Information Science

Discrepancy Reporting Management System

Discrepancy Reporting Management System (DRMS) is a computer program designed for use in the stations of NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) to help establish the operational history of equipment items; acquire data on the quality of service provided to DSN customers; enable measurement of service performance; provide early insight into the need to improve processes, procedures, and interfaces; and enable the tracing of a data outage to a change in software or hardware. DRMS is a Web-based software system designed to include a distributed-database and replication feature to achieve location-specific autonomy while maintaining a consistent high quality of data. DRMS incorporates commercial Web and database software. DRMS collects, processes, replicates, communicates, and manages information on spacecraft data discrepancies, equipment resets, and physical equipment status, and maintains an internal station log. All discrepancy reports (DRs), Master discrepancy reports (MDRs), and Reset data are replicated to a master server at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Master DR data are replicated to all the DSN sites; and Station Logs are internal to each of the DSN sites and are not replicated. Data are validated according to several logical mathematical criteria. Queries can be performed on any combination of data.

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Analyzing Contents of a Computer Cache

The Cache Contents Estimator (CCE) is a computer program that provides information on the contents of level-1 cache of a PowerPC computer. The CCE is configurable to enable simulation of any processor in the PowerPC family. The need for CCE arises because the contents of level-1 caches are not available to either hardware or software readout mechanisms, yet information on the contents is crucial in the development of fault-tolerant or highly available computing systems and for realistic modeling and prediction of computing-system performance. The CCE comprises two independent subprograms: (1) the Dynamic Application Address eXtractor (DAAX), which extracts the stream of address references from an application program undergoing execution and (2) the Cache Simulator (CacheSim), which models the level-1 cache of the processor to be analyzed, by mimicking what the cache controller would do, in response to the address stream from DAAX. CacheSim generates a running estimate of the contents of the data and the instruction subcaches of the level-1 cache, hit/miss ratios, the percentage of cache that contains valid or active data, and time-stamped histograms of the cache content.

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MER SPICE Interface

MER SPICE Interface is a software module for use in conjunction with the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission and the SPICE software system of the Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility (NAIF) at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (SPICE is used to acquire, record, and disseminate engineering, navigational, and other ancillary data describing circumstances under which data were acquired by spaceborne scientific instruments.) Given a Spacecraft Clock value, MER SPICE Interface extracts MER-specific data from SPICE kernels (essentially, raw data files) and calculates values for Planet Day Number, Local Solar Longitude, Local Solar Elevation, Local Solar Azimuth, and Local Solar Time (UTC). MER SPICE Interface was adapted from a subroutine, denoted m98SpiceIF written by Payam Zamani, that was intended to calculate SPICE values for the Mars Polar Lander. The main difference between MER SPICE Interface and m98SpiceIf is that MER SPICE Interface does not explicitly call CHRONOS, a time-conversion program that is part of a library of utility subprograms within SPICE. Instead, MER SPICE Interface mimics some portions of the CHRONOS code, the advantage being that it executes much faster and can efficiently be called from a pipeline of events in a parallel processing environment.

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Ground Support Software for Spaceborne Instrumentation

ION is a system of ground support software for the ion and neutral mass spectrometer (INMS) instrument aboard the Cassini spacecraft. By incorporating commercial off - the - shelf database, Web server, and Java application components, ION offers considerably more ground - support - service capability than was available previously. A member of the team that operates the INMS or a scientist who uses the data collected by the INMS can gain access to most of the services provided by ION via a standard point-and click hyperlink interface generated by almost any Web-browser program running in almost any operating system on almost any computer. Data are stored in one central location in a relational database in a non-proprietary format, are accessible in many combinations and formats, and can be combined with data from other instruments and space-craft. The use of the Java programming language as a system-interface language offers numerous capabilities for object-oriented programming and for making the database accessible to participants using a variety of computer hard-ware and software.

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Further Improvement in 3DGRAPE

"3DGRAPE/AL:V2" denotes version 2 of the Three - Dimensional Grids About Anything by Poisson's Equation with Upgrades from Ames and Langley computer program. The preceding version, 3DGRAPE/AL, was described in "Improved 3DGRAPE" (ARC-14069) NASA Tech Briefs ,Vol.21, No.5 (May 1997), page 66. These programs are so named because they generate volume grids by iteratively solving Poisson's Equation in three dimensions. The grids generated by the various versions of 3DGRAPE have been used in computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The main novel feature of 3DGRAPE/AL:V2 is the incorporation of an optional scheme in which anisotropic Lagrange-based trans-finite interpolation (ALBTFI) is coupled with exponential decay functions to compute and blend interior source terms. In the input to 3DGRAPE/AL:V2 the user can specify whether or not to invoke ALBTFI in combination with exponential-decay controls, angles, and cell size for controlling the character of grid lines. Of the known programs that solve elliptic partial differential equations for generating grids, 3DGRAPE/AL:V2 is the only code that offers a combination of speed and versatility with most options for controlling the densities and other characteristics of grids for CFD.

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Conflict-Aware Scheduling Algorithm

An algorithm is being developed to automate NASA’s Deep Space Network antenna allocation. A conflict-aware scheduling algorithm is being developed to help automate the allocation of NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) antennas and equipment that are used to communicate with interplanetary scientific spacecraft. The current approach for scheduling DSN ground resources seeks to provide an equitable distribution of tracking services among the multiple scientific missions and is very labor intensive. Due to the large (and increasing) number of mission requests for DSN services, combined with technical and geometric constraints, the DSN is highly oversubscribed. To help automate the process, and reduce the DSN and spaceflight project labor effort required for initiating, maintaining, and negotiating schedules, a new scheduling algorithm is being developed.

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Real-Time Diagnosis of Faults Using a Bank of Kalman Filters

Gradual changes associated with aging are taken into account in the diagnostic process. A new robust method of automated real-time diagnosis of faults in an aircraft engine or a similar complex system involves the use of a bank of Kalman filters. In order to be highly reliable, a diagnostic system must be designed to account for the numerous failure conditions that an aircraft engine may encounter in operation. The method achieves this objective though the utilization of multiple Kalman filters, each of which is uniquely designed based on a specific failure hypothesis. A fault-detection- and-isolation (FDI) system, developed based on this method, is able to isolate faults in sensors and actuators while detecting component faults (abrupt degradation in engine component performance). By affording a capability for real-time identification of minor faults before they grow into major ones, the method promises to enhance safety and reduce operating costs.

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