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

Submersible Phase Change Float Sizing

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

This software allows sizing of submersibles powered by hydraulic generators that are pressurized by ocean thermal gradients at various depths. The software allows the operator to input the fixed size of the vessels containing the phase change material (PCM). The effective expansion of the PCM is also input, along with the phase change heat required and other various solid and liquid parameters. The electromechanical efficiency is also input, and the total power produced is calculated, along with system mass and volumes, and approximate time constant.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Measurements, Computer software and hardware, Hydraulic motors, Marine vehicles and equipment

Method for Evaluating the Pneumatic Hammer Stability of a Fluid-Film Bearing Using CFD

Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama

This invention relates to a fluid film bearing and a process for evaluating pneumatic hammer instability. Based on the stability criteria, a method was developed using 3D CFD (computational fluid dynamics) evaluation dynamics to evaluate the onset of pneumatic hammer instability in a fluid-film bearing. The pneumatic hammer instability criteria and the 3D CFD evaluation processes are available for use on any programs using bearings operating with a compressible fluid.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Computational fluid dynamics, Bearings, Pneumatic systems

DAWN: a Simulation Model for Evaluating Costs and Tradeoffs of Big Data Science Architectures

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Data science is emerging as a critical area of research and technology to advance scientific discovery, knowledge, and decision-making through systematic computational approaches to analyzing massive data sets. The sheer volume of data increase, coupled with the highly distributed and heterogeneous nature of scientific data sets, is requiring new approaches to how the data will be ultimately managed and analyzed. This requires evaluating the scalability and distribution of complex software architectures. DAWN (Distributed Analytics, Workflows and Numeric) is a model for simulating the execution of data processing workflows on arbitrary data system architectures. DAWN was developed to provide NASA and the scientific community at large with an additional tool to prepare for the upcoming Big Data deluge in science.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Computer simulation, Architecture, Big data, Data management

Auxiliary Payload Sensor System Simulation Software

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Auxiliary Payload Sensor System Simulation Software (APSSim) provides a simulation of the seismometer used in the Insight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport) mission. The software takes recorded or simulated APSS data as an input, preprocesses the input data, and generates APSS data packets. The software also has fault injection capabilities that enable flight software developers to inject faults from the APSSim to test their software in various scenarios. It also allows users to run multiple instances of APSSim for batch and overnight testing. It gives the user a tool to thoroughly test their applications in a way that cannot be done otherwise.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Software, Computer simulation, Sensors and actuators, Test equipment and instrumentation

Multiphysics Piezoelectric Finite Element Modeling for Designing a Piezoelectric Damping Treatment for Vibration Control of Rotating Blades

This modeling approach can be used in designing lighter, more compact, and more efficient actuators and control systems.

The requirements for advanced aircraft engine components lead to designs that are more lightweight and efficient, yet more susceptible to excessive vibration, complex dynamic behavior, and uncertain durability and reliability. This complex nature of the dynamic behavior also leads to thicker blade designs; hence, increased fuel burn, increased noise, potentially reduced engine life, and increased maintenance costs. As part of the NASA Aeronautics Research Fixed Wing (FW) Project, Glenn Research Center has been investigating potential technologies that support the FW goals for lighter, quieter, and more efficient aircraft.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Finite element analysis, Vibration, Jet engines, Aircraft

EXOS Software

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas

An improved version of EXOS software allows for the modeling of fabrics, mixtures, and porous materials, and also provides the ability to accept hex mesh geometries. The code employs a novel numerical method, a hybrid particle finite element approach, as well as particles and elements in tandem, each modeling distinct aspects of the physics. Ellipsoidal particles are used to model contact-impact and volumetric thermomechanical response (Euler parameters provide a singularity-free description of particle rotations). Elements are used to model “strength” effects; namely, tensile inter-particle forces and elastic-plastic deviatoric deformation.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Software, Computer simulation, Finite element analysis, Tensile Strength

DRAT: A Distributed Release Audit Tool

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

DRAT software overcomes limitations inherent in the Apache Release Audit Tool (RAT), and also brings code auditing and open-source license analysis into the realm of Big Data by using scalable, open-source Apache technologies. Distributed RAT (DRAT) leverages Apache Tika to automatically detect and classify files in source code repositories, and determines what in the code is a binary file, what is source code, what are notes that need skipping, etc.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Software, Big data, Computer software and hardware

Graphical Input-Output Visualization Tool for DAVE-ML Models

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia

Adopters of the AIAA/ANSI Standard S119, “Flight Dynamics Model Exchange Standard,” are required to deal with models encoded using DAVE-ML, an XML grammar. While examining the model via a text editor, the ability to visualize nonlinear mappings between input and output signals is not easy. This innovation provides a simple, easy-to-use, standalone Java application that provides the capability to examine the response of the model to combinations of input values. The models are encoded in XML, which is text-based.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Software, Simulation and modeling, Communication protocols, Flight management systems

Synchronization and Visualization of Arbitrary Streams (SAVORS)

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California

The purpose of SAVORS is to supercharge the command-line tools already used by administrators with powerful visualizations that help them understand the output much more rapidly and with far greater scalability across systems. SAVORS not only supports the output of existing commands, but does so in a manner consistent with those commands by combining the line-editing capabilities of vi, the rapid window manipulation of GNU screen, the power and compactness of Perl expressions, and the elegance of UNIX pipelines.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Software, Computer software and hardware, Data management

Using a Moderate Ionospheric Storm Detector to Improve WAAS Availability

The Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) broadcasts information that allows users to bound the positioning error that arises from ionospheric delay of signals emitted by Global Positioning System satellites. A critical objective of WAAS is to make ionospheric grid delays (IGDs) and grid ionospheric vertical errors (GIVEs) available to users as often as possible.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Global positioning systems, Global positioning systems (GPS), Satellite communications, Weather and climate

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