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

Genetic Algorithm Optimizes Q-LAW Control Parameters

A document discusses a multi-objective, genetic algorithm designed to optimize Lyapunov feedback control law (Q-law) parameters in order to efficiently find Pareto- optimal solutions for low-thrust trajectories for electronic propulsion systems. These would be propellant-optimal solutions for a given flight time, or flight time optimal solutions for a given propellant requirement. The approximate solutions are used as good initial solutions for high-fidelity optimization tools. When the good initial solutions are used, the high-fidelity optimization tools quickly converge to a locally optimal solution near the initial solution.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences, Trajectory control, Mathematical models, Optimization, Propellants, Spacecraft fuel
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Quantum-Inspired Maximizer

A report discusses an algorithm for a new kind of dynamics based on a quantum-classical hybrid-quantum-inspired maximizer. The model is represented by a modified Madelung equation in which the quantum potential is replaced by different, specially chosen “computational” potential. As a result, the dynamics attains both quantum and classical properties: it preserves superposition and entanglement of random solutions, while allowing one to measure its state variables, using classical methods. Such optimal combination of characteristics is a perfect match for quantum-inspired computing. As an application, an algorithm for global maximum of an arbitrary integrable function is proposed. The idea of the proposed algorithm is very simple: based upon the Quantum-inspired Maximizer (QIM), introduce a positive function to be maximized as the probability density to which the solution is attracted. Then the larger value of this function will have the higher probability to appear.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences, Mathematical models, Statistical analysis
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Spiking Neurons for Analysis of Patterns

High-performance pattern-analysis systems could be implemented as analog VLSI circuits.

Artificial neural networks comprising spiking neurons of a novel type have been conceived as improved pattern- analysis and pattern- recognition computational systems. These neurons are represented by a mathematical model denoted the state- variable model (SVM), which among other things, exploits a computational parallelism inherent in spiking-neuron geometry. Networks of SVM neurons offer advantages of speed and computational efficiency, relative to traditional artificial neural networks. The SVM also overcomes some of the limitations of prior spiking-neuron models. There are numerous potential pattern-recognition, tracking, and data-reduction (data preprocessing) applications for these SVM neural networks on Earth and in exploration of remote planets.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences, Mathematical models, Neural networks, Performance upgrades
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Symmetric Phase-Only Filtering in Particle-Image Velocimetry

Performance is enhanced significantly with little increase in computation time.

Symmetrical phase-only filtering (SPOF) can be exploited to obtain substantial improvements in the results of data processing in particle- image velocimetry (PIV). In comparison with traditional PIV data processing, SPOF PIV data processing yields narrower and larger amplitude correlation peaks, thereby providing more-accurate velocity estimates. The higher signal-to-noise ratios associated with the higher amplitude correlation peaks afford greater robustness and reliability of processing. SPOF also affords superior performance in the presence of surface flare light and/or background light. SPOF algorithms can readily be incorporated into pre-existing algorithms used to process digitized image data in PIV, without significantly increasing processing times.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Mathematical models, Imaging and visualization, Particulate matter (PM)
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Supplier Management System

Supplier Management System (SMS) allows for a consistent, agency-wide performance rating system for suppliers used by NASA. This version (2.0) combines separate databases into one central database that allows for the sharing of supplier data. Information extracted from the NBS/Oracle database can be used to generate ratings. Also, supplier ratings can now be generated in the areas of cost, product quality, delivery, and audit data. Supplier data can be charted based on real-time user input. Based on these individual ratings, an overall rating can be generated.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Data exchange, Data management, Supplier assessment
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Improved CLARAty Functional-Layer/Decision-Layer Interface

Improved interface software for communication between the CLARAty Decision and Functional layers has been developed. [The Coupled Layer Architecture for Robotics Autonomy (CLARAty) was described in “Coupled-Layer Robotics Architecture for Autonomy” (NPO-21218), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 26, No. 12 (December 2002), page 48. To recapitulate: the CLARAty architecture was developed to improve the modularity of robotic software while tightening coupling between planning/execution and basic control subsystems. Whereas prior robotic software architectures typically contained three layers, the CLARAty contains two layers: a decision layer (DL) and a functional layer (FL).] Types of communication supported by the present software include sending commands from DL modules to FL modules and sending data updates from FL modules to DL modules.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences, Architecture, Computer software and hardware, Robotics
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JAVA Stereo Display Toolkit

This toolkit provides a common interface for displaying graphical user interface (GUI) components in stereo using either specialized stereo display hardware (e.g., liquid crystal shutter or polarized glasses) or anaglyph display (red/blue glasses) on standard workstation displays. An application using this toolkit will work without modification in either environment, allowing stereo software to reach a wider audience without sacrificing high-quality display on dedicated hardware.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Computer software and hardware, Human machine interface (HMI), Displays
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PyPele Rewritten To Use MPI

A computer program known as “PyPele,” originally written as a Python-language extension module of a C++ language program, has been rewritten in pure Python language. The original version of PyPele dispatches and coordinates parallel- processing tasks on cluster computers and provides a conceptual framework for spacecraft-mission- design and -analysis software tools to run in an embarrassingly parallel mode. The original version of PyPele uses SSH (Secure Shell — a set of standards and an associated network protocol for establishing a secure channel between a local and a remote computer) to coordinate parallel processing. Instead of SSH, the present Python version of PyPele uses Message Passing Interface (MPI) [an unofficial de-facto standard language-independent application programming interface for message-passing on a parallel computer] while keeping the same user interface.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Architecture, Communication protocols, Computer software and hardware
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Pattern-Recognition System for Approaching a Known Target

Multiple image features are utilized in a multiphase data-fusion process.

A closed-loop pattern-recognition system is designed to provide guidance for maneuvering a small exploratory robotic vehicle (rover) on Mars to return to a landed spacecraft to deliver soil and rock samples that the spacecraft would subsequently bring back to Earth. The system could be adapted to terrestrial use in guiding mobile robots to approach known structures that humans could not approach safely, for such purposes as reconnaissance in military or law-enforcement applications, terrestrial scientific exploration, and removal of explosive or other hazardous items.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences, Mathematical models, Imaging and visualization, Spacecraft guidance, Surveillance, Hazards and emergency management, Hazards and emergency operations, Entry, descent, and landing
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Orchestrator Telemetry Processing Pipeline

A multi-platform architecture is used to build and manage a telemetry-processing pipeline.

Orchestrator is a software application infrastructure for telemetry monitoring, logging, processing, and distribution. The architecture has been applied to support operations of a variety of planetary rovers. Built in Java with the Eclipse Rich Client Platform, Orchestrator can run on most commonly used operating systems. The pipeline supports configurable parallel processing that can significantly reduce the time needed to process a large volume of data products.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Architecture, Computer software and hardware, Telemetry
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