NASA software award winners announced

NASA’s Ames Research Center and the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory are co-winners of NASA's 2007 Software of the Year
Award, the space agency announced this week.


The Data-Parallel Line Relaxation (DPLR) software developed by
the Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., is used to
analyze and predict the extreme environments human and robotic
spacecraft experience during super-high-speed entries into
planetary atmospheres.


DPLR simulates the intense heating, shear stresses and pressures
a spacecraft endures or will endure as it travels through
atmospheres to land on Earth or other planets. The program helps
engineers design thermal protection materials suited to withstand
such intense heating environments.


The Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Adaptive Modified
Gerchberg-Saxton Phase Retrieval program analyzes data from a
telescope's science camera to detect possible errors that limit its
imaging performance. The software has been used to correct those
errors and increase–and, in some cases, by orders of
magnitutde – the sensitivity and resolution of the device.
The software is already in use at the California Institute of
Technology's Palomar Observatory in northern San Diego County and
was used in the design of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope,
scheduled to launch in 2013.


The NASA Software of the Year Award was initiated in 1994; Ames
and JPL have each won or been co-winner of the award seven
times.



About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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