Special Coverage

Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines
Vibration Tables Shake Up Aerospace and Car Testing
Supercomputer Cooling System Uses Refrigerant to Replace Water
Computer Chips Calculate and Store in an Integrated Unit
Electron-to-Photon Communication for Quantum Computing

NEQAIR v14.x Non-Equilibrium Radiative Transport and Spectra Program

There is a need to calculate the radiative heating rate at the surface of a vehicle entering any atmosphere, (e.g., Earth, Saturn, Titan, Mars, Venus etc). NEQAIR simulates the actual chemical and physical actions and reactions of the gaseous species in high-temperature shock layers. NEQAIR has been NASA’s main radiation code for the past 30 years. It is a line-by-line radiation code that computes spontaneous emission, absorption, and stimulated emission due to transitions between various energy states of chemical species along a line of sight. There have recently been substantial updates to the physics in the code and the computational efficiency in NEQAIR; v14.0 is the first parallelized version that has resulted in calculations speeding up by a factor of approximately 30×.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Exteriors, Mathematical models, Thermal testing, Entry, descent, and landing, Spacecraft
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Systems Engineering Education and Development (SEED) Web Application

This application serves as Web-based management of the Systems Engi - neering Education and Development (SEED) program, and enables the SEED Program Manager to track and manage the applications and assignments. In the past, the handling of the applications and assignments was cumbersome due to a manual process with paper copies of competencies and applicant data. The new system enables the automation of the entire process to streamline determination of both the viability of the applicants and the effectiveness of the program on the participants through the course of their time in the program.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Internet, Education, Education and training, Personnel, Systems engineering
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Hammer 1.0

Many software applications have scripting needs including those based on the Goddard Mission Services Evolution Center (GMSEC) framework. In GMSEC, a user may want to automate the actions to take when a sequence of events occurs. Ideally, the scripting solution should allow the use of a familiar programming language and avoid unnecessary constraints. The existing GMSEC Criteria Action Table (CAT) is limited in these respects.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Computer software and hardware, Customization, Product development, Automation
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Extended Testability Analysis (ETA) Tool V8.0

This tool provides fast, efficient, and effective diagnostic assessment reports.

An assessment of a system’s safety requirements is required early in the design process when cost and time impacts are minimal. These requirements include fault detection, failure isolation, and failure recovery. Systems engineering groups at NASA have been exploring model-based products to better support verification of these safety requirements. One such product involves qualitative failure propagation modeling as a means to achieve early assessment of the system prior to the availability of higher fidelity information. These early development products lack the advanced reporting and analysis capabilities required to address the needs of system designers and domain experts. Therefore, post-processing tools need to be developed to support the interrogation of the model, and the structured reporting required by system engineers.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Design processes, Failure modes and effects analysis, Systems engineering
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NASA Names 2016 Software of the Year

NASA announced the winners of the Software of the Year awards for 2016: Langley Research Center and Ames Research Center.

TAP cockpit-based software helps pilots determine the most efficient flight paths to their destinations while en-route.

Traffic Aware Planner (TAP) was developed by NASA Langley and Engility Corp. of Billerica, MA. TAP is cockpit-based software that helps pilots determine the most efficient flight paths to their destinations while they are en-route and flying among other aircraft in the airspace. The application then allows them to make traffic aware strategic aircrew requests (TASAR) to ask air traffic controllers for a route change.

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace, Software
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Signal Routing Software

Pickering Interfaces, Clacton-on-Sea, UK, offers Switch Path Manager™ signal routing software that simplifies signal routing through switching systems, and automatically connects system endpoints. CLOSE and OPEN commands with additional parameters like module number and channel number control the required relays. The software virtually describes any switching architecture and processes all stored project data for switching and routing at runtime.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Software
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Operator Interface

Parker’s Electromechanical and Drives Division North America, Rohnert Park, CA, released the XT Parker’s Xpress™ Power Station operator interface with Xpress 4.1 runtime and development software. The solid-state device features 15G peak shock and 5-500 Hz vibration ratings, and a fanless, ventless design. The 1.83-GHz quadcore processor and 4GB DDR3L RAM support a graphical programming environment that enables remote viewing, controlling, and editing of the interface from a browser.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Software
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System Implementation Software

EPLAN Software & Services LLC, Schaumburg, IL, released EPLAN Platform version 2.6 that includes features for terminal design and project data management, the representation of piping in fluid power engineering, and optimized IT integration. Using the Quick Input Filter for project management enables users to process and manage projects and project data. EPLAN Fluid Professional can represent piping and hydraulic hose lines directly in 3D with complete layout functionality. Users can be imported into an IT infrastructure instead of having to create a new user.

Posted in: Products, Software
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Will artificial intelligence do more good than bad for humanity?

This week's Question: World-famous physicist Stephen Hawking recently warned that the creation of powerful artificial intelligence will be “either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity.” Hawking noted the risks of creating superintelligence with a will of its own, while also mentioning AI's ability to "undo some of the damage done to the natural world" and eradicate disease and poverty. What do you think? Will artificial intelligence do more good than bad for humanity?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Automation, Software
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Quality Driven: Automotive Display Testing

Instrumentation, information, navigation and entertainment systems have moved to fully graphical, touch-enhanced displays, and customers expect the quality of these displays to be on par with that of their consumer electronics. Makers of in-vehicle displays must keep pace with improvements in display quality, increasing screen sizes, and higher resolutions. Quality inspection of these displays faces a unique set of challenges. They will be viewed in widely varied lighting and must withstand harsh environmental conditions. Detection of subtle flaws that could worsen as a result of these circumstances is critical to ensuring a high quality display throughout the lifespan of the vehicle.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Automotive, Software
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