Special Coverage

Supercomputer Cooling System Uses Refrigerant to Replace Water
Computer Chips Calculate and Store in an Integrated Unit
Electron-to-Photon Communication for Quantum Computing
Mechanoresponsive Healing Polymers
Variable Permeability Magnetometer Systems and Methods for Aerospace Applications
Evaluation Standard for Robotic Research
Small Robot Has Outstanding Vertical Agility
Smart Optical Material Characterization System and Method
Lightweight, Flexible Thermal Protection System for Fire Protection

Computer-aided Engineering: The Future Is Now

Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) software is the designer’s best friend, a tool proven to enhance the productivity of the user. It has liberated engineers from the most tedious aspects of their job, shortened project turnaround times and improved the quality and accuracy of their work.

Posted in: White Papers, Software


Thinking About Switching CAD Platforms? Check out this report.

As CAD vendors adjust their licensing and software models and as your business deals with staffing and marketing changes it only makes sense to re-assess software requirements. With this report from Tech Clarity, you’ll have a fantastic guide to leverage on your journey.  Now you’ll have all the critical factors to consider when assessing your CAD platform. The in-depth examination covers topics such as: * Why change; * Setting organizational expectations; and * What’s import to leading CAD users.

Posted in: White Papers, Electronics & Computers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Software


Predicting Magnetospheric Relativistic >1 MeV Electrons

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California There is an association between High-Intensity Long-Duration Continuous AE (HILDCAA) activity intervals and the acceleration of relativistic >1 MeV electrons in the magnetosphere. All of the HILDCAAs that occurred in solar cycle 23 (SC23) from 1995 to 2008 led to the acceleration of E>0.6 MeV, >2.0 MeV, and >4.0 MeV electrons in the Earth’s outer radiation belts. What is particularly noteworthy is that the E>0.6 MeV electron acceleration was delayed ~1.0 day after the onset of the HILDCAA event, the E>2.0 MeV electrons delayed ~1.5 days after the onset of the HILDCAA event, and the E>4.0 MeV electrons delayed ~2.5 days after the onset of the HILDCAA event.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Mathematical analysis, Measurements, Radiation, Spacecraft


Optimal Prioritized Actuator Allocation

This allocation could improve the safety and autonomy of missions where it is critical to match torque first to minimize disturbances to spacecraft pointing. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California For formation flying, rendezvous and docking, and proximity operations with small bodies of the solar system, spacecraft require simultaneous translational and rotational agility. The necessary agility is generally provided by combinations of multiple small thrusters and torque-only actuators. To use these actuators, an onboard control system first calculates desired forces and torques that cause a spacecraft to follow a desired trajectory. Then the commanded forces and torques are turned into individual commands to specific actuators such that the combined action of all the actuators realizes as closely as possible the commanded forces and torques. This problem is referred to as actuator (or control) allocation.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Trajectory control, Sensors and actuators, Spacecraft guidance, Spacecraft


Terrain Model Registration

Model registration solves target tracking and target handoff problems. Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California This technology is a method for registration of terrain models created using stereovision on a planetary rover. Most 3D model registration approaches use some variant of iterated closest point (ICP), which minimizes a norm based on the distances between corresponding points on an arbitrary 3D surface where closest points are taken to be corresponding points. The approach taken here instead projects the two surface models into a common viewpoint, rendering the models as they would be seen from a single range sensor. Correspondence is established by determining which points on the two surfaces project to the same location on the virtual range sensor image plane. The norm of the deviations in observed depth at all pixels is used as the objective function, and the algorithm finds the rigid transformation, which minimizes the norm. This recovered transformation can be used for visual odometry, rover pose estimation, and feature handoff.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Mathematical models, Measurements, Imaging and visualization, Terrain, Spacecraft


Error Budget for Pointing at Surface Features From Close Range

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Traditional error budgets that characterize pointing capability in terms of a single radial angle lack sufficient information to support analysis of pointing error in terms of distance along a nearby surface.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Mathematical analysis, Measurements


Traceable Automation with Remote Display and Interruptible Scheduler Version 1.04.0

Many complex procedures can be completed more quickly, under controlled conditions, and without human intervention or error. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Traceable Automation with Remote Display and Interruptible Scheduler (TARDIS) is a software set designed for use in ground operations. TARDIS is a multi-mission automation framework that supports seamless integration of manual and automatic processing. It was developed to automate mission design and navigation (MDN) procedures, but is general enough to automate many other kinds of procedures as well. It allows users to define the tasks to run and the circumstances under which to run them. Thereafter, TARDIS watches the entire host computer and automatically runs the corresponding tasks as conditions change. It also watches the tasks as they run and logs their results. It provides a graphical user interface (GUI) front end, so users can monitor and control system state and task progress from any Web browser. As a result, many complex procedures can be completed more quickly, under controlled conditions, and without human intervention or error.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Computer software and hardware, Human machine interface (HMI), Displays, Ground support, Automation


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