RecentNews Archive

Launch of a new era in spaceflight! 05-30-20

The countdown begins! Our team is incredibly excited to have been a part in helping the commercial crew program get to this point. May 30ths scheduled launch of NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, American astronauts will once again launch an American spacecraft from American soil to the International Space Station. 

Our hearts, prayers and excitement go out to everyone involved in today’s Launch! #LaunchAmerica
https://www.nasa.gov/content/live-launch-america-nasas-spacex-demo-2-mission-to-the-international-space-station

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REALM Team Directs Crew to Missing Cargo Transfer Bag on ISS.

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

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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/

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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!

https://www.khou.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/league-city-siblings-combine-special-talents-to-make-mask-for-frontline-workers/285-80ae9ee5-e61d-4abf-a41c-16d1a189d66c

Video Interview:

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Software upgrade to the REALM-1 system on the International Space Station.

The REALM software team reached a major milestone recently deploying an on-orbit software upgrade to the REALM-1 system on the International Space Station. This upgrade’s main feature allows better compatibility with other RF systems onboard the vehicle and also includes various other enhancements to commanding and telemetry of the system. Congratulations to the whole team making this a success! We look forward to new RFID based technologies currently in development that will extend the inventory management capabilities of the REALM system and help the ISS crew succeed in their mission!

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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.
Teaser Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3uSUwIqt_4&feature=emb_logo

Fox News 23
https://www.fox23.com/news/partial-life-size-replica-wwii-bomber-is-open-tulsa-air-space-museum/WNLBHJSO5PVWCXWHYKDNBLG7RY/?_website=cmg-tv-10100

Tulsa World
https://www.tulsaworld.com/news/local/shouldn-t-be-forgotten-tulsa-air-and-space-museum-dedicates/article_1272d22e-2527-5d2d-8bee-a648b7e35a2a.html

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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.

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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!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWZKQ73aGrg

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