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

Reduced-Order Kalman Filtering for Processing Relative Measurements

A Kalman filter can be propagated using fewer computations.

A study in Kalman-filter theory has led to a method of processing relative measurements to estimate the current state of a physical system, using less computation than has previously been thought necessary. As used here, “relative measurements” signifies measurements that yield information on the relationship between a later and an earlier state of the system. An important example of relative measurements arises in computer vision: Information on relative motion is extracted by comparing images taken at two different times.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Measurements, Imaging and visualization
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Aerobraking Maneuver (ABM) Report Generator

abmREPORT Version 3.1 is a Perl script that extracts vital summarization information from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) aerobraking ABM build process. This information facilitates sequence reviews, and provides a high-level summarization of the sequence for mission management.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Computer software and hardware, Data acquisition and handling, Spacecraft
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ABM Drag_Pass Report Generator

dragREPORT software was developed in parallel with abmREPORT, which is described in the preceding article. Both programs were built on the capabilities created during that process. This tool generates a drag_pass report that summarizes vital information from the MRO aerobreaking drag_pass build process to facilitate both sequence reviews and provide a high-level summarization of the sequence for mission management. The script extracts information from the ENV, SSF, FRF, SCMFmax, and OPTG files, presenting them in a single, easy-to-check report providing the majority of parameters needed for cross check and verification as part of the sequence review process.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Computer software and hardware, Data acquisition and handling, Spacecraft
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Transformation of OODT CAS To Perform Larger Tasks

A computer program denoted OODT CAS has been transformed to enable performance of larger tasks that involve greatly increased data volumes and increasingly intensive processing of data on heterogeneous, geographically dispersed computers. Prior to the transformation, OODT CAS (also alternatively denoted, simply, “CAS”) [wherein “OODT” signifies “Object-Oriented Data Technology” and “CAS” signifies “Catalog and Archive Service”] was a proven software component used to manage scientific data from space-flight missions. In the transformation, CAS was split into two separate components representing its canonical capabilities: file management and workflow management. In addition, CAS was augmented by addition of a resource-management component. This third component enables CAS to manage heterogeneous computing by use of diverse resources, including high-performance clusters of computers, commodity computing hardware, and grid computing infrastructures.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences, Computer software and hardware, Data management, Spacecraft
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Visualization Component of Vehicle Health Decision Support System

The visualization front-end of a Decision Support System (DSS) also includes an analysis engine linked to vehicle telemetry, and a database of learned models for known behaviors. Because the display is graphical rather than text-based, the summarization it provides has a greater information density on one screen for evaluation by a flight controller. This tool provides a system-level visualization of the state of a vehicle, and “drill-down” capability for more details and interfaces to separate analysis algorithms and sensor data streams.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences, Imaging and visualization, On-board diagnostics, On-board diagnostics (OBD), Telemetry, Vehicle health management
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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Uplink Analysis Tool

This software analyzes Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) orbital geometry with respect to Mars Exploration Rover (MER) contact windows, and is the first tool of its kind designed specifically to support MRO-MER interface coordination. Prior to this automated tool, this analysis was done manually with Excel and the UNIX command line. In total, the process would take approximately 30 minutes for each analysis. The current automated analysis takes less than 30 seconds.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Analysis methodologies, Computer software and hardware, Spacecraft
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G-Guidance Interface Design for Small Body Mission Simulation

The G-Guidance software implements a guidance and control (G&C) algorithm for small-body, autonomous proximity operations, developed under the Small Body GN&C task at JPL. The software is written in Matlab and interfaces with G-OPT, a JPL-developed optimization package written in C that provides G-Guidance with guaranteed convergence to a solution in a finite computation time with a prescribed accuracy. The resulting program is computationally efficient and is a prototype of an onboard, real-time algorithm for autonomous guidance and control.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Computer simulation, Mathematical models, Attitude control, Spacecraft guidance
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DSN Scheduling Engine

The DSN (Deep Space Network) Scheduling Engine targets all space missions that use DSN services. It allows clients to issue scheduling, conflict identification, conflict resolution, and status requests in XML over a Java Message Service interface. The scheduling requests may include new requirements that represent a set of tracks to be scheduled under some constraints. This program uses a heuristic local search to schedule a variety of schedule requirements, and is being infused into the Service Scheduling Assembly, a mixed-initiative scheduling application.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Data exchange, Logistics
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Replacement Sequence of Events Generator

The soeWINDOW program automates the generation of an ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations)- compliant sub-RSOE (Replacement Sequence of Events) by extracting a specified temporal window from an RSOE while maintaining page header information. RSOEs contain a significant amount of information that is not ITAR-compliant, yet that foreign partners need to see for command details to their instrument, as well as the surrounding commands that provide context for validation. soeWINDOW can serve as an example of how command support products can be made ITAR-compliant for future missions.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Computer software and hardware, Defense industry, Globalization, Regulations, Standardization
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Force-Control Algorithm for Surface Sampling

A G-FCON algorithm is designed for small-body surface sampling. It has a linearization component and a feedback component to enhance performance. The algorithm regulates the contact force between the tip of a robotic arm attached to a spacecraft and a surface during sampling. The control algorithm is insensitive to the surface properties, enabling it to maintain the right contact force for a wide range of surface compliance properties.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Mathematical models, Electronic control systems, Robotics, Test equipment and instrumentation, Test procedures
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