New NASA Software Monitors Space Station Gyroscopes

August 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: Launch, docking returns International Space Station crew to full strength

Related Stories

Is cyberjacking a new threat to air travel?

July 13, 2015

When Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished en route to Beijing in March 2014, the horror and mystery of the story captivated the public. And as with any mystery, the lack of a definitive answer left a void for speculation ...

ESA astronauts prepare for underwater training

July 7, 2015

ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano is to lead NASA's 20th underwater astronaut training mission this month. Starting on 20 July, the 14-day NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations sortie, or NEEMO, will see a team of four living ...

Recommended for you

Binary star system precisely timed with pulsar's gamma-rays

July 31, 2015

Pulsars are rapidly rotating compact remnants born in the explosions of massive stars. They can be observed through their lighthouse-like beams of radio waves and gamma-rays. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational ...

Image: Hubble sees a dying star's final moments

July 31, 2015

A dying star's final moments are captured in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The death throes of this star may only last mere moments on a cosmological timescale, but this star's demise is still quite ...

Exoplanets 20/20: Looking back to the future

July 31, 2015

Geoff Marcy remembers the hair standing up on the back of his neck. Paul Butler remembers being dead tired. The two men had just made history: the first confirmation of a planet orbiting another star.

Earth flyby of 'space peanut' captured in new video

July 31, 2015

NASA scientists have used two giant, Earth-based radio telescopes to bounce radar signals off a passing asteroid and produce images of the peanut-shaped body as it approached close to Earth this past weekend.

0 comments

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.