Information Science

Software For Use With Optoelectronic Measuring Tool

A computer program has been written to facilitate and accelerate the process of measurement by use of the apparatus described in “Optoelectronic Tool Adds Scale Marks to Photographic Images” (KSC-12201), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 27, No. 1 (January 2003), page 6a. To recapitulate: The tool contains four laser diodes that generate parallel beams of light spaced apart at a known distance. The beams of light are used to project bright spots that serve as scale marks that become incorporated into photographic images (including film and electronic images). The sizes of objects depicted in the images can readily be measured by reference to the scale marks.

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Coordinating Shared Activities Shared Activity

Coordination (ShAC) is a computer program for planning and scheduling the activities of an autonomous team of interacting spacecraft and exploratory robots. ShAC could also be adapted to such terrestrial uses as helping multiple factory managers work toward competing goals while sharing such common resources as floor space, raw materials, and transports. ShAC iteratively invokes the Continuous Activity Scheduling Planning Execution and Replanning (CASPER) program to replan and propagate changes to other planning programs in an effort to resolve conflicts. A domain-expert specifies which activities and parameters thereof are shared and reports the expected conditions and effects of these activities on the environment. By specifying these conditions and effects differently for each planning program, the domain-expert subprogram defines roles that each spacecraft plays in a coordinated activity. The domain-expert subprogram also specifies which planning program has scheduling control over each shared activity. ShAC enables sharing of information, consensus over the scheduling of collaborative activities, and distributed conflict resolution. As the other planning programs incorporate new goals and alter their schedules in the changing environment, ShAC continually coordinates to respond to unexpected events.

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Software Reduces Radio-Interference Effects in Radar Data

A computer program suppresses the effects of narrow-band radio-frequency interference (RFI) on the data collected by a wide-band radar system. The need for this program arises because some advanced wide-band synthetic-aperture radar systems utilize frequency bands that include frequencies used by other radio services. In this program, the RFI environment is represented by an autoregressive process, the frequency band of which is narrow relative to that of the radar. Most of the RFI signals, both narrow-and wide-band, are estimated in one pass of a least-mean-square (LMS) adaptive filter. The program implements three popular LMS algorithms:the time-domain LMS, the frequency-domain LMS, and the filter-bank LMS adaptive-filter algorithms. The program can be run in a manual or automatic mode. In the manual mode, the user selects the filter parameters prior to execution. In the automatic mode, the program utilizes median-filter and spectral-estimation techniques plus the variable-step-size LMS algorithm for automatic determination of filter parameters, and the parameters are adaptively changed as functions of the inputs, resulting in better overall performance.

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Forensic Analysis Specialists Discover Product Failure Causes Using FEA Software

Finite element analysis software is used to determine why products fail. Engineers use a wide range of tools and techniques to ensure that the designs they create are safe. However, accidents sometimes happen and when they do, companies need to know if a product failed because the design was inadequate or if some other cause, such as user error, was to blame. Whether a manufacturer incurs the cost of damages, recalls, replacements, and potential legal liability for injuries often depends on the cause of the accident.

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Fast Query-Optimized Kernel-Machine Classification

Computation is accelerated by an order of magnitude, without loss of accuracy. A recently developed algorithm performs kernel-machine classification via incremental approximate nearest support vectors. The algorithm implements support-vector machines (SVMs) at speeds 10 to 100 times those attainable by use of conventional SVM algorithms. The algorithm offers potential benefits for classification of images, recognition of speech, recognition of handwriting, and diverse other applications in which there are requirements to discern patterns in large sets of data.

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Indentured Parts List Maintenance and Part Assembly Capture Tool—IMPACT

Viewing and maintaining the complex assembly hierarchies of large databases is made easier. Johnson Space Center’s (JSC's) indentured parts list (IPL) maintenance and parts assembly capture tool (IMPACT) is an easy-to-use graphical interface for viewing and maintaining the complex assembly hierarchies of large databases. IMPACT, already in use at JSC to support the International Space Station (ISS), queries, updates, modifies, and views data in IPL and associated resource data, functions that it can also perform, with modification, for any large commercial database. By enabling its users to efficiently view and manipulate IPL hierarchical data, IMPACT performs a function unlike that of any other tool. Through IMPACT, users will achieve results quickly, efficiently, and cost effectively.

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Designing Application Software for DSP Chips

"Higher-level" programming languages and software help developers quickly set up and test an application. When it comes to building a digital signal processing (DSP) board, it is important not to neglect the requirements of the application code — the code that actually acquires and processes data to provide useful results. Developers can write code using the assembly language native for a chosen DSP chip, or they can use a higher-level language such as C or C++ that a compiler converts into the operating code for a specific DSP chip. Even higher-level tools and software applications let developers perform operations from menus or drag-and-drop lists of functions; the underlying code of the tool or application converts these graphical operations into the operating code for the specific DSP chip.

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