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

A Systems Engineering Approach to Architecture Development

Architecture development often is conducted prior to system concept design when there is a need to determine the best-value mix of systems that works collectively in specific scenarios and time frames to accomplish a set of mission area objectives. Conducted prior to Pre-Phase A of the project lifecycle, the scope of architecture studies is broader and shallower than that of concept design studies conducted in Pre-Phase A. Results are used to advise senior planners on recommended capabilities and investment profiles for mission areas 15-25 years in the future.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Architecture, Architecture, Life cycle analysis, Systems engineering
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Timeline Builder Assistant

Current human spaceflight requirements limit the number of hours a crewmember can be outside of the habitation unit to 8 hours in a 48-hour period, and 24 hours in a seven-day period. This time must be appropriately balanced to complete science, exploration, and maintenance tasks. Off-days can be used for site transit (traverse), crew rest, or intra-vehicular activities (IVA). The “building blocks” approach to mission design organizes crewmember activities for extra-vehicular activities (EVA) at each investigation site based on the types of tasks that must be completed and the tools required to complete each task. Building blocks colocate payload and crewmember information for timeline construction. Similar tasks or tasks that accomplish similar goals are grouped into blocks and distributed according to EVA requirements for a specified number of days, including allocations for site arrival activities and departure preparations.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Logistics, Personnel, Spacecraft
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Can augmented reality reduce "road rage?"

This week’s Question: A new "CarNote" app from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands aims to use augmented reality to improve the driving experience and reduce "road rage." CarNote's driver-facing periscope lens and transparent display projects information from a smartphone, allowing users behind the wheel to communicate and signal intentions. For example, a driver in a rush to a hospital could notify those in nearby vehicles, potentially reducing aggressive behavior like confrontations or honking the horn. The technology even has a "like" system that allows drivers to register or rate fellow travelers on the road. What do you think? Can augmented reality reduce "road rage?"

Posted in: Question of the Week, Simulation Software, Automotive
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Key Considerations for Powertrain HIL Test

Safety, availability, and cost considerations can make performing thorough tests of embedded control devices using the complete system impractical. Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation is a real-time test technique used to test these devices more efficiently. During HIL test, the physical system that interfaces to an embedded control device is simulated on real-time hardware, and the outputs of the simulator mimic the actual output of the physical system. The embedded controller “thinks” it is in a real system. HIL simulation meticulously tests embedded control devices in a virtual environment before proceeding to real-world tests of the complete system. This application note covers recommended best practices for powertrain HIL testing.

Posted in: White Papers, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Simulation Software, Software
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Product of the Month: February 2017

OriginLab, Northampton, MA, released Origin and OriginPro 2017 data analysis and graphing software with more than 100 new features, enhancements, and apps. Features include Trellis plots for creating multi-panel graphs from grouped data, 3D stacked bars and 100% stacked bars with various bar shapes, a set of standard geology patterns and user-defined patterns, improvements to box plots, improvements to axis dialog including support for multiple reference lines, and enhanced multi-tabbed dialog for customizing graph annotations. Enhancements include a revamped plot menu with large icon, simpler column/cell notation for defining column formulas; and the Origin Central Startup Dialog that provides graph and analysis samples, access to existing templates and projects, resources to explore and install apps, and videos and tutorials. The release includes 14 new apps for extending graphing and analysis features.

For Free Info Click Here

Posted in: Products, Software
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How to Eliminate Over Half of All Design Errors Before they Occur

This whitepaper explores emerging Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies that significantly reduce the cost and effort of fixing requirements errors - freeing domain experts from tedious & time-consuming tasks.

Posted in: White Papers, Software
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PLCs Improve Control of Radio Broadcasts

PLCs are slowly replacing the outdated hardware and software used at many remote transmitter sites in radio and TV broadcasting applications.

Broadcasting employs the latest technology in many areas, but controlling the broadcast hardware connected to the antenna and the related transmission power, source, and facilities is usually still a low-tech operation. Typically, a broadcast engineer will drive to the unattended transmitter, translator, or repeater site to flip switches and make other manual adjustments (Figure 1).

Posted in: Application Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Software, Antennas, Electric cables, Radio equipment, Antennas, Electric cables, Radio equipment, Reliability, Reliability
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JPF-NAS Extension of Java Pathfinder

Java PathFinder (JPF) version 7 provides basic support for verifying the distributed Java applications. It can receive a distributed Java application as input that is perceived as multiple Java processes. However, JPF does account for communication between processes of the distributed application, and it thus cannot be used to verify any realistic distributed Java application. Applying JPF on distributed applications requires a model of inter-process communication (IPC) and process aware scheduling.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Architecture, Communication protocols, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Architecture, Communication protocols, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware
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Institutional Budgeting Tool (IBT)

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Institutional Budgeting Tool (IBT) was designed and developed to meet the needs of JPL's budget planners, numbering 1,600, who required a robust and state-of-the-art budgeting application. JPL's budgeting process had been constrained by legacy tools that presented usability and performance issues and lacked critical innovative budgeting features. IBT delivered superior user experience, system performance, and modern features necessary for essential laboratory budgeting.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Financial management
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Tubes Standards-Compliant C Header Library

Due to limitations imposed by transistor physics as device geometries continue to get finer and finer, the time when each new generation of processors was clocked faster than its predecessors is largely over. Nevertheless, as individual processor cores get smaller, chip manufacturers have turned instead to cramming a large number of cores onto a single die. Consequently, nearly all commercially available CPUs (central processing units), even those used in smartphones, already depend upon a multicore architecture. Unfortunately, the programming languages used for nearly all commercial software projects are really intended for generating code for a single CPU core. Though extensions exist that support multiple cores, it is something that is essentially tacked on, not part of the core language's constructs.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Transistors, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Transistors, Terminology
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