Special Coverage

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
Mechanoresponsive Healing Polymers
Variable Permeability Magnetometer Systems and Methods for Aerospace Applications
Evaluation Standard for Robotic Research

Detection and Characterization of Recurring Slope Lineae

Recurring Slope Lineae (RSL) are low-albedo features that appear and disappear seasonally on Martian slopes. They provide distinct surface markers that are thought to result from the activity of subsurface water. Reliable characterizations of RSL activity are needed to test this hypothesis. RSL are of high scientific interest, and could inform future mission planning priorities beyond sample return.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Terrain, Water, Identification
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Streams: A Hyper-Responsive Telemetry Interaction Tool on the Web

A new search database provides a hyper-responsive interface that allows operators to rapidly search for only the datapoints of interest.

JPL Operations Engineers (Operators) need to interact with their telemetry to assess the health of and successfully operate a spacecraft or rover. Operators must analyze the immediate data for health and understand the current state of these complex systems, but they also must be able to evaluate the long-term engineering data to identify trends and potential pitfalls that develop over time. Whether starting with long-term trends or short-term data, operators have large amounts of data and need a tool so that their expertise is spent analyzing the data and trends, rather than working to tease these trends from outdated toolsets not equipped to handle large data sets. Existing tools pre-compute either long-term trends or short-term plots, but further ad-hoc analysis is prohibitively difficult, can take many hours per query, and queries necessitate either special access or that the operator be on a specific network to access data and to correlate it to models.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Computer software and hardware, Internet, Telemetry, Data management
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Auto-Coding Flight Software Hybrid Controllers Synthesized from Formal Specifications

The technique of synthesizing state-machine-based hybrid controller flight software (FSW) from formal specifications is demonstrated utilizing two simple controller examples (i.e. a simple thermostat and a simple autonomous vehicle). Formal requirements for these controllers are specified using linear temporal logic (LTL) expressions, expressions describing the system dynamics, and numerical bounds on the control inputs and disturbances (or constraints). A new interface between the Temporal Logic Planning (TuLiP) toolbox — a hybrid controller synthesis software — and the JPL Statechart Autocoder (SCA) — a tool for mapping UML Statecharts to implementation code — was developed. The interface is still under development, but has reached sufficient maturity for demonstration. Results from preliminary prototype demonstrations encourage further collaboration between JPL and Caltech to develop a new capability for synthesizing hybrid controllers to be implemented within JPL Flight Software.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Computer software and hardware, Flight control systems, Collaboration and partnering
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Active Learning System for iPTF Candidate Classification

The Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) is a visible-spectrum astronomy survey aimed at detecting “transient” events such as supernovae. Every night, a telescope at the Palomar observatory collects images of various regions of the sky and compares them to a set of reference images taken on previous nights. The image comparison is done via a subtraction process. The reference images are subtracted from the new nightly images, and any remaining light sources are flagged as candidate transient events.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Artificial intelligence, Imaging and visualization
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Cobra: an Extendable Tool for Interactive Code Analysis

Source code analysis typically requires the use of expensive and difficult-to-configure tools that support only a predefined set of standard checks. In some cases, it is possible to add customized checks, but doing so can be laborious and requires a deep understanding of each tool’s internal data structures, which means that it is rarely done.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Computer software and hardware, Tools and equipment
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IoT Device Battery Analysis

Explore how engineers address the consumer, industrial and medical demand for ever-longer battery life from IoT devices. Learn the tools used to provide insight into an IoT device’s complex battery consumption waveforms and how designers and manufacturers can create new ways to extend the battery life. Download Application Note.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Energy Efficiency, Electronics & Computers, Bio-Medical, Medical
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Common Workflow Service: A Standards-Based Process Management System

As mission operations grow in scale and complexity, there is a prevailing need for automating operational processes to increase efficiency, mitigate risks, and reduce operational costs. The need for automating operational processes has produced a few disparate automation systems within the Advanced Multi Mission Operations System (AMMOS). Without a common solution for process management and automation, each AMMOS subsystem that requires a workflow capability will need to develop its own expertise in the workflow domain as independent systems are developed. This can lead to many incompatible implementations that functionally do similar things. The Common Workflow Service (CWS) attempts to address this issue to avoid independent ad hoc workflow implementations.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Computer software and hardware, Personnel, Automation
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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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