Tech Briefs

Real-Bogus Machine Learning Systems at the Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California The intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) is a wide-field sky survey of the optical transient sky (e.g., supernovae, variable stars) that uses image subtraction for the discovery of astronomical transients. Astronomical transients, such as supernovae, are only observable on a timescale of weeks to months. In order to thoroughly study supernova physics, it is important to detect the supernova as early as possible to trigger follow-up assets that can begin observing the event in multiple wavelengths prior to its decline.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers

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Scalable Gaussian Process Regression

For multimodal data, this method gives higher prediction accuracy than a single approximate model. Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California Block GP is a Gaussian Process regression framework for multimodal data that can be an order of magnitude more scalable than existing state-of-the-art nonlinear regression algorithms. The framework builds local Gaussian Processes on semantically meaningful partitions of the data and provides higher prediction accuracy than a single global model with very high confidence. The method relies on approximating the covariance matrix of the entire input space by smaller covariance matrices that can be modeled independently, and can therefore be parallelized for faster execution.

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MBSE-Driven Systems Engineering Visualization Suite

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California There is a need to define the information architecture, ontologies, and patterns that drive the construction and architecture of Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) models, but less clarity is given to the logical follow-on of that effort: how to practically leverage the resulting semantic richness of a wellformed populated model.

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Python Turbulence Detection Algorithm (PyTDA)

Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama This software, written in the Python programming language, estimates turbulence from Doppler radar data. It ingests radar data using the Department of Energy’s Py-ART open-source radar software toolkit.

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SEA5: Space Environment Automated Alerts & Anomaly Analysis Assistant

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland The Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) provides a wide range of space weather tools and services for the general scientific community. One such product that facilitates space weather situational awareness is collectively known as the Integrated Space Weather Analysis (ISWA) System. Using the ISWA system and other tools, space weather forecasters are able to assess the space environment in both real time and for historical cases — both of which help mitigate potential space weather impacts on missions, as well as assist in spacecraft anomaly resolution. The Space Environment Automated Alerts & Anomaly Analysis Assistant (SEA5) will provide past, present, and predicted space environment information for specific missions, orbits, and user-specified locations throughout the heliosphere, geospace, and on the ground.

Posted in: Briefs, Data Acquisition

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Extensible Data Gateway Environment (EDGE)

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California The NASA Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center (PO.DAAC) is NASA’s designated data center for information relevant to the physical state of the ocean. Its core datamanagement and workflow system, Data Management and Archive System (DMAS), is responsible for processing hundreds of thousands of data products each day, around the clock. Its inventory captures over 800 datasets, several million granules, and millions of files. PO.DAAC is in need of a solution to help users quickly identify the relevant oceanographic data artifact. It also needs to export metadata according to the ISO-19115, FGDC, and GCMD specifications. Developing such a solution on top of its Oracle database has several issues. First, it is difficult to maintain since SQL needs to be updated when a schema changes or when new search criteria is needed. Second, multi-table joins yield poor performance. Third, query performance can be improved with additional indexes, but performance is negatively impacted on updates. Fourth, exposing the operational database as the direct backend to a publicly accessible service layer would subject Oracle to a Denial of Service (DoS) attack, which could halt the already very busy DMAS operation environment.

Posted in: Briefs, Data Acquisition

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Flight Test Maneuvers for Efficient Aerodynamic Modeling

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia Flight testing is expensive. It is therefore important that necessary flight data be collected in the most efficient manner possible. Inputs traditionally used for flight test maneuvers to collect aircraft stability and control data include doublets, impulses (stick raps), multisteps, and frequency sweeps. All of these input types are designed for single-axis response, although often the inputs are applied sequentially to different controls to collect multi-axis data.

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