A simple method of controlling recording and display of imaging spectrometer data in (airborne) flight was needed. Existing commercial packages were overly complicated, and sometimes difficult to operate in a bouncing plane. The software also was required to keep up with the imaging data rate, while still running on commodity hardware and a desktop operating system. Finally, the software needed to be as robust as possible — repeating a flight because of lost data is sometimes impossible, and always expensive.

This software displays and records imaging and navigational data from a connected JPL-developed imaging spectrometer with corresponding electronics. It allows user manipulation of imagery in real time (e.g., stretching) and monitors resource utilization and temperature. The software provides a wide variety of user-customizable settings, and provides a user interface to attached devices (e.g., shutter, onboard calibrator, attached environmental control system, etc.). Software maintains a log of user activities, with an annotation capability. It also displays plots of navigation data and provides optional display of run-time diagnostics.

The software runs on Linux, which is unusual for real-time image acquisition applications. The user interface is implemented using a multi-platform, open-source library (gtkmm).

This work was done by Alan S. Mazer of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Dan Broderick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Refer to NPO-49461.


NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the March, 2015 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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