Tech Briefs

A comprehensive library of technical briefs from engineering experts at NASA and major government, university, and commercial laboratories covering all aspects of innovations in electronics, software, photonics, imaging, motion control, automation, sensors, test, materials, manufacturing, mechanical, and mechatronics.

Briefs : Software
LDPC-PPM Coding Scheme for Optical Communication

In a proposed coding-and-modulation/ demodulation-and-decoding scheme for a free-space optical communication system, an error-correcting code of the low-density parity-check (LDPC) type would be concatenated with a modulation code that consists of a mapping of bits to pulse-position-modulation...

Briefs : Software
TurboTech Technical Evaluation Automated System

TurboTech software is a Web-based process that simplifies and semi- automates technical evaluation of NASA proposals for Contracting Officer’s Technical Representatives (COTRs). At the time of this reporting, there have been no set standards or systems for training new COTRs in technical...

Briefs : Software
Geospatial Authentication

A software package that has been designed to allow authentication for determining if the rover(s) is/are within a set of boundaries or a specific area to access critical geospatial information by using GPS signal structures as a means to authenticate mobile devices into a network wirelessly and in real-time. The...

Briefs : Software
Perl Modules for Constructing Iterators

The Iterator Perl Module provides a general-purpose framework for constructing iterator objects within Perl, and a standard API for interacting with those objects. Iterators are an object-oriented design pattern where a description of a series of values is used in a constructor. Subsequent...

Briefs : Software
Robot Vision Library

The JPL Robot Vision Library (JPLV) provides real-time robot vision algorithms for developers who are not vision specialists. The package includes algorithms for stereo ranging, visual odometry and unsurveyed camera calibration, and has unique support for very wide-angle lenses (as used on the Mars Exploration Rover...

Briefs : Software
Relay Sequence Generation Software

Due to thermal and electromagnetic interactivity between the UHF (ultra-high frequency) radio onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which performs relay sessions with the Martian landers, and the remainder of the MRO payloads, it is required to integrate and de-conflict relay sessions with the MRO...

Briefs : Software
Tropical Cyclone Information System

The JPL Tropical Cyclone Infor mation System (TCIS) is a Web portal

( ) that provides researchers with an extensive set of observed hurricane parameters together with large-scale and convection-resolving model outputs. It provides a comprehensive set of...

Briefs : Software
Dynamic Hurricane Data Analysis Tool

A dynamic hurricane data analysis tool allows users of the JPL Tropical Cyclone Information System (TCIS) to analyze data over a Web medium. The TCIS software is described in the previous article, “Tropical Cyclone Information System (TCIS)” (NPO-45748).

Briefs : Software
Group Capability Model

The Group Capability Model (GCM) is a software tool that allows an organization, from first line management to senior executive, to monitor and track the health (capability) of various groups in performing their contractual obligations. GCM calculates a Group Capability Index (GCI) by comparing actual head counts,...

Briefs : Software
XML Translator for Interface Descriptions

A computer program defines an XML schema for specifying the interface to a generic FPGA from the perspective of software that will interact with the device. This XML interface description is then translated into header files for C, Verilog, and VHDL. User interface definition input is checked via both...

Briefs : Software
XVD Image Display Program

The XVD [X-Windows VICAR (video image communication and retrieval) Display] computer program offers an interactive display of VICAR and PDS (planetary data systems) images. It is designed to efficiently display multiple-GB images and runs on Solaris, Linux, or Mac OS X systems using X-Windows. XVD is the de facto...

Briefs : Software
Mars Science Laboratory Workstation Test Set

The Mars Science Laboratory developed the Workstation TestSet (WSTS) is a computer program that enables flight software development on virtual MSL avionics. The WSTS is the non-real-time flight avionics simulator that is designed to be completely software-based and run on a workstation class Linux PC....

Briefs : Software
GlastCam: A Telemetry-Driven Spacecraft Visualization Tool

Developed for the GLAST project, which is now the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, GlastCam software ingests telemetry from the Integrated Test and Operations System (ITOS) and generates four graphical displays of geometric properties in real time, allowing visual assessment of the...

Briefs : Software
Telemetry-Enhancing Scripts

Scripts Providing a Cool Kit of Telemetry Enhancing Tools (SPACKLE) is a set of software tools that fill gaps in capabilities of other software used in processing downlinked data in the Mars Exploration Rovers’ (MER) flight and test-bed operations. SPACKLE tools have helped to accelerate the automatic processing and...

