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

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

JLAB Tracking Tool (JTRAK)

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

The JLAB Tracking Tool (JTRAK) is a Web-enabled database tool designed to automate the tracking of James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Integrated Ground Support System (IGSS) and Integrated Test Support System (ITSS) configured items. These configured items consist of IGSS and ITSS equipment and materials; hardware and software revisions including patch releases of the Science Instrument Development Units (SIDUs) and the Science Instrument Test Sets (SITS); ground lab COTS software license versions and maintenance schedules; and other miscellaneous documents.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Computer software and hardware, Satellite communications, Data management

Orbital Mechanics Simulation Program for Educational Outreach

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia

AJava software program was developed that provides a solar system simulation, demonstrating the application of calculus to understanding and modeling how the real universe operates. The program can be modified by the user to study various changes in physical properties, and software implementations on behavior.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Software, Computer simulation, Computer software and hardware, Education, Education and training

Educational Software for OctaSat Nanosatellite Training Kit

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia

Nanosatellites are very small satellites that can conduct various space missions using microelectronics, primarily in near-Earth orbits. Aerospace engineering students need to learn about the working principles and control of nanosatellites. However, the cost of an actual nanosatellite system is very expensive and is not suitable for an engineering college-level education. Therefore, this simplified classroom-based simulation kit for nanosatellite was developed, named OctaSat.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Software, Simulation and modeling, Computer software and hardware, Education, Education and training, Satellites

Discovery Through Eigenbasis Modeling of Uninteresting Data

The system learns only what to ignore, reducing the possibility of missing the items of interest.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

When presented with a new data set, a common initial goal is to explore its contents in a discovery mode to find items of interest. However, each user who views the data set may have a different scientific goal in mind, and therefore a different desired prioritization of the items for examination. Further, as the users explore more of the data set, they accumulate concrete examples of what is or is not of interest. The goal of this work was to formalize this iterative approach to understanding large data sets, and instantiate it with methods capable of the necessary adaptation as the system iteratively acquires user feedback.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Statistical analysis, Data management

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