Special Coverage

Soft Robot “Walks” on Any Terrain
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Using Microwaves to Produce High-Quality Graphene
Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
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

Precision Navigation Strategies for Primitive Solar-System-Body Sample Return Missions

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

This project investigated advanced navigation strategies required to approach, perform proximity operations, and return a sample from an asteroid or comet. An optimized navigation strategy for a notional mission to a near-Earth asteroid was developed to serve as a baseline for future missions and mission proposals. Essential simulation and analysis software enhancements were developed and implemented in the Orbit De ter mination Toolbox (ODTBX), an open-source, early mission navigation analysis tool suite built on a flexible architecture. The development efforts of this project resulted in the first fully open-source tool suite with the capabilities of performing primitive body navigation simulation and analyses.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Spacecraft guidance, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Spacecraft guidance
Read More >>

Orbit Determination Toolbox 2012a (v5.0)

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

The Orbit Determination Toolbox (ODTBX) 2012a (v5.0) is an advanced mission simulation and analysis tool used for concept exploration, proposal, early design phase, or rapid design center environments: the emphasis is on flexibility, but it has enough fidelity to produce credible results. ODTBX v5.0 includes multiple feature additions, enhancements, and bug fixes from the prior release (v4.5). The primary user interface and supporting functions are written in Matlab and Java.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Spacecraft guidance, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Spacecraft guidance
Read More >>

Design and Construction of Protograph-Based LDPC Codes

This innovation can be used in magnetic tape recording and other channels with finite-state representation.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Writing (recording) to a storage device and reading from it can be considered as a noisy channel. A storage device such as magnetic recoding and optical recording can be modeled as a partial response channel. Partial-response techniques are a special case of precoding technique where the intersymbol interference is forced to some known pattern. Thus, read-back data from storage devices may have intersymbol interference.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Optics, Optics, Data management, Storage
Read More >>

Spitzer Integrated Resource Planning and Scheduling System (SIRPASS)

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

This decision support system provides an integrated platform for assessing the quality of Spitzer scheduling options. The application aids in scheduling instrument selection, assigns schedule times to specific observation requests, and generates stored sequence products destined for execution on the Spitzer Space Telescope.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Spacecraft
Read More >>

Tracking a Scene on Earth from Space Using the Adaptive Cross-Correlation Algorithm

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

A software program enables a user to track a scene or a spot on Earth from space (such as from the ISS) using an innovative algorithm. This robust and highly accurate software allows a scene to be tracked that can be not only the shifted version of a previous scene, but can also be a distorted one.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Mathematical models, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Imaging, Imaging and visualization
Read More >>

Automated Scheduling of Personnel to Staff Operations for the Mars Science Laboratory

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

The task of producing Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) personnel schedules is daunting. Through automation, the labor and number of mistakes made are reduced when compared to the manual process. This software not only allows for common constraints to be expressed, but also for these to be gracefully descoped in case a solution cannot be found, thus making this unique in the personnel scheduling arena.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware
Read More >>

Area Coverage Path Planning Using Divided Grid-Graphs

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Planning area coverage observations is a challenge in an architecture with a framing imager affixed to a bus that can be moved, and a mirror or other device that allows for small, but fast, observation of adjacent areas along the boresight of a telescope. The telescope boresight can slew slowly while the mirror system maintains pointing on a specific field of view. This allows the continuous gathering of data (much like push - broom instruments) without the need to slew or settle. Since the telescope field of view is much larger than the imager field of view, the areas to be imaged can be divided into quarters.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Architecture, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Architecture, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Data acquisition, Data acquisition (obsolete)
Read More >>

Shape Sensing Using Multicore Fiber Optic Cable and Parametric Curve Solutions

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia

Apaper reports a method of converting distributed curvature measurements into a three-dimensional shape by combining elastic rod theory and differential geometry to arrive at a three-dimensional solution of the Frenet-Serret formulas. A new method of calculating the shape of a multicore fiber optic cable is presented. The method utilizes discrete strain measurements obtained in each core to create a continuous representation of fiber curvature and torsion. The Frenet-Serret equations are then solved using these representations to obtain fiber shape. Shape measurements were found to have, at most, 7.2% error. The primary source of error is most likely externally induced twisting in the fiber.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Software, Optics, Optics
Read More >>

Encoders and Decoders for the AR4JA LDPC Codes

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Low-Density Parity-Check (LDPC) codes are the best error-correcting codes known for a wide variety of communications applications. The AR4JA code family encompasses encoders and decoders for nine error-correcting codes. These include Accumulate, Repeat-by-4, and Jagged Accumulate (AR4JA) codes developed at JPL.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Software, Communication protocols, Communication protocols
Read More >>

Explicitly Filtered Large Eddy Simulation for Prediction of a Conserved Scalar

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

The prediction of a conserved scalar is important in many fields of study. For example, in modeling of combustion processes, if a conserved scalar exists, the mathematical problem can be greatly simplified. Inert gases transported in mixtures of other gases are also simulated by a conserved scalar. This concept is also applicable to atmospheric sciences where pollutant dispersion can be studied by using a passive scalar approach.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Software, Computational fluid dynamics, Gases
Read More >>

The U.S. Government does not endorse any commercial product, process, or activity identified on this web site.