NASA gives out high fives for software

Software that will remotely control International Space Station experiments via the
Internet and improve air traffic control won NASA’s 1998 Software of the Year awards.

Tempest is an easy-to-install, fully documented program that lets users run experiments
using standard Web browsers, NASA chief information officer Lee B. Holcomb said.

A NASA study concluded Web remote-control applications will proliferate in the
automotive, consumer electronics, office products and medical industries.

Maria Babula, Lisa Lambert, Joseph Ponyik and David York, programmers at NASA’s
Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, and Richard A. Tyo of Intel Corp. wrote the Tempest

NASA also honored the Center Terminal Radar Approach Control Automation System
software. CTAS analyzes and predicts aircraft paths, creates visual displays of arriving
air traffic and gives controllers up-to-the-second information advisories.

The Federal Aviation Administration has integrated CTAS into the radar system at the
Dallas-Fort Worth airport, and FAA plans to implement the software at all major airports,
NASA officials said.

Programmer Michelle Eshow and a team of 37 programmers at NASA’s Ames Research
Center in Moffett Field, Calif., wrote CTAS.

In the runner-up category, NASA honored the Web Interface for Telescience developed at
the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. WITS lets scientists participate in
planetary robot missions using Web browsers. NASA used the application during the Mars
Pathfinder mission.

The space agency also gave honorable mentions to three programs:

Holcomb and Daniel R. Mulville, NASA’s chief engineer and chairman of its
Inventions and Contributions Board, chose the winners based on the recommendations of an
agencywide panel of software professionals.

Information on the programs can be found at


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