New NASA Software Monitors Space Station Gyroscopes

Aug 14, 2007

NASA has added a new computer program to help monitor the four gyroscopes that keep the International Space Station properly oriented without the use of rocket fuel. During a spacewalk on Monday, two astronauts from the space shuttle Endeavour removed and replaced a gyroscope that failed in late 2006.

Computer scientists at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., designed the new software for the space station. The Inductive Monitoring System will be added to a group of existing tools to identify and track problems related to the gyroscopes.

"If the system does something unexpected, the software alerts ground controllers that something is different, an anomaly, and that allows them to analyze the situation and take preventive measures as necessary," said David Iverson, the computer scientist at Ames who spearheaded the five year-effort to develop the software.

During its development, researchers used the software to analyze several months of normal space station gyroscope data collected by the International Space Station Mission Control Center at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston. In these tests, problems with the gyroscopes were noticed long before the previous system flagged glitches. NASA started using the software earlier this year.

The software program also has been used in F-18 fighter planes and by the space shuttle's leading edge impact detection system, as well as for electric power plant and water quality monitoring.

Source: NASA

Explore further: Ceres bright spots sharpen but questions remain

Related Stories

Bringing NASA satellite data down to Earth

May 06, 2015

NASA didn't have Wicked Joe Coffee Roasting Company in mind as the agency launched hundreds of instruments into Earth orbit over the years. But thanks to a NASA website that tailors satellite-derived data ...

Image: Arabidopsis thaliana shoots en route to ISS

Apr 15, 2015

This microscope image taken at 40 times magnification shows the individual cells that make up the root of an Arabidopsis thaliana plant. Next month, 200 five-day-old shoots will fly a roller-coaster ride ...

Silicon Valley mulls invasion of 'unicorns'

Apr 08, 2015

When social media software firm Sprinklr unveiled its latest funding last month, it vaulted into the club of "unicorns," or tech startups worth at least $1 billion.

Recommended for you

Ceres bright spots sharpen but questions remain

14 hours ago

The latest views of Ceres' enigmatic white spots are sharper and clearer, but it's obvious that Dawn will have to descend much lower before we'll see crucial details hidden in this overexposed splatter of ...

Rosetta's view of a comet's "great divide"

14 hours ago

The latest image to be revealed of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comes from October 27, 2014, before the Philae lander even departed for its surface. Above we get a view of a dramatically-shadowed cliff ...

How long will our spacecraft survive?

14 hours ago

There are many hazards out there, eager to disrupt and dismantle the mighty machines we send out into space. How long can they survive to perform their important missions?

Why roundworms are ideal for space studies

15 hours ago

Humans have long been fascinated by the cosmos. Ancient cave paintings show that we've been thinking about space for much of the history of our species. The popularity of recent sci-fi movies suggest that ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.