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IonoSTAGE Ensures Accuracy of Pilots’ GPS

FAA software relies on NASA-developed programs to help pilots avoid ionospheric storms. To permit safe and reliable aircraft navigation over North America using the Global Positioning System (GPS), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has developed the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), which improves the accuracy, availability, continuity, and integrity of GPS positioning enough to ensure its safe use by pilots to determine their locations. The early development of WAAS relied on software developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); particularly, the GPS-Inferred Positioning System (GIPSY) and the Global Ionospheric Mapping (GIM) software packages. More recently, the continued development of WAAS has relied on companion software also developed at JPL. The SuperTruth and IonoSTAGE packages allow the system to address the threat to accurate positioning posed by code delays and phase advances due to refraction in Earth’s ionosphere.

Posted in: Articles

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Products of Tomorrow: July 2015

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just some of the examples of NASA-developed technology used in products today.

Posted in: Products

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NASA Releases Global Climate Change Projections

NASA has released data showing how temperature and rainfall patterns worldwide may change through the year 2100 because of growing concentrations of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere. The data shows projected changes worldwide on a regional level in response to different scenarios of increasing carbon dioxide simulated by 21 climate models.

Posted in: UpFront

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RoboSimian Drives, Walks, and Drills

The ape-like RoboSimian robot, developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, took fifth place in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Finals. RoboSimian squared off against 22 other robots in the international robotics competition, which promoted the development of robots that could respond to disaster scenarios too dangerous for humans.

Posted in: UpFront

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Image Processing Software Environment (QuIP)

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California The QuIP interpreter is a software environment for QUick Image Processing that features an interactive scripting language designed to facilitate use by non-expert users through features such as context-sensitive automatic response completion. The package includes a number of script packages that implement high-level functions such as analysis of eye images for human gaze tracking, medium-level functions such as feature tracking, and low-level functions such as image filtering. The environment also includes facilities for displaying images onscreen, drawing and overlaying graphics, and constructing graphical user interfaces using the scripting language. QuIP can be acquired at: http://scanpath.arc.nasa.gov/quip/.

Posted in: Briefs

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CubeSat-Compatible, High-Resolution, Thermal Infrared Imager

This imager will consolidate many of the best features in a single technology. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland A small, adaptable, and stable thermal imaging system was developed that can be flown on an aircraft, deployed on the International Space Station as an attached payload, launched on a ride-share as an entirely self-contained 3U CubeSat, flown on a small satellite, or be a co-manifested satellite instrument. When the instrument design is proven, multiple copies of it could be assembled and aligned into an instrument array to enable large-swath thermal imaging from space, all to provide more detailed spatial and temporal data for biomass burning and land surface temperature studies than has heretofore been available from orbit. The instrument has an Earth-observing expected noise equivalent differential temperature (NEDT)

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Fabrication and Imaging Method for Microstructured Photonic Belt Resonator

The resonators have application in quantum and nonlinear optical areas where dispersion control is required. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Frequency combs derived from optical microresonators are required to reach an octave in span. This is required for self-referencing a comb. Presently, the frequency comb span produced by whispering gallery microcavities and other types of cavities is limited mostly by total cavity dispersion.

Posted in: Briefs

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