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

Transformation of OODT CAS To Perform Larger Tasks

A computer program denoted OODT CAS has been transformed to enable performance of larger tasks that involve greatly increased data volumes and increasingly intensive processing of data on heterogeneous, geographically dispersed computers. Prior to the transformation, OODT CAS (also alternatively denoted, simply, “CAS”) [wherein “OODT” signifies “Object-Oriented Data Technology” and “CAS” signifies “Catalog and Archive Service”] was a proven software component used to manage scientific data from space-flight missions. In the transformation, CAS was split into two separate components representing its canonical capabilities: file management and workflow management. In addition, CAS was augmented by addition of a resource-management component. This third component enables CAS to manage heterogeneous computing by use of diverse resources, including high-performance clusters of computers, commodity computing hardware, and grid computing infrastructures.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Data management, Spacecraft
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Visualization Component of Vehicle Health Decision Support System

The visualization front-end of a Decision Support System (DSS) also includes an analysis engine linked to vehicle telemetry, and a database of learned models for known behaviors. Because the display is graphical rather than text-based, the summarization it provides has a greater information density on one screen for evaluation by a flight controller. This tool provides a system-level visualization of the state of a vehicle, and “drill-down” capability for more details and interfaces to separate analysis algorithms and sensor data streams.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, On-board diagnostics, On-board diagnostics (OBD), Telemetry, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, On-board diagnostics, On-board diagnostics (OBD), Telemetry, Vehicle health management
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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Uplink Analysis Tool

This software analyzes Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) orbital geometry with respect to Mars Exploration Rover (MER) contact windows, and is the first tool of its kind designed specifically to support MRO-MER interface coordination. Prior to this automated tool, this analysis was done manually with Excel and the UNIX command line. In total, the process would take approximately 30 minutes for each analysis. The current automated analysis takes less than 30 seconds.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Analysis methodologies, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Spacecraft
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G-Guidance Interface Design for Small Body Mission Simulation

The G-Guidance software implements a guidance and control (G&C) algorithm for small-body, autonomous proximity operations, developed under the Small Body GN&C task at JPL. The software is written in Matlab and interfaces with G-OPT, a JPL-developed optimization package written in C that provides G-Guidance with guaranteed convergence to a solution in a finite computation time with a prescribed accuracy. The resulting program is computationally efficient and is a prototype of an onboard, real-time algorithm for autonomous guidance and control.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Computer simulation, Mathematical models, Attitude control, Spacecraft guidance, Attitude control, Spacecraft guidance
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DSN Scheduling Engine

The DSN (Deep Space Network) Scheduling Engine targets all space missions that use DSN services. It allows clients to issue scheduling, conflict identification, conflict resolution, and status requests in XML over a Java Message Service interface. The scheduling requests may include new requirements that represent a set of tracks to be scheduled under some constraints. This program uses a heuristic local search to schedule a variety of schedule requirements, and is being infused into the Service Scheduling Assembly, a mixed-initiative scheduling application.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Data exchange, Data exchange, Logistics
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Replacement Sequence of Events Generator

The soeWINDOW program automates the generation of an ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations)- compliant sub-RSOE (Replacement Sequence of Events) by extracting a specified temporal window from an RSOE while maintaining page header information. RSOEs contain a significant amount of information that is not ITAR-compliant, yet that foreign partners need to see for command details to their instrument, as well as the surrounding commands that provide context for validation. soeWINDOW can serve as an example of how command support products can be made ITAR-compliant for future missions.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Defense industry, Globalization, Regulations, Standardization
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Force-Control Algorithm for Surface Sampling

A G-FCON algorithm is designed for small-body surface sampling. It has a linearization component and a feedback component to enhance performance. The algorithm regulates the contact force between the tip of a robotic arm attached to a spacecraft and a surface during sampling. The control algorithm is insensitive to the surface properties, enabling it to maintain the right contact force for a wide range of surface compliance properties.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Mathematical models, Electronic control systems, Electronic control systems, Robotics, Test equipment and instrumentation, Test procedures
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Problem Reporting System

The Problem Reporting System (PRS) is a Web application, running on two Web servers (load-balanced) and two database servers (RAID-5), which establishes a system for submission, editing, and sharing of reports to manage risk assessment of anomalies identified in NASA’s flight projects. PRS consolidates diverse anomaly- reporting systems, maintains a rich database set, and incorporates a robust engine, which allows tracking of any hardware, software, or paper process by configuring an appropriate life cycle. Global and specific project administration and setup tools allow lifecycle tailoring, along with customizable controls for user, e-mail, notifications, and more. PRS is accessible via the World Wide Web for authorized user at most any location.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Internet, Internet, Customization, Data management, Risk assessments
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Tool for Merging Proposals Into DSN Schedules

A Practical Extraction and Reporting Language (Perl) script called “merge7da” has been developed to facilitate determination, by a project scheduler in NASA’s Deep Space Network, of whether a proposal for use of the DSN could create a conflict with the current DSN schedule. Prior to the development of merge7da, there was no way to quickly identify potential schedule conflicts: it was necessary to submit a proposal and wait a day or two for a response from a DSN scheduling facility. By using merge7da to detect and eliminate potential schedule conflicts before submitting a proposal, a project scheduler saves time and gains assurance that the proposal will probably be accepted. merge7da accepts two input files, one of which contains the current DSN schedule and is in a DSN-standard format called “7da.”

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Logistics, Systems management
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Simulation of Stochastic Processes by Coupled ODE-PDE

A document discusses the emergence of randomness in solutions of coupled, fully deterministic ODE-PDE (ordinary differential equations-partial differential equations) due to failure of the Lipschitz condition as a new phenomenon. It is possible to exploit the special properties of ordinary differential equations (represented by an arbitrarily chosen, dynamical system) coupled with the corresponding Liouville equations (used to describe the evolution of initial uncertainties in terms of joint probability distribution) in order to simulate stochastic processes with the proscribed probability distributions. The important advantage of the proposed approach is that the simulation does not require a random-number generator.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences, Computer simulation, Statistical analysis
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