Information Science

Ionospheric Simulation System for Satellite Observations and Global Assimilative Model Experiments — ISOGAME

Modeling helps develop improved systems to study the ionosphere. Modeling and imaging the Earth’s ionosphere as well as understanding its structures, inhomogeneities, and disturbances is a key part of NASA’s Heliophysics Directorate science roadmap. This invention provides a design tool for scientific missions focused on the ionosphere. It is a scientifically important and technologically challenging task to assess the impact of a new observation system quantitatively on our capability of imaging and modeling the ionosphere. This question is often raised whenever a new satellite system is proposed, a new type of data is emerging, or a new modeling technique is developed. An example is the proposed COSMIC-Follow-On mission (COSMIC stands for Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate). The proposed constellation would be part of a new observation system with more low-Earth orbiters tracking more radio occultation signals broadcast by Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) than those offered by the current GPS and COSMIC observation system.

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Estimating Torque Imparted on Spacecraft Using Telemetry

Methodology is straightforward and does not involve the use of any complex supporting ground software. There have been a number of missions with spacecraft flying by planetary moons with atmospheres; there will be future missions with similar flybys. When a spacecraft such as Cassini flies by a moon with an atmosphere, the spacecraft will experience an atmospheric torque. This torque could be used to determine the density of the atmosphere. This is because the relation between the atmospheric torque vector and the atmosphere density could be established analytically using the mass properties of the spacecraft, known drag coefficient of objects in free-molecular flow, and the spacecraft velocity relative to the moon. The density estimated in this way could be used to check results measured by science instruments. Since the proposed methodology could estimate disturbance torque as small as 0.02 N-m, it could also be used to estimate disturbance torque imparted on the spacecraft during high-altitude flybys.

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flexplan: Mission Planning System for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

The tool can be configured for any mission without the need to modify or re-compile code. flexplan is a mission planning and scheduling (MPS) tool that uses soft algorithms to define mission scheduling rules and constraints. This allows the operator to configure the tool for any mission without the need to modify or re-compile code. In addition, flexplan uses an ID system to track every output on the schedule to the input from which it was generated. This allows flexplan to receive feedback as the schedules are executed, and update the status of all activities in a Web-based client. flexplan outputs include various planning reports, stored command loads for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), ephemeris loads, and pass scripts for automation.

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Airborne Tomographic Swath Ice Sounding Processing System

This program enables 2D ice thickness measurement. Glaciers and ice sheets modulate global sea level by storing water deposited as snow on the surface, and discharging water back into the ocean through melting. Their physical state can be characterized in terms of their mass balance and dynamics. To estimate the current ice mass balance, and to predict future changes in the motion of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, it is necessary to know the ice sheet thickness and the physical conditions of the ice sheet surface and bed. This information is required at fine resolution and over extensive portions of the ice sheets.

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PowderSim: Lagrangian Discrete and Mesh-Free Continuum Simulation Code for Cohesive Soils

PowderSim is a calculation tool that combines a discrete-element method (DEM) module, including calibrated interparticle- interaction relationships, with a mesh-free, continuum, SPH (smoothed-particle hydrodynamics) based module that utilizes enhanced, calibrated, constitutive models capable of mimicking both large deformations and the flow behavior of regolith simulants and lunar regolith under conditions anticipated during in situ resource utilization (ISRU) operations.

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Basic Operational Robotics Instructional System

The Basic Operational Robotics Instructional System (BORIS) is a sixdegree- of-freedom rotational robotic manipulator system simulation used for training of fundamental robotics concepts, with in-line shoulder, offset elbow, and offset wrist. BORIS is used to provide generic robotics training to aerospace professionals including flight crews, flight controllers, and robotics instructors. It uses forward kinematic and inverse kinematic algorithms to simulate joint and end-effector motion, combined with a multibody dynamics model, moving-object contact model, and X-Windows based graphical user interfaces, coordinated in the Trick Simulation modeling environment.

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Multiple-Frame Detection of Subpixel Targets in Thermal Image Sequences

This technique has applicability in fire detection, and tracking ships, ground vehicles, and aircraft. The new technology in this approach combines the subpixel detection information from multiple frames of a sequence to achieve a more sensitive detection result, using only the information found in the images themselves. It is taken as a constraint that the method is automated, robust, and computationally feasible for field networks with constrained computation and data rates. This precludes simply downloading a video stream for pixel-wise co-registration on the ground. It is also important that this method not require precise knowledge of sensor position or direction, because such information is often not available. It is also assumed that the scene in question is approximately planar, which is appropriate for a high-altitude airborne or orbital view.

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