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
Proton Upset Monte Carlo Simulation

The Proton Upset Monte Carlo Simulation (PROPSET) program calculates the frequency of on-orbit upsets in computer chips (for given orbits such as Low Earth Orbit, Lunar Orbit, and the like) from proton bombardment based on the results of heavy ion testing alone. The software simulates the bombardment of modern...

Briefs : Software
Using Thermal Radiation in Detection of Negative Obstacles

A method of automated detection of negative obstacles (potholes, ditches, and the like) ahead of ground vehicles at night involves processing of imagery from thermal-infrared cameras aimed at the terrain ahead of the vehicles. The method is being developed as part of an overall...

Briefs : Software
Planning Flight Paths of Autonomous Aerobots

Algorithms for planning flight paths of autonomous aerobots (robotic blimps) to be deployed in scientific exploration of remote planets are undergoing development. These algorithms are also adaptable to terrestrial applications involving robotic submarines as well as aerobots and other autonomous...

Briefs : Software
Tracking Debris Shed by a Space-Shuttle Launch Vehicle

The DEBRIS software predicts the trajectories of debris particles shed by a space-shuttle launch vehicle during ascent, to aid in assessing potential harm to the space-shuttle orbiter and crew. The user specifies the location of release and other initial conditions for a debris particle....

Briefs : Software
Oxygen Generation System Laptop Bus Controller Flight Software

The Oxygen Generation System Laptop Bus Controller Flight Software was developed to allow the International Space Station (ISS) program to activate specific components of the Oxygen Generation System (OGS) to perform a checkout of key hardware operation in a microgravity environment,...

Briefs : Software
Estimating Thruster Impulses From IMU and Doppler Data

A computer program implements a thrust impulse measurement (TIM) filter, which processes data on changes in velocity and attitude of a spacecraft to estimate the small impulsive forces and torques exerted by the thrusters of the spacecraft reaction control system (RCS). The velocity-change...

Briefs : Software
Cliffbot Maestro

Cliffbot Maestro (see figure) permits teleoperation of remote rovers for field testing in extreme environments. The application user interface provides two sets of tools for operations: stereo image browsing and command generation.

Briefs : Software
Monitoring and Controlling an Underwater Robotic Arm

The SSRMS Module 1 software is part of a system for monitoring an adaptive, closed-loop control of the motions of a robotic arm in NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, where buoyancy in a pool of water is used to simulate the weightlessness of outer space. This software is so named because...

Briefs : Software
Digital Camera Control for Faster Inspection

Digital Camera Control Software (DCCS) is a computer program for controlling a boom and a boom-mounted camera used to inspect the external surface of a space shuttle in orbit around the Earth. Running in a laptop computer in the space-shuttle crew cabin, DCCS commands integrated displays and controls....

Briefs : Software
Reaction Wheel Disturbance Model Extraction Software — RWDMES

The RMDMES is a tool for modeling the disturbances imparted on spacecraft by spinning reaction wheels. Reaction wheels are usually the largest disturbance source on a precision pointing spacecraft, and can be the dominating source of pointing error. Accurate knowledge of the...

Briefs : Software
Evolvable Neural Software System

The Evolvable Neural Software System (ENSS) is composed of sets of Neural Basis Functions (NBFs), which can be totally autonomously created and removed according to the changing needs and requirements of the software system. The resulting structure is both hierarchical and self-similar in that a given set of NBFs...

Briefs : Software
Conical-Domain Model for Estimating GPS Ionospheric Delays

The conical-domain model is a computational model, now undergoing development, for estimating ionospheric delays of Global Positioning System (GPS) signals. Relative to the standard ionospheric delay model described below, the conical-domain model offers improved accuracy.

Briefs : Software
Complex Event Recognition Architecture

“Complex Event Recognition Architecture” (“CERA”) is the name of a computational architecture, and software that implements the architecture, for recognizing complex event patterns that may be spread across multiple streams of input data. One of the main components of CERA is an intuitive event...

Briefs : Software
Interactive, Automated Management of Icing Data

IceVal DatAssistant is software (see figure) that provides an automated, interactive solution for the management of data from research on aircraft icing. This software consists primarily of (1) a relational database component used to store ice shape and airfoil coordinates and associated data on...

Briefs : Software
Prediction of Launch Vehicle Ignition Overpressure and Liftoff Acoustics

The LAIOP (Launch Vehicle Ignition Overpressure and Liftoff Acoustic Environments) program predicts the external pressure environment generated during liftoff for a large variety of rocket types. These environments include ignition overpressure, produced by the rapid...

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

( http://tropicalcyclone.jpl.nasa.gov ) 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...