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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
Small Robot Has Outstanding Vertical Agility
Smart Optical Material Characterization System and Method
Lightweight, Flexible Thermal Protection System for Fire Protection
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ISO 26262 & Automotive Electronics Development

Compliance standards, especially those that involve relatively new functional safety elements, will likely add additional requirements to the development process. But ISO 26262, in particular, will add more than new requirements to the product life cycle for automotive hardware-software systems. This Functional Safety standard will act as a framework impacting integrated requirements traceability, risk management, validation, verification, documentation and collaboration throughout the systems engineering “V” model life cycle process (see Figure). ISO 26262 will also require the qualification of tools used to create automotive systems. This paper examines the impact of the standard on the development process and support tool chains for automotive electronics.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Semiconductors & ICs, Software

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Generalized Query Tool for Accessing the Database of the Mars Relay Operations Service (MaROS)

The Generalized Query Tool for accessing the database of MaROS can be utilized in three modes: (1) batch mode where a user's authentication data is inserted directly along with a desired query to the database, (2) interactive mode where a desired query is known and can be entered directly, and (3) interactive mode with a query “wizard” that walks a user through the steps needed to construct a valid query to the database. In all three cases, the successful execution of the script results in data from the MaROS database being made available to the user in a comma-separated output file. For new users, it is recommended to use the third mode to build a sample query and then tailor that as desired for use with the first or second modes.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Data exchange, Human machine interface (HMI)

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High-Performance Fault-Tolerant xEmbedded Computing (HPFEC) Benchmark Suite

This work arises out of the Next Generation Space Processor (NGSP) project, a collaborative effort among several NASA centers and the Air Force Research Laboratory. The goal of NGSP is to develop the next generation of radiation-hardened, fault-tolerant, space-worthy computing systems consisting of hardware and system software. To drive and evaluate the design, each of the NGSP collaborators contributed benchmarks. This article describes the benchmarks developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Collectively, these benchmarks are called the HighPerformance Fault-Tolerant Embedded Computing (HPFEC) benchmark suite.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Computer software and hardware, Embedded software, Quality assurance, Spacecraft

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JPF-NAS Extension of Java Pathfinder

Java PathFinder (JPF) version 7 provides basic support for verifying the distributed Java applications. It can receive a distributed Java application as input that is perceived as multiple Java processes. However, JPF does account for communication between processes of the distributed application, and it thus cannot be used to verify any realistic distributed Java application. Applying JPF on distributed applications requires a model of inter-process communication (IPC) and process aware scheduling.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Architecture, Communication protocols, Computer software and hardware

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Institutional Budgeting Tool (IBT)

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Institutional Budgeting Tool (IBT) was designed and developed to meet the needs of JPL's budget planners, numbering 1,600, who required a robust and state-of-the-art budgeting application. JPL's budgeting process had been constrained by legacy tools that presented usability and performance issues and lacked critical innovative budgeting features. IBT delivered superior user experience, system performance, and modern features necessary for essential laboratory budgeting.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Computer software and hardware, Financial management

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Tubes Standards-Compliant C Header Library

Due to limitations imposed by transistor physics as device geometries continue to get finer and finer, the time when each new generation of processors was clocked faster than its predecessors is largely over. Nevertheless, as individual processor cores get smaller, chip manufacturers have turned instead to cramming a large number of cores onto a single die. Consequently, nearly all commercially available CPUs (central processing units), even those used in smartphones, already depend upon a multicore architecture. Unfortunately, the programming languages used for nearly all commercial software projects are really intended for generating code for a single CPU core. Though extensions exist that support multiple cores, it is something that is essentially tacked on, not part of the core language's constructs.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Architecture, Computer software and hardware, Transistors, Terminology

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Techniques for Conducting Effective Concept Design and Design-to-Cost Trade Studies

Concept design plays a central role in project success for space missions, as the product of concept design effectively locks in the majority of system lifecycle cost. It involves a concurrent investigation of requirements and multiple mission characteristics such as flight dynamics, design, performance, concept of operations, technology, verification approach, launch and ground interfaces, cost, schedule, and risk.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Life cycle analysis, Cost analysis, Systems engineering

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