Recent Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID)-Enabled Autonomous Logistics Management (REALM) advances in beta versions of a novel deep learning tool, “Tagnet”, and a random forest classification tool, “Fangorn”, led the crew and ISS Inventory Stowage Officers (ISOs) to a missing Cargo Transfer Bag (CTB) in Node 4. Tagnet was conceived by EV8 intern Joel Simonoff during a summer tour in 2019, and continued in 2020. Although further planned testing is required, this early success was an exciting step in the application of machine learning applied to RFID. The CTB was reported lost approximately a year ago, but was not required by the crew until April 20th, 2020. Initial human inspection of raw data indicated that the missing CTB was likely in Node 1 or PMA 1, but localizing to the rack level had proven exceedingly difficult using human analysis and other deterministic and machine learning tools to date. To further complicate localization of this particular CTB, the two readers in Node 1 had not been properly reading tags due to a network anomaly that is being worked. Tagnet and Fangorn were able to localize the CTB to the Node 4 location using previous training on several TB of archived and new data obtained through only US LAB RFID readers. Data mining and derivation of machine inferences from raw RFID data is a critical technology focus of the REALM project, as RFID technology has not previously been applied to localizing items to the level of accuracy required by NASA. Moreover, the complex scattering environment faced by NASA spacecraft and habitats presents additional RFID localization challenges. – Patrick Fink, EV8 REALM Deep Learning Directs Crew to Missing CTB on ISS
NASA Inventors Hall of Fame
Congratulations to the NASA employees listed on the recently released “NASA Inventors Hall of Fame”. We at METECS are extremely excited to see two NASA associates that we work closely with included on this very exclusive list of only 32 inventors in NASA’s history! Congratulations to Pat Fink and Phong Ngo. We are happy to see them recognized for their great contributions to their field and to NASA.
Patrick Fink: https://technology.nasa.gov/ihof/inventors.php#Patrick-Fink
Phong Ngo: https://technology.nasa.gov/ihof/#Phong-Ngo
You can read more about the NASA Inventors Hall of Fame at https://technology.nasa.gov/ihof/
Smart kids with big hearts
METECS employee, Nicholas Davis has a couple big-hearted kids. During the stay at home order, Sophomore Michelle Davis and eighth grader Nicholas Davis both decided to combine skills to help their community. Using a 3D printer and a sewing machine, Michelle and Nicholas are making masks for frontline workers. The masks were specially designed and handmade, paired with flexible straps that relieve tension on the ears.
“It makes us feel very happy that we can help the people that help us because they risk their lives every day to keep our community safe and healthy,” said Michelle.
By working hard, both kids have made more than a combined 40 masks and 100 ear-relief straps all while balancing their schoolwork.
Great Job, Michelle and Nicholas!
We welcome our new resident at Space Center Houston!
METECS is excited to see the new Falcon booster now at Space Center Houston. Our team has been involved with simulation and graphics integration of the SpaceX Dragon vehicle within our ISS simulations, which is trained in NASA Space Station Training Facility (SSTF) and many other NASA facilities.
Learn more about the exhibit:
METECS sponsors Goforth Elementary School’s robotics team in the 2019 Vex IQ challenge.
METECS was proud to sponsor the Goforth Elementary School’s robotics team in the 2019 Vex IQ challenge.
Read more about the Vex IQ Challenge! https://www.robotevents.com/robot-competitions/vex-iq-challenge
METECS creates unforgettable exhibit and virtual reality experience for Tulsa Air & Space Museum
METECS, a recognized leader in virtual reality simulation, debuted a new Tulsamerican B-24 exhibit and virtual reality experience on December 17th, 2019, the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. The dedication ceremony included an in-depth historical presentation on the Tulsamerican’s heroic crew, words of inspiration from the family of the crew, a moment of silence for the lost crew members, a ribbon cutting ceremony with the media and a chance to relive the B-24’s last flight in a permanent virtual reality viewing station.
As part of President Roosevelt’s “Arsenal of Democracy” to aid WWII efforts, Tulsa was selected as the new location of a Douglas plant. Employees of the Douglas-Tulsa plant bought enough war bonds to cover the cost of the last B-24 built in Tulsa, and so dubbed it The Tulsamerican. The Tulsamerican fought in Europe, it’s last mission was on December 17, 1944 where it was attacked and crashed. It currently rests in the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Croatia.
Fox News 23
Implementation of cFS for FreeRTOS
Our very own Jonathan Brandenburg made a presentation on December 9th regarding the implementation of cFS for FreeRTOS. FreeRTOS, a popular real-time operating system, is frequently chosen for embedded systems based on its capabilities and availability. Many students, startups, and established organizations have experience with FreeRTOS. Thus, a FreeRTOS implementation of cFS is on the cFS roadmap and will address a demand in the flight software community. To better understand the challenges and implications of cFS on FreeRTOS, we initiated an effort to create FreeRTOS implementations of cFS.
The presentation was very well received. The original creators of OSAL and cFS were among the audience. They, along with others, were very complimentary.
In the coming weeks METECS will be releasing the Operating System Abstraction Layer for the FreeRTOS Windows Simulator. This OSAL underlies the core Flight System software allowing cFS to run on FreeRTOS. An announcement will be made when the OSAL is available.
NG-12 Launch success!
METECS was very excited to see the launch of the NG-12 spacecraft on Saturday. This spacecraft, which reached the ISS on Monday, contains over 8000 lbs of cargo. Part of that cargo were some robotic payloads for the Astrobee robot that the METECS team helped develop. METECS is very excited to see this hardware and software get deployed for checkout later this year!
2019 METECS Open Source Award Winners!
METECS is proud to recognize and contribute financially to these great open source projects. The results for the 2019 METECS Open Source Awards are:
1st place: Mozilla Foundation ($500)
2nd place: Blender.org ($300)
3rd place: Python ($200)
METECS is supporting NASA in testing the designs of 5 lunar gateway habitats
Specifically, METECS provides simulation (Trick), graphics (Edge), flight software integration (CFS), and ground testing infrastructure (mREST) capabilities that are used in the evaluation of each design. A team of contractors including METECS put together a common simulation and test architecture that was duplicated and is taken to each location where the habitat testing occurs. The Northrop Grumman test was performed at JSC and just wrapped up. Here is a summary of the companies and the testing locations:
Lockheed Martin – Kennedy Space Center, FloridaNorthrop Grumman – Johnson Space Center, TexasBoeing – Marshall Spaceflight Center, AlabamaSierra Nevada, Corp – Johnson Space Center, TexasBigelow Aerospace – Las Vegas, Nevada
Read more about it at https://www.space.com/nasa-lunar-gateway-habitat-designs-testing.html