Front End Data System (FEDS) Version 10.0

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland In traditional missions at NASA, ground systems were normally custom-built for each project. Additionally, there would be separate ground systems for each part of the spacecraft as well as a totally separate ground system for mission operations. Each of these generally interfaced through non-standard protocols. These ground systems were very expensive to develop, required expensive custom hardware, and required a large investment of time in order to verify the plethora of interfaces between the different ground systems. Non-standard interfaces between various components required extensive engineering and testing efforts.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Communication protocols, Ground support, Spacecraft


Link Complexity Scheduling Algorithm

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) provides communication and other services for planetary exploration for both NASA and international users. The DSN operates antennas at three complexes in California, Spain, and Australia, with the longitudinal distribution of the complexes enabling full sky coverage and generally providing some overlap in spacecraft visibility. Beginning in 2018, the DSN will be transitioning to a remote operations paradigm where local dayshift operators at each complex will be preparing and staffing the links (or contacts) for all antennas in the DSN. In addition, the number of simultaneous links an operator will be required to support will increase from two to three. Without tools to manage the increased link complexity, there is a risk that operators will be overloaded.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Mathematical models, Antennas, Satellite communications, Personnel


BUMPER-CEV Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris Risk Assessment Code Rev. A

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas BUMPER-CEV Version 1.71 is used to perform micrometeoroid/orbital debris (MMOD) risk assessments for the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) spacecraft. BUMPER is the primary risk analysis program used by NASA to provide for reliable and safe operations of spacecraft exposed to MMOD impacts. When provided with the physical shape and orbital parameters of a spacecraft, and a clear definition of failure, BUMPER calculates the risk of failure from MMOD impacts for all surfaces on a vehicle. Thousands of hypervelocity impact tests have been performed on representative samples of dozens of spacecraft shields and subsystems, thermal protection system (TPS) materials, and other spacecraft components to determine MMOD impact parameters at the failure limits of the various subsystems. The resulting verified ballistic limit equations and damage formulas are coded in BUMPER. Different versions of BUMPER have been created for ISS (International Space Station), Shuttle, and other spacecraft that differ in the ballistic limit subroutines embedded in the code, as well as the user prompts and other code to control execution and output of the code.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Computer software and hardware, Particulate matter (PM), Crashworthiness, Risk assessments, Spacecraft


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, Computer simulation, Mathematical analysis, Mathematical models, Spacecraft guidance


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, Computer simulation, Water, Nozzles, Rocket engines, Launch vehicles


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, Computer simulation, Flight management systems, Data management


The Space Station Modulator: A Configurable Surface Mesh Geometry Model for Aeroscience Analyses

Computational manipulation with solid bodies is improving ISS aeroscience analyses. Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas Numerical simulations of plume impingement heating to the International Space Station (ISS) and its visiting vehicles require a specific way to represent the space station geometry in 3D. The tools that are used for plume impingement analyses at NASA’s Johnson Space Center — the Reaction Control System (RCS) Plume Model 3D (RPM3D) and Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) Analysis Code (DAC) — need the analysis geometry to be in the form of a triangulated surface mesh and water-tight (no gaps or holes). Until recently, 3D geometries for such analyses had to be generated manually, took a long time, and used very-low-fidelity geometry components, and as a result, the aeroscience analyses in 3D were not very frequent.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Computer simulation, Mathematical models, Spacecraft


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