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Net Radiation and Evapotranspiration (Rn/ET) Download Product Tools and Interfaces

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California This toolset automates downloads of global, multi-year Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and related data necessary for performing net radiation and evapotranspiration (Rn/ET) modeling, and provides an application programming interface (API) for simple and reliable access of these data from Python or MATLAB applications. Several useful utilities for validating and curating/indexing the downloaded data are also included.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers

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Software Tools for Fault Management Technologies

Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama Several key areas of improvement in effect design, development, verification, and validation of fault management processes have been identified in NASA’s Fault Management Handbook. The majority of these guidelines are focused on making the modeling tools more user friendly and reducing the modeling cost and time, as well as enhancing the analytic capabilities.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers

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Tool to Analyze a Leaking Source of Saturated Ammonia

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas Containers of ammonia are used to supply cooling to different modules of the International Space Station. Each container has an attachment piece used to extract the ammonia. The attachment piece may allow ammonia to exit when not connected, and may also allow ammonia to exit to an outside area even when connected. The ammonia that has exited the container may accumulate in different compartments of the spacecraft. The ammonia is not desirable when accumulated in a compartment with a certain concentration.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers

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Mixed-Integer Convex Programming Algorithm for Constrained Attitude Guidance

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A general problem in spaceflight since its beginning is attitude guidance: how to turn a spacecraft — also called a slew — so as to point science instruments at their targets. The slew must be done while avoiding pointing sensitive science instruments (e.g., a camera) and attitude sensors (e.g., a star tracker) at bright objects in the sky (e.g., the Sun or the Moon).

Posted in: Briefs

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A Robust, Real-Time Collaboration Technology for Decision Support using Common Operating Picture (COP) Environments

This software provides remote geobrowser control for collaborative decision-making. Stennis Space Center, Mississippi StormCenter Communications, Inc. software takes advantage of cloud computing solutions to solve the growing need for real-time collaboration when accessing a Common Operating Picture (COP) from any device without having to give up all the vital tools and display functionality; all this is performed without disrupting current workflows. A COP is a platform shared by multiple stakeholders to provide a single, identical display of relevant operational information (i.e., mapping information, network operations and cyber security, sensors, weather, critical infrastructure) and tools to mark and manipulate the data. In the era of Big Data and the need for improved decision-making with the presence of multiple stakeholders across different disciplines, collaboration when using a COP is essential to success. This is especially important when dealing with decision-makers who are frequently non-data experts who need to take action immediately based on their situational awareness.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers

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Autonomous Flight Termination System Reference Design Hardware

John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida The current range ground-based infrastructure is extremely costly to operate and maintain. NASA has developed an Autonomous Flight Termination System (AFTS) that is an independent, self-contained subsystem mounted onboard a launch vehicle. The AFTS reference system eliminates the need for a ground-based infrastructure by moving the flight termination function from the ground to the launch vehicle. It will allow multiple vehicles to be launched and tracked at the same time. AFTS is necessary to support vehicles that have multiple flyback boosters.

Posted in: Briefs, Machinery & Automation, Robotics

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RoboSimian: Software Algorithms for a Mobile Manipulation Quadruped Robot

This software system has been designed for semi-autonomous operation of the robot. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California RoboSimian, a statically stable quadrupedal robot capable of both dexterous manipulation and versatile mobility in difficult terrain, was built to compete in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge, a competitive effort to develop hardware and software in the area of mobile manipulation platforms to assist humans in responding to natural and manmade disasters.

Posted in: Briefs, Machinery & Automation, Robotics

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