Tech Briefs

Diagnosis and Prognosis of Weapon Systems

The Prognostics Framework is a set of software tools with an open architecture that affords a capability to integrate various prognostic software mechanisms and to provide information for operational and battlefield decision-making and logistical planning pertaining to weapon systems. The Prognostics Framework is also a system-level “health”-management software system that (1) receives data from performance-monitoring and builtin-test sensors and from other prognostic software and (2) processes the received data to derive a diagnosis and a prognosis for a weapon system. This software relates the diagnostic and prognostic information to the overall health of the system, to the ability of the system to perform specific missions, and to needed maintenance actions and maintenance resources. In the development of the Prognostics Framework, effort was focused primarily on extending previously developed model-based diagnostic-reasoning software to add prognostic reasoning capabilities, including capabilities to perform statistical analyses and to utilize information pertaining to deterioration of parts, failure modes, time sensitivity of measured values, mission criticality, historical data, and trends in measurement data. As thus extended, the software offers an overall healthmonitoring capability.

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Training Software in Artificial-Intelligence Computing Techniques

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Toolkit is a computer program for training scientists, engineers, and university students in three soft-computing techniques (fuzzy logic, neural networks, and genetic algorithms) used in artificial-intelligence applications. The program promotes an easily understandable tutorial interface, including an interactive graphical component through which the user can gain hands-on experience in soft-computing techniques applied to realistic example problems. The tutorial provides step-bystep instructions on the workings of softcomputing technology, whereas the hands-on examples allow interaction and reinforcement of the techniques explained throughout the tutorial. In the fuzzy-logic example, a user can interact with a robot and an obstacle course to verify how fuzzy logic is used to command a rover traverse from an arbitrary start to the goal location. For the genetic algorithm example, the problem is to determine the minimum-length path for visiting a user-chosen set of planets in the solar system. For the neural-network example, the problem is to decide, on the basis of input data on physical characteristics, whether a person is a man, woman, or child. The AI Toolkit is compatible with the Windows 95,98, ME, NT 4.0, 2000, and XP operating systems. A computer having a processor speed of at least 300 MHz, and random-access memory of at least 56MB is recommended for optimal performance. The program can be run on a slower computer having less memory, but some functions may not be executed properly.

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APGEN Version 5.0

Activity Plan Generator (APGEN), now at version 5.0, is a computer program that assists in generating an integrated plan of activities for a spacecraft mission that does not oversubscribe spacecraft and ground resources.

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Single-Command Approach and Instrument Placement by a Robot on a Target

AUTOAPPROACH is a computer program that enables a mobile robot to approach a target autonomously, starting from a distance of as much as 10 m, in response to a single command. AUTOAPPROACH is used in conjunction with (1) software that analyzes images acquired by stereoscopic cameras aboard the robot and (2) navigation and path-planning software that utilizes odometer readings along with the output of the image-analysis software.

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Three-Dimensional Audio Client Library

The Three-Dimensional Audio Client Library (3DAudio library) is a group of software routines written to facilitate development of both stand-alone (audio only) and immersive virtual-reality application programs that utilize three-dimensional audio displays.

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Generating Animated Displays of Spacecraft Orbits

Tool for Interactive Plotting, Sonification, and 3D Orbit Display (TIPSOD) is a computer program for generating interactive, animated, four-dimensional (space and time) displays of spacecraft orbits.

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LC Circuits for Diagnosing Embedded Piezoelectric Devices

Failures are readily identified through changes in resonance frequencies. A recently invented method of nonintrusively detecting faults in piezoelectric devices involves measurement of the resonance frequencies of inductor-capacitor (LC) resonant circuits. The method is intended especially to enable diagnosis of piezoelectric sensors, actuators, and sensor/actuators that are embedded in structures and/or are components of multilayer composite-material structures.

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