Special Coverage


Flight Processor Virtualization for Size, Weight, and Power Reduction

A flight software system that was originally deployed on six separate physical processors is modeled using a single processor. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland This work demonstrated the cost-saving and fault-tolerant benefits of virtualization technology by consolidating the flight software from multiple flight processors into a single virtualized system. In this study, a flight software system that was originally deployed on six separate physical processors was modeled using a single processor and a real-time embedded hypervisor.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers


Massively Parallel Dantzig-Wolfe Decomposition Applied to Traffic Flow Scheduling

Future decision support tools may make use of the model with commercial-off-the-shelf software and hardware. Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California Traffic flow management (TFM) of the National Airspace System (NAS) endeavors to deliver flights from their origins to their destinations while minimizing delays and respecting all capacities. There are several models for solving this problem. Some models aggregate flights into flows and others consider controls for individual flights. Typically, the latter set of models is computationally difficult to solve for large-scale, high-fidelity scenarios. One of the more heavily studied aircraft-level models presented by Bertsimas and Stock-Patterson (BSP) has runtime concerns that should not be overlooked, but it neatly describes the issues associated with TFM (respecting capacities of airspace resources and the schedules of individual aircraft).

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers


Mission Control Technologies (MCT)

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California MCT enables users to compose software from objects that can be assembled by end users to create integrated functionality. Applications are eliminated in favor of compositions of “live objects” that can be combined in different ways for different users and missions as required, in contrast to the more traditional software development method of pre-determining functionality and building a monolithic application.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers


Thirsty? There’s an App for That

Clean, potable water is one thing the world universally cannot live without. It hydrates. It cleans. It keeps us alive and well. That makes water very valuable to soldiers. However, as many mission planners know, water planning can be a nightmare. Too much water can strain already heavy combat loads, perhaps forcing some soldiers to pack too little in favor of a lighter pack. When soldiers don't have enough water, dehydration could set in, decreasing performance and increasing the risk of serious heat illnesses. To help solve this logistical problem, researchers from the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine’s (USARIEM) Thermal and Mountain Medicine Division and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory worked to develop an app that will help unit leaders accurately predict water needs with the goal of minimizing the burden of water transport and sustaining hydration. The app is designed to satisfy the military’s desire for paperless guidance that is simple, accurate, mission-specific and available in real time.

Posted in: News, PCs/Portable Computers


New Computer Codes Enable Design of Greener, Leaner Aircraft

A computer model that accurately predicts how composite materials behave when damaged will make it easier to design lighter, more fuel-efficient aircraft. Innovative computer codes form the basis of a computer model that shows in unprecedented detail how an aircraft's composite wing, for instance, would behave if it suffered small-scale damage, such as a bird strike. Any tiny cracks that spread through the composite material can be predicted using this model. 

Posted in: News, Aviation, Greenhouse Gases, Composites


NASA Tool Helps Airlines Minimize Weather Delays

A NASA-developed tool, Dynamic Weather Routes (DWR), is designed to alleviate weather-induced air traffic interruptions. The computer software tool is programmed to constantly analyze air traffic throughout the National Airspace System, along with the ever-shifting movements of weather severe enough to require an airliner to make a course change.

Posted in: News, Aviation


Automated Imaging System Analyzes Underground Root Systems

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Penn State University have developed an automated imaging technique for measuring and analyzing the root systems of mature plants. The technique, believed to be the first of its kind, uses advanced computer technology to analyze photographs taken of root systems in the field. The imaging and software are designed to give scientists the statistical information they need to evaluate crop improvement efforts.“We’ve produced an imaging system to evaluate the root systems of plants in field conditions,” said Alexander Bucksch, a postdoctoral fellow in the Georgia Tech School of Biology and School of Interactive Computing. “We can measure entire root systems for thousands of plants to give geneticists the information they need to search for genes with the best characteristics.”Imaging of root systems has, until now, largely been done in the laboratory, using seedlings grown in small pots and containers. Such studies provide information on the early stages of development, and do not directly quantify the effects of realistic growing conditions or field variations in water, soil, or nutrient levels.The technique developed by Georgia Tech and Penn State researchers uses digital photography to provide a detailed image of roots from mature plants in the field. Individual plants to be studied are dug up and their root systems washed clean of soil. The roots are then photographed against a black background using a standard digital camera pointed down from a tripod. A white fabric tent surrounding the camera system provides consistent lighting.The resulting images are then uploaded to a server running software that analyzes the root systems for more than 30 different parameters, including the diameter of tap roots, root density, the angles of brace roots, and detailed measures of lateral roots.SourceAlso: Learn about Strobing to Enhance Display Legibility.

Posted in: News, Cameras, Measuring Instruments