Keyword: Spacecraft

Briefs: Software
Telescience Resource Kit, Release 3

Release 3 of the Telescience Resource Kit (TReK) has become available. TReK 3 is a suite of application programs that can be used to monitor and control a payload aboard the International Space Station. TReK provides both local ground support system services and an interface to utilize remote services provided...

Briefs: Software
Software Tools for Fault Management Technologies

The ability to detect, diagnose, and respond to faults and anomalies in a timely fashion is a major concern in space missions. Fault Management (FM) primarily concerns operational mitigations of spacecraft failures. Qualtech Systems worked towards development of software tools for facilitating FM...

Application Briefs: Electronics & Computers

PESA has announced the completion of a video routing system upgrade to NASA’s Mission Control Center (MCC) at the agency’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston. Lockheed Martin, a...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

Until the time of this reporting, when a space vehicle required a reference signal for inertial pointing, the choices were a signal beacon from an Earth location, the Earth...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

In order to study atmospheric or evolved gases, it is highly advantageous for an instrument (e.g. mass spectrometer (MS), thermal conductivity detector (TCD)) to simplify the gas stream with a...

Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition

NASA runs and partners in many missions dedicated to monitoring the Earth, and the tools used in these missions continuously return data on everything from shifts in temperature, to cloud...

Briefs: Imaging
Resource-Constrained Application of Support Vector Machines to Imagery

Machine learning techniques have shown considerable promise for automating common visual inspection tasks. For example, Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifiers that have been learned from labeled training data deliver strong detection performance both for finding human faces...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Technique for Finding Retro-Reflectors in Flash LIDAR Imagery

Orbital rendezvous and docking of two spacecraft is a topic of continued interest to NASA. For crewed missions, it is frequently the case that the target is cooperative (i.e., is equipped with some sort of navigation aid). If one of the relative navigation instruments is a Flash...

Briefs: Materials

Spacecraft shielding is defined as the outer layer of a satellite or spacecraft that protects it against micrometeorite and orbital debris (MMOD), radiation damage, and...

Briefs: Materials
Touch Temperature Coating for Electrical Equipment on Spacecraft

A coating has been developed that can be applied to spacecraft equipment to significantly increase the allowable touch temperature limit, while only marginally degrading the heat transfer to the environment.

Briefs: Software
Affordability Comparison Tool — ACT

ACT is able to provide insight into acquisition, operational, and life-cycle affordability early in program formulation prior to a commitment of architecture, or anytime during the program to change systems or subsystems. ACT analyzes different systems or architecture configurations for affordability that...

Briefs: Software
Cassini Mission App

This iPhone/iPad application allows the general public to access information about the Cassini mission. It enables viewing of the latest images released by the mission, allows access to images that describe the present position of the spacecraft, and provides flyby countdowns for each targeted flyby.

Briefs: Information Technology
Timeline Central Concepts

The notion of Timeline has been used informally in spacecraft operations software for some time, but it has not heretofore been formalized and unified either syntactically or semantically. In this work, the Timeline has been formalized and unified so that the commonality can be exploited to reduce the cost of developing...

Articles: Photonics/Optics

Traditionally, spacecraft maneuvering is performed by onboard particle- based thrusters, such as ion thrusters, with a limited amount of fuel that restricts lifetime and V capability. In...

Briefs: Software
Spacecraft Trajectory Analysis and Mission Planning Simulation (STAMPS) Software

STAMPS simulates either three- or six-degree-of-freedom cases for all spacecraft flight phases using translated HAL flight software or generic GN&C models. Single or multiple trajectories can be simulated for use in optimization and dispersion analysis. It...

Briefs: Software
Mars Science Laboratory Second-Chance Flight Software

Mars lander spacecraft, beginning with Mars Pathfinder (MPF), have been designed to tolerate flight computer resets during the entry, descent, and landing (EDL) phase despite having only a single flight computer. This capability was enabled by a predictable, nondynamic EDL architecture. The...

Briefs: Software
Range Safety Flight Elevation Limit Calculation Software

This program was developed to fill a need within the Wallops Flight Facility workflow for automation of the development of vertical plan limit lines used by flight safety officers during the conduct of expendable launch vehicle missions.

Briefs: Physical Sciences

The NASA Solar Probe Plus (SPP) mission will fly into the Sun’s corona, reaching as close as 9.86 solar radii from the center of the Sun. Power generation for the spacecraft will be...

Briefs: Information Technology
GPU Lossless Hyperspectral Data Compression System

Hyperspectral imaging systems onboard aircraft or spacecraft can acquire large amounts of data, putting a strain on limited downlink and storage resources. Onboard data compression can mitigate this problem but may require a system capable of a high throughput. In order to achieve a high...

Briefs: Information Technology
Kalman Filter Input Processor for Boresight Calibration

Ka-band ranging provides the phase center (PC) to phase center range, which needs to be converted to the center of mass (CM) to center of mass range. Nominally, both PC and CM lie on the line connecting the spacecraft GRAIL A and GRAIL B. In this case, the conversion should be done simply...

Application Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

BEI Kimco Magnetics designed a customized moving magnet voice coil actuator (VCA) to meet the requirements for the flatplate Michelson moving mirror application on the...

NASA Spinoff: Energy
NASA Technology

Over the years, NASA has advanced photovoltaic (PV) technology in order to advance many of its missions. This renewable source of energy is produced when certain...

Articles: Research Lab
NASA Technology

Whether you wanted to know how certain insulation would work on a Mars-bound spacecraft or on an Earth-based refrigerator, you would want to test its performance in the...

NASA Spinoff: Green Design & Manufacturing
NASA Technology

In the 1990s, NASA scientists were thinking of what astronauts would need to survive long-term missions to the moon and even to other planets in the solar system. One important...

NASA Spinoff: Software
NASA Technology

Objects that orbit the Earth, such as the International Space Station (ISS), provide a unique environment called zero-g, or more correctly, microgravity. All objects in orbit...

Articles: Aerospace

I recently had the chance to spend a day at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston with the ten winners of the Speed2Design contest sponsored by Littelfuse, a Chicago-based circuit protection company....

Briefs: Software
Orbital Debris Engineering Model (ORDEM) v.3

A model of the manmade orbital debris environment is required by spacecraft designers, mission planners, and others in order to understand and mitigate the effects of the environment on their spacecraft or systems. A manmade environment is dynamic, and can be altered significantly by intent (e.g., the...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
International Space Station- Based Electromagnetic Launcher for Space Science Payloads

A method was developed of lowering the cost of planetary exploration missions by using an electromagnetic propulsion/launcher, rather than a chemical-fueled rocket for propulsion. An electromagnetic launcher (EML) based at the International Space Station (ISS)...

Articles: Test & Measurement

Are the shoes you’re wearing really made of leather? Is the table nearby made of wood? How can you be sure? These questions may seem trivial in everyday life, but knowing the precise...