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

Crisis Mapping Toolkit (CMT) V1

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California

The increasing availability of accessible geospatial data with a turnaround time of days or hours provides unique opportunities for responders to better plan responses to crises, and to inform victims, friends, and relatives of local crisis conditions. However, this raw data is not readily interpretable by the general public.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Software, Computer software and hardware, Human factors, Disaster and emergency management, Emergency management

Real-Bogus Machine Learning Systems at the Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory

The intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) is a wide-field sky survey of the optical transient sky (e.g., supernovae, variable stars) that uses image subtraction for the discovery of astronomical transients. Astronomical transients, such as supernovae, are only observable on a timescale of weeks to months. In order to thoroughly study supernova physics, it is important to detect the supernova as early as possible to trigger follow-up assets that can begin observing the event in multiple wavelengths prior to its decline.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Imaging and visualization, Neural networks

Scalable Gaussian Process Regression

For multimodal data, this method gives higher prediction accuracy than a single approximate model.

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California

Block GP is a Gaussian Process regression framework for multimodal data that can be an order of magnitude more scalable than existing state-of-the-art nonlinear regression algorithms. The framework builds local Gaussian Processes on semantically meaningful partitions of the data and provides higher prediction accuracy than a single global model with very high confidence. The method relies on approximating the covariance matrix of the entire input space by smaller covariance matrices that can be modeled independently, and can therefore be parallelized for faster execution.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Software, Analysis methodologies, Mathematical models

MBSE-Driven Systems Engineering Visualization Suite

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

There is a need to define the information architecture, ontologies, and patterns that drive the construction and architecture of Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) models, but less clarity is given to the logical follow-on of that effort: how to practically leverage the resulting semantic richness of a wellformed populated model.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Software, CAD, CAM, and CAE, Imaging and visualization, Systems engineering

Python Turbulence Detection Algorithm (PyTDA)

Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama

This software, written in the Python programming language, estimates turbulence from Doppler radar data. It ingests radar data using the Department of Energy’s Py-ART open-source radar software toolkit.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Software, Computer software and hardware, Data acquisition and handling, Radar, Turbulence

The Synergy of Engineering

At the Hannover Messe trade fair in Germany, Eplan Software & Service, with its affiliate company Cideon, introduced Syngineer, an innovative communication and information platform that integrates mechanical engineering, software engineering, and controls engineering through one mechatronic structure. Eplan, a sister company of Rittal Corporation in the Friedhelm Loh Group, offers Syngineer as a solution for simplifying synchronization across all three disciplines, accelerating design engineering and development.

Posted in: Articles, News, Communications, Electronics & Computers, Software

Distributed, Fast, Intelligent Infrastructure Health Monitoring System

Improve operation and reduce maintenance costs with intelligent systems.

Stennis Space Center, Mississippi

NASA needed an innovative solution to conduct system assessments of frameworks and to characterize subsystems of interest. This tool would be required to determine anomalies; examine their causes (root-cause analysis); make predictive statements (prognostics); provide intelligent health monitoring with incremental knowledge for working with unknown scenarios; and provide maintenance support for a complex collection of systems, subsystems, and elements in rocket engine test platforms.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Diagnostics, Maintenance, repair, and service operations, Prognostics, Rocket engines

Net Radiation and Evapotranspiration (Rn/ET) Download Product Tools and Interfaces

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

This toolset automates downloads of global, multi-year Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and related data necessary for performing net radiation and evapotranspiration (Rn/ET) modeling, and provides an application programming interface (API) for simple and reliable access of these data from Python or MATLAB applications. Several useful utilities for validating and curating/indexing the downloaded data are also included.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Computer software and hardware, Data acquisition and handling, Spectroscopy, Radiation

Software Tools for Fault Management Technologies

Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama

Several key areas of improvement in effect design, development, verification, and validation of fault management processes have been identified in NASA’s Fault Management Handbook. The majority of these guidelines are focused on making the modeling tools more user friendly and reducing the modeling cost and time, as well as enhancing the analytic capabilities.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Computer simulation, Failure analysis, Technical review

Tool to Analyze a Leaking Source of Saturated Ammonia

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas

Containers of ammonia are used to supply cooling to different modules of the International Space Station. Each container has an attachment piece used to extract the ammonia. The attachment piece may allow ammonia to exit when not connected, and may also allow ammonia to exit to an outside area even when connected. The ammonia that has exited the container may accumulate in different compartments of the spacecraft. The ammonia is not desirable when accumulated in a compartment with a certain concentration.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Containers, Gases, Hazardous materials, Test equipment and instrumentation, Spacecraft

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