Special Coverage

Mechanoresponsive Healing Polymers
Variable Permeability Magnetometer Systems and Methods for Aerospace Applicationst
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
High-Precision Electric Gate for Time-of-Flight Ion Mass Spectrometers
Polyimide Wire Insulation Repair System
Distributed Propulsion Concepts and Superparamagnetic Energy Harvesting Hummingbird Engine
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Earth Observing System Data Gateway

The Earth Observing System Data Gateway (EDG) software provides a “onestop-shopping” standard interface for exploring and ordering Earth-science data stored at geographically distributed sites. EDG enables a user to do the following:

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Mercury Shopping Cart

Mercury Shopping Cart Interface (MSCI) is a reusable component of the Power User Interface 5.0 (PUI) program described in the immediately preceding article. MSCI is a means of encapsulating the logic and information needed to describe an orderable item consistent with Mercury Shopping Cart service protocol. Designed to be used with Web-browser software, MSCI generates Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) pages on which ordering information can be entered. MSCI comprises two types of Practical Extraction and Report Language (PERL) modules: template modules and shopping-cart logic modules. Template modules generate HTML pages for entering the required ordering details and enable submission of the order via a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) post. Shopping-cart modules encapsulate the logic and data needed to describe an individual orderable item to the Mercury Shopping Cart service. These modules evaluate information entered by the user to determine whether it is sufficient for the Shopping Cart service to process the order. Once an order has been passed from MSCI to a deployed Mercury Shopping Cart server, there is no further interaction with the user.

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Cassini Archive Tracking System

The Cassini Archive Tracking System (CATS) is a computer program that enables tracking of scientific data transfers from originators to the Planetary Data System (PDS) archives. Without CATS, there is no systematic means of locating products in the archive process or ensuring their completeness. By keeping a database of transfer communications and status, CATS enables the Cassini Project and the PDS to efficiently and accurately report on archive status. More importantly, problem areas are easily identified through customized reports that can be generated on the fly from any Web-enabled computer. A Web-browser interface and clearly defined authorization scheme provide safe distributed access to the system, where users can perform functions such as create customized reports, record a transfer, and respond to a transfer. CATS ensures that Cassini provides complete science archives to the PDS on schedule and that those archives are available to the science community by the PDS. The three-tier architecture is loosely coupled and designed for simple adaptation to multi-mission use. Written in the Java programming language, it is portable and can be run on any Java-enabled Web server.

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Computing Fault Displacements From Surface Deformations

Simplex is a computer program that calculates locations and displacements of subterranean faults from data on Earth-surface deformations. The calculation involves inversion of a forward model (given a point source representing a fault, a forward model calculates the surface deformations) for displacements, and strains caused by a fault located in isotropic, elastic half-space. The inversion involves the use of nonlinear, multi-parameter estimation techniques. The input surface-deformation data can be in multiple formats, with absolute or differential positioning. The input data can be derived from multiple sources, including interferometric synthetic-aperture radar, the Global Positioning System, and strain meters. Parameters can be constrained or free. Estimates can be calculated for single or multiple faults. Estimates of parameters are accompanied by reports of their covariances and uncertainties. Simplex has been tested extensively against forward models and against other means of inverting geodetic data and seismic observations.

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Scheduling With Automatic Resolution of Conflicts

DSN Requirement Scheduler is a computer program that automatically schedules, reschedules, and resolves conflicts for allocations of resources of NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) on the basis of ever changing project requirements for DSN services. As used here, “resources” signifies, primarily, DSN antennas, ancillary equipment, and times during which they are available. Examples of project-required DSN services include arraying, segmentation, very-long-baseline interferometry, and multiple spacecraft per aperture. Requirements can include periodic reservations of specific or optional resources during specific time intervals or within ranges specified in terms of starting times and durations. This program is built on the Automated Scheduling and Planning Environment (ASPEN) software system (aspects of which have been described in previous NASA Tech Briefs articles), with customization to reflect requirements and constraints involved in allocation of DSN resources. Unlike prior DSN-resource scheduling programs that make single passes through the requirements and require human intervention to resolve conflicts, this program makes repeated passes in a continuing search for all possible allocations, provides a best-effort solution at any time, and presents alternative solutions among which users can choose.

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Computing for Aiming a Spaceborne Bistatic-Radar Transmitter

BISTAT is a computer program for use in aiming a spaceborne bistatic-radar transmitting antenna at a remote planet that has an atmosphere, such that after refraction by the atmosphere and reflection from the surface of the planet, the radar signal travels toward a receiver on Earth.  BISTAT includes an algorithm that neglects atmospheric refraction and calculates a specular reflection point for a spacecraft at a given location. The specular-reflection point is then used as an initial guess for a modified limb-track algorithm that takes atmospheric refraction into account. The output of BISTAT for all spacecraft positions of interest constitutes a pointing profile; the output data are in the form of an inertial-vector file and a Doppler-residual file. The inertial-vector file is used to command the attitude of the spacecraft; the Doppler residual file is used to determine a downlink frequency file for the receiver.

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Symbolic Constraint Maintenance Grid

Version 3.1 of Symbolic Constraint Maintenance Grid (SCMG) is a software system that provides a general conceptual framework for utilizing pre-existing programming techniques to perform symbolic transformations of data.  SCMG also provides a language (and an associated communication method and protocol) for representing constraints on the original nonsymbolic data. SCMG provides a facility for exchanging information between numeric and symbolic components without knowing the details of the components themselves. In essence, it integrates symbolic software tools (for diagnosis, prognosis, and planning) with non-artificial-intelligence software. SCMG executes a process of symbolic summarization and monitoring of continuous time series data that are being abstractly represented as symbolic templates of information exchange. This summarization process enables such symbolic-reasoning computing systems as artificial-intelligence planning systems to evaluate the significance and effects of channels of data more efficiently than would otherwise be possible. As a result of the increased efficiency in representation, reasoning software can monitor more channels and is thus able to perform monitoring and control functions more effectively.

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