Physical Sciences

PACIFIC: Process Algebra Capture of Intent from Information Content

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Mixed-initiative teams of robots and humans working side-by-side in close proximity to each other need to be capable of reasoning about the actions and activities of each other within a mission context. This capability requires the robotic agents to have a sense of self, and their roles and responsibilities.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Software, Briefs

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Analytical Expression of Elevation-Dependent Relative Air Mass for Atmospheric Extinction Simulations

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California This software enables one to calculate elevation-dependent relative air mass. When imaging a setting or rising Sun on the ground or from space, the shape and the intensity distribution of a captured image are affected by the following three factors: limb-darkening of the solar-disk, atmospheric extinction, and atmospheric refraction. This method is about the relative air mass needed in the estimation of atmospheric extinction.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Software, Briefs

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Quantification of Trace Chemicals Using the Vehicle Cabin Atmosphere Monitor

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A software program analyzes data measured by the Vehicle Cabin Atmosphere Monitor (VCAM) and quantifies the concentrations of trace chemicals detected by VCAM. The software contains a unique way to quantify the signal measured by VCAM, to establish the concentration curve, and to decide which gain mode data to use for concentration estimation. It solves the problem of quantifying the concentration of trace chemicals in the International Space Station (ISS) internal air using the VCAM miniature gas-chromatograph/mass spectrometer instrument.

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Improved Math Model for Multiphoto Measurement Systems

Enhanced bundle adjustment demonstrates improved reliability and accuracy with reduced total processor time. Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas The bundle adjustment, or more specifically, the colinearity math model it is based on, is undisputedly the most accurate method to perform 3D scene reconstruction from multiple images. It has been the gold standard since first developed in 1957–1959. The limitations of the method have motivated this investigation into how it could be improved.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Software, Briefs

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Multipurpose Attitude and Pointing System (MAPS) Version 6.2

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas MAPS is a suite of software tools used for pre-flight planning, real-time support, and post-flight analysis of spacecraft attitude and pointing for the International Space Station (ISS), HII Transfer Vehicle (HTV), Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), and other low Earth orbit (LEO) vehicles.

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Steady-State Thermal Test Methodology

This method allows the production of multiple test points from a single test. John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida This innovation provides the following thermal properties data from a single steady-state test run: the effective thermal conductivity value (ke) for the full temperature difference, and multiple thermal conductivity values (λ) for intermediate temperatures. The test specimen (or material) is instrumented with one or more intermediate temperature sensors to allow the calculation of the multiple λ data points within the material and through its thickness. The methodology is particularly effective when coupled with any of the cryogenic boil-off calorimetry instruments (cryostats) developed by the Cryogenics Test Laboratory at NASA-KSC.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs, TSP

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Silicon Carbide Power Processing Unit for Hall Effect Thrusters

Prototype achieved 96.5% peak efficiency. John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio A high-efficiency, rad-hard, 3.5-kW SiC power supply was developed for the power processing unit (PPU) of Hall effect thrusters. This work specifically targets the design of a PPU power supply for the HiVHAC (High Voltage Hall Accelerator) thruster. The PPU power supply under development utilizes components that were irradiated under TID (total ionizing dose) conditions to greater than 3 Mrad with little to no change in device performance.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs, TSP

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