Special Coverage

Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines
Vibration Tables Shake Up Aerospace and Car Testing
Supercomputer Cooling System Uses Refrigerant to Replace Water
Computer Chips Calculate and Store in an Integrated Unit
Electron-to-Photon Communication for Quantum Computing

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Wrapper Script

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on the launch padThe MRO OLVM wrapper script software allows Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) sequence and spacecraft engineers to rapidly simulate a spacecraft command product through a tool that simulates the onboard sequence management software (OLVM). This script parses sequence files to determine the appropriate time boundaries for the sequence, and constructs the script file to be executed by OLVM to span the entirety of the designated sequence. It then constructs script files to be executed by OLVM, constructs the appropriate file directories, populates these directories with needed input files, initiates OLVM to simulate the actual command product that will be sent to the spacecraft, and captures the results of the simulation run to an external file for later review. Additionally, the tool allows a user to manually construct the script, if desired, and then execute the script with a simple command line.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Computer simulation, Computer software and hardware, Spacecraft
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Immersive Display System Enables Virtual Reality in NASA Lab

Immersive CAVE™ display system Mechdyne Corp. Marshalltown, IA 641-754-4649 www.mechdyne.com

Mechdyne Corporation has installed a CAVE™ display system in the Fossett Laboratory for Virtual Planetary Exploration at Washington University St. Louis (WUSTL). WUSTL is home to the Geosciences Node of the NASA Planetary Data System, with responsibility for managing data related to the study of surfaces and interiors of terrestrial planetary bodies. The Laboratory will provide 3D imaging capability for visualization of data collected by national and international space exploration programs, including the ongoing Mars Exploration Program.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Software, Virtual reality, Displays
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Tool Suite Enables Software Testing for Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle

LDRA tool suite LDRA San Bruno, CA 650-583-8880 www.ldra.com

Aimed at safely transferring astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS), the Moon, Mars, and other destinations beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO), the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) is a state-of-the-art human spaceflight system. Lockheed Martin Corporation has selected the LDRA tool suite for software verification and automated testing on the Orion CEV program, and to enable developers to achieve the stringent safety-critical standards required to ensure safe transfer of the astronauts. NASA has awarded Lockheed Martin a multimillion-dollar contract for Orion’s development.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Software, Computer software and hardware, Tools and equipment
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Innovation Begets Innovation

By Robert “Buzz” Kross Senior Vice President of the Manufacturing Division Autodesk San Rafael, CA

Innovation is a way of life at Autodesk. Since our introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk has developed the broadest portfolio of state-ofthe- art digital prototyping solutions to help customers experience their ideas before they are built.

Posted in: Articles, Software, Research and development
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Simulating Operation of a Complex Sensor Network

Simulation Tool for ASCTA Microsensor Network Architecture (STAMiNA) [“ASCTA” denotes the Advanced Sensors Collaborative Technology Alliance.] is a computer program for evaluating conceptual sensor networks deployed over terrain to provide military situational awareness. This or a similar program is needed because of the complexity of interactions among such diverse phenomena as sensing and communication portions of a network, deployment of sensor nodes, effects of terrain, data-fusion algorithms, and threat characteristics.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Computer simulation, Architecture, Sensors and actuators, Surveillance, Military vehicles and equipment
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Software Improves Access to Data at NASA Wind Tunnel Facility

Adept document management software Synergis Software Quakertown, PA 800-836-5440 www.synergis-adept.com

NASA Ames Research Center’s Unitary Plan Wind Tunnels (UPWT) in Mountain View, CA, is a leader in aeronautics and aerospace wind tunnel testing for NASA, industry, the Department of Defense, and other government agencies. The Unitary Plan Wind Tunnels has deployed Synergis Software’s Adept document management software to improve efficiency and management of their design and engineering documents.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Software, Computer software and hardware, Data management, Test facilities, Wind tunnel tests
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Oxidation Behavior of Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Composites

OXIMAP is a numerical (FEA-based) solution tool capable of calculating the carbon fiber and fiber coating oxidation patterns within any arbitrarily shaped carbon silicon carbide composite structure as a function of time, temperature, and the environmental oxygen partial pressure. The mathematical formulation is derived from the mechanics of the flow of ideal gases through a chemically reacting, porous solid. The result of the formulation is a set of two coupled, non-linear differential equations written in terms of the oxidant and oxide partial pressures. The differential equations are solved simultaneously to obtain the partial vapor pressures of the oxidant and oxides as a function of the spatial location and time. The local rate of carbon oxidation is determined at each time step using the map of the local oxidant partial vapor pressure along with the Arrhenius rate equation. The non-linear differential equations are cast into matrix equations by applying the Bubnov- Galerkin weighted residual finite-element method, allowing for the solution of the differential equations numerically.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Software, Finite element analysis, Mathematical models, Measurements, Composite materials, Fibers
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GIDEP Batching Tool

This software provides internal, automated search mechanics of GIDEP (Government- Industry Data Exchange Program) Alert data imported from the GIDEP government Web site. The batching tool allows the import of a single parts list in tab-delimited text format into the local JPL GIDEP database. Delimiters from every part number are removed. The original part numbers with delimiters are compared, as well as the newly generated list without the delimiters. The two lists run against the GIDEP imports, and output any matches. This feature only works with Netscape 2.0 or greater, or Internet Explorer 4.0 or greater.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Software, Computer software and hardware, Data exchange, Parts
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Generic Spacecraft Model for Real-Time Simulation

“Generic Spacecraft” is the name of an evolving library of software that provides for simulation of a generic spacecraft that can orbit the Earth and land on the Moon (and, eventually, on Mars). This library is incorporated into the Langley Standard Realtime Simulation in C++ (LaSRS++) software framework. The generic-spacecraft simulation serves as a test bed for modeling spacecraft dynamics, propulsion, control systems, guidance, and displays.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Computer simulation, Aircraft displays, Spacecraft guidance, Aircraft operations, Spacecraft
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Parallel-Processing Software for Creating Mosaic Images

A computer program implements parallel processing for nearly real-time creation of panoramic mosaics of images of terrain acquired by video cameras on an exploratory robotic vehicle (e.g., a Mars rover). Because the original images are typically acquired at various camera positions and orientations, it is necessary to warp the images into the reference frame of the mosaic before stitching them together to create the mosaic. [Also see “Parallel-Processing Software for Correlating Stereo Images,” Software Supplement to NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 31, No. 9 (September 2007) page 26.]

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Computer software and hardware, Imaging and visualization, Terrain, Robotics, Spacecraft
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