Special Coverage

Soft Robot “Walks” on Any Terrain
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Using Microwaves to Produce High-Quality Graphene
Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines

SPICE Module for the Satellite Orbit Analysis Program (SOAP)

A SPICE module for the Satellite Orbit Analysis Program (SOAP) precisely represents complex motion and maneuvers in an interactive, 3D animated environment with support for user-defined quantitative outputs. (“SPICE” stands for Spacecraft, Planet, Instrument, Camera-matrix, and Events). This module enables the SOAP software to exploit NASA mission ephemeris represented in the JPL Ancillary Information Facility (NAIF) SPICE formats. Ephemeris types supported include position, velocity, and orientation for spacecraft and planetary bodies including the Sun, planets, natural satellites, comets, and asteroids. Entire missions can now be imported into SOAP for 3D visualization, playback, and analysis.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Computer simulation, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Data acquisition and handling, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Data acquisition and handling, Satellites
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Enhanced Reporting of Mars Exploration Rover Telemetry

Figure 1. This top view of a METERS Auto-Generated Main Web Pageincludes a motion summary in plain textMars Exploration Rover Enhanced Telemetry Extraction and Reporting System (METERS) is software that generates a human-readable representation of the state of the mobility and arm-related systems of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) vehicles on each Martian solar day (sol). Data are received from the MER spacecraft in multiple streams having various formats including text messages, sparsely-sampled engineering quantities, images, and individual motorcommand histories. Typically, only parts of this data generated on Mars are received the same day they were created, so the summary report tools have to work well even when data is missing. All information is grouped by type into easilybrowsable Web pages (see Figure 1).

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Data acquisition and handling, Telemetry, Data acquisition and handling, Telemetry, Autonomous vehicles, Spacecraft
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Facilitating Analysis of Multiple Partial Data Streams

Robotic Operations Automation: Mechanisms, Imaging, Navigation report Generation (ROAMING) is a set of computer programs that facilitates and accelerates both tactical and strategic analysis of time-sampled data — especially the disparate and often incomplete streams of Mars Explorer Rover (MER) telemetry data described in the immediately preceding article. As used here, “tactical” refers to the activities over a relatively short time (one Martian day in the original MER application) and “strategic” refers to a longer time (the entire multi-year MER missions in the original application).

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Analysis methodologies, Data acquisition and handling, Telemetry, Data acquisition and handling, Telemetry, Autonomous vehicles, Spacecraft
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Service-Oriented Architecture for NVO and TeraGrid Computing

The National Virtual Observatory (NVO) Extensible Secure Scalable Service Infrastructure (NESSSI) is a Web service architecture and software framework (see figure) that enables Web-based astronomical data publish - ing and processing on grid computers such as the National Science Foun - dation’s TeraGrid. Charac ter istics of this architecture include the following:

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Software, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Data acquisition and handling, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Data acquisition and handling
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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Wrapper Script

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on the launch padThe MRO OLVM wrapper script software allows Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) sequence and spacecraft engineers to rapidly simulate a spacecraft command product through a tool that simulates the onboard sequence management software (OLVM). This script parses sequence files to determine the appropriate time boundaries for the sequence, and constructs the script file to be executed by OLVM to span the entirety of the designated sequence. It then constructs script files to be executed by OLVM, constructs the appropriate file directories, populates these directories with needed input files, initiates OLVM to simulate the actual command product that will be sent to the spacecraft, and captures the results of the simulation run to an external file for later review. Additionally, the tool allows a user to manually construct the script, if desired, and then execute the script with a simple command line.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Computer simulation, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Spacecraft
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NASA Awards 2007 Software of the Year

Software from Jet Propulsion Laboratory for detecting planets outside our solar system, and from Ames Research Center for defining safety margins for fiery spacecraft re-entries have been named co-winners of the 2007 NASA Software of the Year Award.

The NASA Software of the Year competition was initiated in 1994, and rewards outstanding software developed by the agency. The competition is sponsored by the NASA Chief Engineer, with technical support from NASA’s In ventions and Contributions Board. For more information on the 2007 winners and runners-up, click here.

Posted in: Articles, Software, Calibration, Design processes, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Optics, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Optics, Product development
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Immersive Display System Enables Virtual Reality in NASA Lab

Immersive CAVE™ display system
Mechdyne Corp.
Marshalltown, IA
641-754-4649
www.mechdyne.com

Mechdyne Corporation has installed a CAVE™ display system in the Fossett Laboratory for Virtual Planetary Exploration at Washington University St. Louis (WUSTL). WUSTL is home to the Geosciences Node of the NASA Planetary Data System, with responsibility for managing data related to the study of surfaces and interiors of terrestrial planetary bodies. The Laboratory will provide 3D imaging capability for visualization of data collected by national and international space exploration programs, including the ongoing Mars Exploration Program.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Software, Virtual reality, Displays, Displays
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Tool Suite Enables Software Testing for Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle

LDRA tool suite
LDRA
San Bruno, CA
650-583-8880
www.ldra.com

Aimed at safely transferring astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS), the Moon, Mars, and other destinations beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO), the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) is a state-of-the-art human spaceflight system. Lockheed Martin Corporation has selected the LDRA tool suite for software verification and automated testing on the Orion CEV program, and to enable developers to achieve the stringent safety-critical standards required to ensure safe transfer of the astronauts. NASA has awarded Lockheed Martin a multimillion-dollar contract for Orion’s development.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Software, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Tools and equipment
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Innovation Begets Innovation

By Robert “Buzz” Kross
Senior Vice President of
the Manufacturing Division
Autodesk
San Rafael, CA

Innovation is a way of life at Autodesk. Since our introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk has developed the broadest portfolio of state-ofthe- art digital prototyping solutions to help customers experience their ideas before they are built.

Posted in: Articles, Software, Research and development
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Simulating Operation of a Complex Sensor Network

Simulation Tool for ASCTA Microsensor Network Architecture (STAMiNA) [“ASCTA” denotes the Advanced Sensors Collaborative Technology Alliance.] is a computer program for evaluating conceptual sensor networks deployed over terrain to provide military situational awareness. This or a similar program is needed because of the complexity of interactions among such diverse phenomena as sensing and communication portions of a network, deployment of sensor nodes, effects of terrain, data-fusion algorithms, and threat characteristics.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Computer simulation, Architecture, Sensors and actuators, Surveillance, Architecture, Sensors and actuators, Surveillance, Military vehicles and equipment
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