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

BigView Image Viewing on Tiled Displays

BigView allows for interactive panning and zooming of images of arbitrary size on desktop PCs running Linux. Additionally, it can work in a multi-screen environment where multiple PCs cooperate to view a single, large image. Using this software, one can explore — on relatively modest machines — images such as the Mars Orbiter Camera mosaic [92,160×33,280 pixels].

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Computer software and hardware, Displays


Rapid Analysis of Mass Distribution of Radiation Shielding

Radiation Shielding Evaluation Toolset (RADSET) is a computer program that rapidly calculates the spatial distribution of mass of an arbitrary structure for use in ray-tracing analysis of the radiation-shielding properties of the structure. RADSET was written to be used in conjunction with unmodified commercial computer-aided design (CAD) software that provides access to data on the structure and generates selected three-dimensional-appearing views of the structure. RADSET obtains raw geometric, material, and mass data on the structure from the CAD software.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, CAD, CAM, and CAE, Computer software and hardware, Radiation protection, Spacecraft


Software Compensates Electronic-Nose Readings for Humidity

A computer program corrects for the effects of humidity on the readouts of an array of chemical sensors (an “electronic nose”). To enable the use of this program, the array must incorporate an independent humidity sensor in addition to sensors designed to detect analytes other than water vapor. The basic principle of the program was described in “Compensating for Effects of Humidity on Electronic Noses” (NPO- 30615), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 6 (June 2004), page 63. To recapitulate: The output of the humidity sensor is used to generate values that are subtracted from the outputs of the other sensors to correct for contributions of humidity to those readings. Hence, in principle, what remains after corrections are the contributions of the analytes only.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Computer software and hardware, Sensors and actuators, Water


Imaging Sensor Flight and Test Equipment Software

The Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) is one of the components onboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite, and was designed to detect and locate lightning over the tropics. The LIS flight code was developed to run on a single onboard digital signal processor, and has operated the LIS instrument since 1997 when the TRMM satellite was launched.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Software, Computer software and hardware, Imaging and visualization, Sensors and actuators, Weather and climate, Satellites


Space Propulsion Design and Analysis

This software provides an improved methodology for predicting launcher base pressure and heat loads for RSRM (Reusable Solid Rocket Motor) launchers by accounting for complex anisotropic stress/ strains and variable turbulent Prandtl and Schmidt numbers. A “building block” approach to turbulence model development, and validation has been applied for improved missile/ launcher base region analysis.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Software, Mathematical models, Computer software and hardware, Reusable launch vehicles and shuttles


Processing AIRS Scientific Data Through Level 2

The Atmospheric Infrared Spectrometer (AIRS) Science Processing System (SPS) is a collection of computer programs, denoted product generation executives (PGEs), for processing the readings of the AIRS suite of infrared and microwave instruments orbiting the Earth aboard NASA’s Aqua spacecraft. AIRS SPS at an earlier stage of development was described in “Initial Processing of Infrared Spectral Data” (NPO-35243), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 11 (November 2004), page 39. To recapitulate: Starting from level 0 (representing raw AIRS data), the PGEs and their data products are denoted by alphanumeric labels (1A, 1B, and 2) that signify the successive stages of processing. The cited prior article described processing through level 1B (the level-2 PGEs were not yet operational).

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Imaging and visualization, Data management, Documentation, Spacecraft



PREDICTS is a computer program that predicts the frequencies, as functions of time, of signals to be received by a radio science receiver — in this case, a special-purpose digital receiver dedicated to analysis of signals received by an antenna in NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN). Unlike other software used in the DSN, PREDICTS does not use interpolation early in the calculations; as a consequence, PREDICTS is more precise and more stable. The precision afforded by the other DSN software is sufficient for telemetry; the greater precision afforded by PREDICTS is needed for radio-science experiments. In addition to frequencies as a function of time, PREDICTS yields the rates of change and interpolation coefficients for the frequencies and the beginning and ending times of reception, transmission, and occultation.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Antennas, Computer software and hardware, Reliability


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