Software

State-Chart Autocoder

A computer program translates Unified Modeling Language (UML) representations of state charts into source code in the C, C++, and Python computing languages. (“State charts” signifies graphical descriptions of states and state transitions of a spacecraft or other complex system.) The UML representations constituting the input to this program are generated by using a UML-compliant graphical design program to draw the state charts. The generated source code is consistent with the “quantum programming” approach, which is so named because it involves discrete states and state transitions that have features in common with states and state transitions in quantum mechanics. Quantum programming enables efficient implementation of state charts, suitable for real-time embedded flight software. In addition to source code, the autocoder program generates a graphical- user-interface (GUI) program that, in turn, generates a display of state transitions in response to events triggered by the user. The GUI program is wrapped around, and can be used to exercise the state-chart behavior of, the generated source code. Once the expected state-chart behavior is confirmed, the generated source code can be augmented with a software interface to the rest of the software with which the source code is required to interact.

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Reducing a Knowledge-Base Search Space When Data Are Missing

This software addresses the problem of how to efficiently execute a knowledge base in the presence of missing data. Computationally, this is an exponentially expensive operation that without heuristics generates a search space of 1 + 2n possible scenarios, where n is the number of rules in the knowledge base. Even for a knowledge base of the most modest size, say 16 rules, it would produce 65,537 possible scenarios. The purpose of this software is to reduce the complexity of this operation to a more manageable size. The problem that this system solves is to develop an automated approach that can reason in the presence of missing data. This is a meta-reasoning capability that repeatedly calls a diagnostic engine/model to provide prognoses and prognosis tracking. In the big picture, the scenario generator takes as its input the current state of a system, including probabilistic information from Data Forecasting. Using model-based reasoning techniques, it returns an ordered list of fault scenarios that could be generated from the current state, i.e., the plausible future failure modes of the system as it presently stands. The scenario generator models a Potential Fault Scenario (PFS) as a black box, the input of which is a set of states tagged with priorities and the output of which is one or more potential fault scenarios tagged by a confidence factor. The results from the system are used by a model-based diagnostician to predict the future health of the monitored system.

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Pattern Matcher for Trees Constructed From Lists

A software library has been developed that takes a highlevel description of a pattern to be satisfied and applies it to a target. If the two match, it returns success; otherwise, it indicates a failure. The target is semantically a tree that is constructed from elements of terminal and non-terminal nodes represented through lists and symbols. Additionally, functionality is provided for finding the element in a set that satisfies a given pattern and doing a tree search, finding all occurrences of leaf nodes that match a given pattern. This process is valuable because it is a new algorithmic approach that significantly improves the productivity of the programmers and has the potential of making their resulting code more efficient by the introduction of a novel semantic representation language. This software has been used in many applications delivered to NASA and private industry, and the cost savings that have resulted from it are significant.

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Translator for Optimizing Fluid-Handling Components

A software interface has been devised to facilitate optimization of the shapes of valves, elbows, fittings, and other components used to handle fluids under extreme conditions. This software interface translates data files generated by PLOT3D (a NASA grid-based plotting-and- data-display program) and by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software into a format in which the files can be read by Sculptor, which is a shape-deformation- and-optimization program. Sculptor enables the user to interactively, smoothly, and arbitrarily deform the surfaces and volumes in two- and three-dimensional CFD models. Sculptor also includes design-optimization algorithms that can be used in conjunction with the arbitrary-shape-deformation components to perform automatic shape optimization. In the optimization process, the output of the CFD software is used as feedback while the optimizer strives to satisfy design criteria that could include, for example, improved values of pressure loss, velocity, flow quality, mass flow, etc.

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AIRSAR Web-Based Data Processing

The AIRSAR automated, Web-based data processing and distribution system is an integrated, end-to-end synthetic aperture radar (SAR) processing system. Designed to function under limited resources and rigorous demands, AIRSAR eliminates operational errors and provides for paperless archiving. Also, it provides a yearly tune-up of the processor on flight missions, as well as quality assurance with new radar modes and anomalous data compensation.

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Tool for Ranking Research Options

Tool for Research Enhancement Decision Support (TREDS) is a computer program developed to assist managers in ranking options for research aboard the International Space Station (ISS). It could likely also be adapted to perform similar decision support functions in industrial and academic settings. TREDS provides a ranking of the options, based on a quantifiable assessment of all the relevant programmatic decision factors of benefit, cost, and risk. The computation of the benefit for each option is based on a figure of merit (FOM) for ISS research capacity that incorporates both quantitative and qualitative inputs. Qualitative inputs are gathered and partly quantified by use of the time-tested analytical hierarchical process and used to set weighting factors in the FOM corresponding to priorities determined by the cognizant decision maker(s). Then by use of algorithms developed specifically for this application, TREDS adjusts the projected benefit for each option on the basis of levels of technical implementation, cost, and schedule risk. Based partly on Excel spreadsheets, TREDS provides screens for entering cost, benefit, and risk information. Drop-down boxes are provided for entry of qualitative information. TREDS produces graphical output in multiple formats that can be tailored by users.

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SSRL Emergency Response Shore Tool

The SSRL Emergency Response Shore Tool (wherein “SSRL” signifies “Smart Systems Research Laboratory”) is a computer program within a system of communication and mobile-computing software and hardware being developed to increase the situational awareness of first responders at building collapses. This program is intended for use mainly in planning and constructing shores to stabilize partially collapsed structures. The program consists of client and server components, runs in the Windows operating system on commercial off-the-shelf portable computers, and can utilize such additional hardware as digital cameras and Global Positioning System devices.

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