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Social Networking Adapted for Distributed Scientific Collaboration

Sci-Share provides scientists with a set of tools for e-mail, file sharing, and information transfer. Sci-Share is a social networking site with novel, specially designed feature sets to enable simultaneous remote collaboration and sharing of large data sets among scientists. The site will include not only the standard features found on popular consumer-oriented social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace, but also a number of powerful tools to extend its functionality to a science collaboration site.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs

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3D Drop Size Distribution Extrapolation Algorithm Using a Single Disdrometer

Multiple sensors are not required for successful implementation of the 3D interpolation/ extrapolation algorithm. Determining the Z-R relationship (where Z is the radar reflectivity factor and R is rainfall rate) from disdrometer data has been and is a common goal of cloud physicists and radar meteorology researchers. The usefulness of this quantity has traditionally been limited since radar represents a volume measurement, while a disdrometer corresponds to a point measurement. To solve that problem, a 3D-DSD (drop-size distribution) method of determining an equivalent 3D Z-R was developed at the University of Central Florida and tested at the Kennedy Space Center, FL. Unfortunately, that method required a minimum of three disdrometers clustered together within a microscale network (≈1-km separation). Since most commercial disdrometers used by the radar meteorology/cloud physics community are high-cost instruments, three disdrometers located within a microscale area is generally not a practical strategy due to the limitations of these kinds of research budgets.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs

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Iterative Transform Phase Diversity: An Image-Based Object and Wavefront Recovery

The Iterative Transform Phase Diversity algorithm is designed to solve the problem of recovering the wavefront in the exit pupil of an optical system and the object being imaged. This algorithm builds upon the robust convergence capability of Variable Sampling Mapping (VSM), in combination with the known success of various deconvolution algorithms. VSM is an alternative method for enforcing the amplitude constraints of a Misell-Gerchberg-Saxton (MGS) algorithm. When provided the object and additional optical parameters, VSM can accurately recover the exit pupil wavefront. By combining VSM and deconvolution, one is able to simultaneously recover the wavefront and the object.

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Space Operations Learning Center

The Space Operations Learning Center (SOLC) is a tool that provides an online learning environment where students can learn science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through a series of training modules. SOLC is also an effective media for NASA to showcase its contributions to the general public. SOLC is a Web-based environment with a learning platform for students to understand STEM through interactive modules in various engineering topics.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs

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Projection of Stabilized Aerial Imagery Onto Digital Elevation Maps for Geo-Rectified and Jitter-Free Viewing

Projection code is faster, cleaner, and easier to integrate. As imagery is collected from an airborne platform, an individual viewing the images wants to know from where on the Earth the images were collected. To do this, some information about the camera needs to be known, such as its position and orientation relative to the Earth. This can be provided by common inertial navigation systems (INS). Once the location of the camera is known, it is useful to project an image onto some representation of the Earth. Due to the non-smooth terrain of the Earth (mountains, valleys, etc.), this projection is highly non-linear. Thus, to ensure accurate projection, one needs to project onto a digital elevation map (DEM). This allows one to view the images overlaid onto a representation of the Earth.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs

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Large Eddy Simulation (LES) of Particle-Laden Temporal Mixing Layers

High-fidelity models of plume-regolith interaction are difficult to develop because of the widely disparate flow conditions that exist in this process. The gas in the core of a rocket plume can often be modeled as a time-dependent, high-temperature, turbulent, reacting continuum flow. However, due to the vacuum conditions on the lunar surface, the mean molecular path in the outer parts of the plume is too long for the continuum assumption to remain valid. Molecular methods are better suited to model this region of the flow. Finally, granular and multiphase flow models must be employed to describe the dust and debris that are displaced from the surface, as well as how a crater is formed in the regolith. At present, standard commercial CFD (computational fluid dynamics) software is not capable of coupling each of these flow regimes to provide an accurate representation of this flow process, necessitating the development of custom software.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs

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OVERSMART Reporting Tool for Flow Computations Over Large Grid Systems

Structured grid solvers such as NASA’s OVERFLOW compressible Navier-Stokes flow solver can generate large data files that contain convergence histories for flow equation residuals, turbulence model equation residuals, component forces and moments, and component relative motion dynamics variables. Most of today’s largescale problems can extend to hundreds of grids, and over 100 million grid points. However, due to the lack of efficient tools, only a small fraction of information contained in these files is analyzed.

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