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Mars Science Laboratory Second-Chance Flight Software

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Mars lander spacecraft, beginning with Mars Pathfinder (MPF), have been designed to tolerate flight computer resets during the entry, descent, and landing (EDL) phase despite having only a single flight computer. This capability was enabled by a predictable, non-dynamic EDL architecture. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft has a highly dynamic EDL architecture as well as dual flight computers, adding more complexity to EDL flight software fault tolerance.

Posted in: Briefs, Aviation, Electronics & Computers

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Multi-User Investigation Organizer

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California InvestigationOrganizer (IO) is a Web-based information system that integrates the generic functionality of a database, a document repository, a semantic hyper-media browser, and a rule-based inference system with specialized modeling and visualization functionality to support mishap investigations. The semantic hypermedia component includes a customizable ontology that specifies various types of items (people, places, events, causes, systems, and associated information products) relevant to mishap investigations. The ontology also describes important properties of each item type, and details the potential relationships among items.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers

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Unit Conversion Macro for TecPlot Solutions for CFD

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas The invention is a TecPlot macro, which is a computer program in the TecPlot programming language that processes CFD (computational fluid dynamics) solutions in TecPlot format. The TecPlot data is in SI units (International System of Units) [same as CFD solutions]. This invention converts the SI units into U.S. customary units.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Mathematical/Scientific Software

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Product of the Month: February 2015

Luxion, Irvine, CA, released KeyShot® 5.1 real-time ray tracing and global illumination software for rendering and lighting of models and assemblies. New features include procedural textures and options, SØrensen Leather materials, and improvements that enable users to edit patterns, and render all cameras and viewsets. The new version supports touch-enabled devices and retina displays. Six new textures are available, including brushed, camouflage, lattice circular, spots, and lattice polygon. The software supports PTC Creo 3.0 with direct import and a free downloadable plug-in that maintains all color assignments and assembly structure while allowing users to select simplified representations. It supports devices with a multi-touch interface running Windows.

Posted in: Products, Electronics & Computers

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Digital Controller

ZMDI, Dresden, Germany, released the ZSPM2000 configurable digital PWM controller with integrated MOSFET driver for smart digital point-of-load (POL) solutions. The controller operates as a synchronous step-down converter in a single-rail, single-phase configuration. It features an integrated power-stage driver, and digital communication and control via the PMBus™ interface. Other features include digital-control algorithms, anti-cross-conduction, and power-saving features.

Posted in: Products

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Source Measure Instrument

Keithley Instruments, Cleveland, OH, introduced the Model 2460 SourceMeter® Source Measure Unit (SMU) instrument with a capacitive touchscreen graphical user interface. It offers power sourcing up to 105V, 7A DC/7A pulse, 100W max, with 0.012% basic measurement accuracy and 6½-digit resolution. It combines the functionality of a power supply, true current source, 6½-digit multimeter, electronic load, and trigger controller in one half-rack instrument. Other features are a full-color 5" touchscreen, graphical plotting, quickset modes, and instrument control software.

Posted in: Products

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JWST IV&V Simulation and Test (JIST) RT Logic T501 Emulator

Emulator using only software implements the behavior of a processor. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland In order to develop a software-only test environment for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) mission, a solution was needed to send commands and receive telemetry between the TCTS (Telemetry and Command Test Set) and CMM-S card. The as-is solution requires the utilization of commercial off-the-shelf hardware (RT Logic Telemetrix T501 processor) and custom CMM-S hardware.

Posted in: Articles, Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers

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