an instrument like the one described in “Three-Dimensional Venturi Sensor for Measuring Extreme Winds” (KSC-12435), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 27, No. 9 (September 2003), page 32. To recapitulate: The sensor has no moving parts and is a compact, rugged means of measuring wind vectors having magnitudes of as much as 300 mph (134 m/s). The sensor includes a Venturi gap bounded by a curved upper and a curved lower surface that are axisymmetric with respect to a vertical axis and mirror-symmetric with respect to a horizontal midplane. One of the curved surfaces is instrumented with multiple ports for measuring dynamic pressures (see figure). The sensor also incorporates auxiliary sensors for measuring temperature, relative humidity, and static atmospheric pressure.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs, TSP

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Improved Compression of Wavelet-Transformed Images

Code parameters are selected adaptively to achieve high compression performance. A recently developed data-compression method is an adaptive technique for coding quantized wavelet-transformed data, nominally as part of a complete image-data compressor. Unlike some other approaches, this method admits a simple implementation and does not rely on the use of large code tables.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs, TSP

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Predicting Numbers of Problems in Development of Software

A method has been formulated to enable prediction of the amount of work that remains to be performed in developing flight software for a spacecraft. The basic concept embodied in the method is that of using an idealized curve (specifically, the Weibull function) to interpolate from (1) the numbers of problems discovered thus far to (2) a goal of discovering no new problems after launch (or six months into the future for software already in use in orbit). The steps of the method can be summarized as follows:

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs

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