Tech Briefs

TASAR and TAP: Airborne Trajectory Management Enabled by Traffic-Aware Software

This innovation consists of the Traffic Aware Strategic Aircrew Request (TASAR) concept and the associated Traffic Aware Planner (TAP) software. TASAR is intended to enable pilots to discover trajectory improvement opportunities while en route that will result in immediate operational benefits for the airspace user and be approvable by Air Traffic Control (ATC). TAP is a cockpit-based advisory tool that enables the TASAR concept, and it was developed to be hosted on a Class 2 Electronic Flight Bag. This near-term concept provides pilots with a strategic re-planning capability that optimizes fuel burn or flight time; avoids interactions with known traffic, weather, and restricted airspace; and may be used by the pilots to request a trajectory change from ATC with increased likelihood of approval. TAP’s internal architecture and algorithms are derived from the Autonomous Operations Planner (AOP), a flight-deck automation system developed by NASA to support research into aircraft self-separation.

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Module::Build::Database

Module::Build::Database was developed as part of the Atmospheric Composition Processing System, which works with the Science Investigator-Led Processing System for the Ozone Monitoring Instrument. The technology allows the user to distribute changes to the schema in a database alongside software that relies on the database.

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Safety Analysis of Conflict Prevention Algorithms

This algorithm provides guidance maneuvers to avoid conflict in air traffic management systems. Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia Different types of information are used to help aircraft maintain separation standards. At the lowest level, information is needed to indicate if separation standards will be violated in the near future, called a conflict. Once a conflict is detected, then conflict resolution information may be used to create a new path in which there is no conflict. Most future airspace concepts propose using computer algorithms to produce this information. Both conflict detection and resolution algorithms usually work in a pair-wise fashion: the ownership aircraft and one other aircraft. In situations where traffic density is low, this pair-wise assumption does not significantly impact operations. However, when traffic density is high, resolving one conflict may result in new near-term conflicts called secondary conflicts. These secondary conflicts may be nearer (in time) than the original conflict being addressed, so, the safety of the aircraft depends on avoiding these conflicts.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Electronics & Computers, Briefs

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CT-CURS: Unwrapping/Re-slicing Software for Cylindrical Objects Inspected Using Computed Tomography

This method provides 10¥ greater ability to resolve flaws in cylindrical CT data. John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio Ultra-thin-wall metallic cylinders are extremely difficult to analyze for flaws from top-view X-ray computed tomography (CT) slices and volume renderings. A protocol has been developed using software to unwrap and re-slice the ultra-thinwall cylinder CT data into 2D sheets from the exterior to the interior of the cylinder. This method is based on interior and exterior surface edge detection, and under proper conditions, is fully automated and requires no input from the user except proper voxel dimension from the CT experiment and wall thickness of the part. By performing this transformation to a series of 2D sheets, and utilizing a local contrast expansion method in which each sheet is automatically contrast expanded between its minimum and maximum gray values, the flaws “pop out” at the inspector. This software has allowed NASA to extend the in-house world-class micro-computed tomography method for 10x better flaw resolution for cylindrical structures.

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Trajectory Specification for High-Capacity Air Traffic Control

Automating separation monitoring and guidance would relieve human controllers of the primary responsibility for safe separation. The doubling or tripling of airspace capacity that will be needed over the next several decades will require that tactical separation guidance be automated for appropriately equipped aircraft in high-density airspace. Four-dimensional (4D) trajectory assignment (three-dimensional position as a function of time) will facilitate such automation. A standard trajectory specification format based on XML (Extensible Markup Language) is proposed for that purpose.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Test & Measurement, Briefs

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Barrel Distortion Correction Image Processing Algorithm for Fish-Eye Lenses

In addition to correcting severely distorted fish-eye images, this algorithm finds the optical center of the image, which may be useful for many image processing applications. John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida Immediately following firing of the solid rocket booster (SRB) separation motors during STS-134 ascent, an unknown object resembling a headless bolt was captured by one of the SRB onboard cameras. This object had a length-to-width ratio of approximately 4:1 and appeared to be cylindrical. The end widths appeared slightly wider, giving it the appearance of a bolt-like object. The goal of this investigation was to determine the trajectory and origin of the bolt relative to the ET (external tank) and SRB.

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Whole Symbol Moments SNR Estimator Analysis and Implementation

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A data-dependent algorithm was developed for estimating symbol signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) with a non-integral number of samples per symbol. The classical split symbol SNR estimator algorithm was adapted to incorporate the whole symbol by removing the data polarity.

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