Briefs : Software
Computing Bounds on Resource Levels for Flexible Plans

A new algorithm efficiently computes the tightest exact bound on the levels of resources induced by a flexible activity plan (see figure). Tightness of bounds is extremely important for computations involved in planning because tight bounds can save potentially exponential amounts of search...

Briefs : Software
Mission Operations and Navigation Toolkit Environment

MONTE (Mission Operations and Navigation Toolkit Environment) Release 7.3 is an extensible software system designed to support trajectory and navigation analysis/design for space missions. MONTE is intended to replace the current navigation and trajectory analysis software systems, which, at...

Briefs : Software
Extensible Infrastructure for Browsing and Searching Abstracted Spacecraft Data

A computer program has been developed to provide a common interface for all space mission data, and allows different types of data to be displayed in the same context. This software provides an infrastructure for representing any type of mission data. Existing...

Briefs : Software
Lossless Compression of Data Into Fixed-Length Packets

A computer program effects lossless compression of data samples from a one-dimensional source into fixed-length data packets. The software makes use of adaptive prediction: it exploits the data structure in such a way as to increase the efficiency of compression beyond that otherwise...

Briefs : Software
Video-Game-Like Engine for Depicting Spacecraft Trajectories

GoView is a video-game-like software engine, written in the C and C++ computing languages, that enables real-time, three-dimensional (3D)-appearing visual representation of spacecraft and trajectories (1) from any perspective; (2) at any spatial scale from spacecraft to Solar-system...

Briefs : Software
Analog Input Data Acquisition Software

DAQ Master Software allows users to easily set up a system to monitor up to five analog input channels and save the data after acquisition.

This program was written in LabVIEW 8.0, and requires the LabVIEW runtime engine 8.0 (free download from National Instruments; to run the executable. A DAQ...

Briefs : Software
MSLICE Science Activity Planner for the Mars Science Laboratory Mission

MSLICE (Mars Science Laboratory InterfaCE) is the tool used by scientists and engineers on the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission to visualize the data returned by the rover and collaboratively plan its activities. It enables users to efficiently and effectively search...

Briefs : Software
Alert Notification System Router

The Alert Notification System Router (ANSR) software provides satellite operators with notifications of key events through pagers, cell phones, and e-mail. Written in Java, this application is specifically designed to meet the mission-critical standards for mission operations while operating on a variety of...

Briefs : Software
MAGIC: Model and Graphic Information Converter

MAGIC is a software tool capable of converting highly detailed 3D models from an open, standard format, VRML 2.0/97, into the proprietary DTS file format used by the Torque Game Engine from GarageGames. MAGIC is used to convert 3D simulations from authoritative sources into the data needed to run...

Briefs : Software
Lossless Compression of Classification-Map Data

A lossless image-data-compression algorithm intended specifically for application to classification-map data is based on prediction, context modeling, and entropy coding. The algorithm was formulated, in consideration of the differences between classification maps and ordinary images of natural...

Briefs : Software
Policy-Based Management Natural Language Parser

The Policy-Based Management Natural Language Parser (PBEM) is a rules-based approach to enterprise management that can be used to automate certain management tasks. This parser simplifies the management of a given endeavor by establishing policies to deal with situations that are likely to occur....

Briefs : Software
Framework for ReSTful Web Services in OSGi

Ensemble ReST is a software system that eases the development, deployment, and maintenance of server-side application programs to perform functions that would otherwise be performed by client software. Ensemble ReST takes advantage of the proven disciplines of ReST (Representational State Transfer — a...

Briefs : Software
Data Management Applications for the Service Preparation Subsystem

These software applications provide intuitive User Interfaces (UIs) with a consistent look and feel for interaction with, and control of, the Service Preparation Subsystem (SPS). The elements of the UIs described here are the File Manager, Mission Manager, and Log Monitor...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Using Volcanic Ash To Remove Dissolved Uranium and Lead
By exposing an aqueous solution to a treatment medium that includes weathered volcanic ash from Pu’u Nene - a cinder cone on the Island of Hawaii - uranium, lead, and possibly other toxic or radioactive substances can be removed.
Briefs : Energy
High-Efficiency Artificial Photosynthesis Using a Novel Alkaline Membrane Cell
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has introduced a new cell designed to mimic the photosynthetic processes of plants in order to convert carbon dioxide into carbonaceous products and oxygen at high efficiency.
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Computer-Assisted Laser Treatment Using Real-Time Retinal Tracking

Diabetic retinopathy resulting from long-term diabetes mellitus is one of the common diseases that leads to choroidal neovascularization (CNV), a leading cause of blindness. Among the currently available treatment methods, a laser can be used to photocoagulate the diseased areas....