Special Coverage

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
Wet Active Chevron Nozzle for Controllable Jet Noise Reduction
Magnetic Relief Valve
Active Aircraft Pylon Noise Control System
Unmanned Aerial Systems Traffic Management

System and Method for Transferring Telemetry Data Between a Ground Station and a Control Center

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) employs many advanced innovations developed at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and in collaboration with other organizations. The applications and benefits for these technologies are advantageous for many other industries as well. One of those technologies is the Space Link Extension Return Channel Frames (SLE-RCF) software library. This software library enables a mission control center to receive telemetry frames from a ground station. The technology implements the SLE-RCF protocol as defined by the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS). Software routines can be reused from mission to mission.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Electronics & Computers, Software, Communication protocols, Data exchange, Satellite communications, Telemetry


Method and Apparatus for Generating Flight-Optimizing Trajectories

Flight path and altitude modifications are pre-cleared of potential conflicts with other known airplane traffic, weather hazards, and airspace restrictions. Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia NASA’s Langley Research Center is developing Traffic Aware Strategic Aircrew Requests (TASAR). TASAR features a cockpit automation system that monitors for potential flight trajectory improvements and displays them to the pilot. These wind-optimized flight trajectory changes are pre-cleared of potential conflicts with other known airplane traffic, weather hazards, and airspace restrictions. The TASAR is to improve the process in which pilots request flight path and altitude modifications due to changing flight conditions. Changes may be made to reduce flight time, increase fuel efficiency, or improve some other flight attribute desired by the operator. Currently, pilots make such requests to air traffic control (ATC) with limited awareness of what is happening around them. Consequently, some of these requests will be denied resulting in no flight improvements and an unnecessary workload increase for both pilots and ATC. The TASAR technology provides pilots with recommended flight path and altitude improvements that are more likely to be approved by ATC.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Software, Trajectory control, Displays, Air traffic control


Systems, Methods, and Apparatus for Developing and Maintaining Evolving Systems with Software Product Lines

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland Physical manufacturers have been taking advantage of mass manufacturing ideas for a long time, increasing their productivity, cutting their costs, and ensuring the quality and uniformity of their products. Now, this idea is being applied to software production so the same benefits can be reaped in that field.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Software, Computer software and hardware, Productivity


Team Electronic Gameplay Combining Different Means of Control

Applications include biofeedback equipment, physical therapy, athletic training, and mind-body medicine. Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a technology at the forefront of a new generation of computer and video game environments that trains valuable mental skills, beyond eye-hand coordination, for the personal improvement, not just the diversion, of the user.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Software, Computer software and hardware, Human machine interface (HMI), Reaction and response times, Education, Education and training


The K Development Language

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Graphical modeling tools have gained popularity within engineering communities, but such languages are known to suffer from lack of semantics and mathematical rigor. By supporting a graphical language with a textual language, and mapping graphical models to the textual language, one ensures proper unique semantics of the graphical language. In addition, some engineers prefer to express themselves in textual languages not unlike programming languages. This is in part due to the fact that it can be unnecessarily time-consuming to model graphically, and graphical models take up a considerable amount of visual space. As an example, the definition of a function in K may occupy one line of text, whereas in a graphical modeling language, it is not uncommon that such a specification may occupy one page. Finally, it is easier to provide analytical support for a textual language.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Software, Mathematical models, Imaging and visualization, Terminology, Identification


Mission Assurance Systems (MAS) Software Used for Engineering Data Sets Across NASA

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California In the 2006 timeframe NASA’s Constellation Program was looking to address several issues with the way Problem Reporting data had been collected for the Shuttle Program including multiple systems across groups and centers (20+ for Shuttle), inconsistent schemas and processes across systems, difficulty searching within each system, and lack of ability to search across systems. The Program’s goal was to deploy a single new system to be used across the participating groups and centers. The Ames Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) group conducted requirements research into problem reporting across NASA missions (Shuttle, ISS, Mars Exploration Rovers, etc.), centers (JSC, KSC, MSFC, Langley, Armstrong, etc.), and external groups (e.g., the Navy’s SubSafe Program).

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Communication protocols, Computer software and hardware, Data management


MATTC Method for Efficient Prediction of Boundary Layer Transition

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia The objective of the current innovation was to develop a simple but accurate method for predicting boundary layer transition that would include the growth characteristics of laminar boundary layer disturbances while requiring only the pressure distribution over an aerodynamic surface. Other existing methods either give only an estimate of the transition location [and only for surfaces where the TS (Tollmien–Schlichting) growth is the determiner of transition] with no disturbance growth characteristics, or require boundary layer information that must be extracted from a Navier-Stokes flow solver or obtained from a separate boundary layer solver.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Software, Mathematical models, Aerodynamics


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