Our own Jack Kincaid along with NASA colleague Lee Bingham had the opportunity to speak at Unreal Fest back in October! Check out the article and video of their presentation, “NASA Lunar Terrain Visualization in Unreal Engine 5”.
The Robinson Elementary School (@CCISDSTEM) Robotics Club Teams, known as the “Robinson bRAiNGERS”, competed over the weekend in their 2nd @VexRobotics IQ Competition of the season. These students invested many hours into designing, building, programming, and practicing driving their robots. The students were judged based on their scores in the Slapshot 2022-20223 Game (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF3I8FscrKo), along with their team interviews and engineering notebooks, which document how they progressed through the engineering design process.
Both Robinson teams did very well at this competition, especially in the skills challenges. One of the Robinson teams earned the highest score in the programming skills challenge and was awarded the “Think Award” which “recognizes the most effective and consistent use of coding techniques and programming design solutions to solve the game challenge”. The “Think Award” criteria also includes that the “autonomous programming is consistent and reliable” and the “team clearly explains their programming management process”.
METECS team member, Angela Reeves, has had the privilege of coaching these bright and talented students this season and METECS sponsored their team shirts. Congratulations Robinson bRAiNGERS!!!
METECS is so proud to be a contributor to NASA’s Artemis program and part of humanity’s return to the Moon. The beautiful launch this morning reminds us of how much inspiration our human-spaceflight program can bring to the Earth. Congratulations to NASA and also the many contractors and international partners who contributed to this great achievement. (Image credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)
On September 8th, NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins installed the hardware for the 3rd phase of the NASA REALM project known as REALM-3. REALM is a NASA project which serves to demonstrate RFID-based logistics management for human spaceflight. This third phase involves the concept of “smart stowage” and includes an RFID reader and antennas embedded into the stowage rack shown above.
Congratulations to all of the METECS team members and our civil servant counterparts for this big milestone in the REALM project.
On the August 25th broadcast of NBC Nightly News, there was a segment showing Lester Holt’s recent visit to NASA’s Johnson Space Center to discuss the Artemis Moon program. During the segment you can see a number of simulations of lunar operations that METECS has significantly contributed to.
Congratulations to the METECS team members who have contributed to these simulations and the facilities that contain them!
Recently METECS acquired additional office space in a suite adjacent to our existing location. In summer of 2022 we began renovations on both suites to merge them into one which will almost double the square footage we had previously. On top of additional office space, we’re excited to announce a new All Hands room! This will be a great space to allow our employees to gather, share ideas, and celebrate progress.
Congratulations to the Robotics, Simulation, and Graphics Support (RSGS) Team on completing the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) Latching End Effector (LEE) re-validation! The METECS RSGS Team has developed, maintained, and validated these LEE contact and mechanism simulation models for a number of years and continues to maintain/improve them. This LEE simulation model is used at NASA for both SSRMS analysis simulations as well as training simulations, which means that it is important that it behave just like the real system. This re-validation activity involved comparing the LEE model response to the expected response data provided by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) for several different test cases. When differences in the simulation response were detected, the RSGS Team worked closely with CSA to identify the root cause of the mismatch and make and/or coordinate the appropriate adjustments. Great work RSGS Team on completing this re-validation!
NASA recently completed successful testing of a new Mission Control Center (MCC) Big Board display replacement named “New Development Distributed Earth Model Orbital System“ (NDDEMOS) which uses MCC telemetry and ephemeris real-time data to display elements such as the ISS, Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRS), ground sites, loss of signal locations, visiting vehicle information and other relevant telemetry data for the NASA Flight Control Room. This new web-based product is a replacement for the existing MCC DEMOS display which is reaching end-of-life with respect to maintainability.
Congratulations to the METECS team members who have worked so hard to get NDDEMOS to this operational milestone.
On December 6th 2021, the 3rd RFID Recon Science activity took place in the International Space Station. In this operation, METECS employees tested the advanced RFID homing capabilities that the Recon add-on RFID module gives the Astrobee freeflying robot. (You can read more about the Astrobee robot here: https://www.nasa.gov/astrobee)
How did the activity go? RFID Recon Science 3 was a great success! Three homing attempts with the robot were performed, each better than the last.
The first two attempts were performed with the target RFID tag starting in front of and above the Astrobee Freeflyer robot. We ended within 15 inches of the target tag on both runs, with the second run ending closer than the first.
The third attempt was performed with the target tag starting behind and above the robot. Even though this starting configuration was more challenging than the scenario from the first two attempts, we autonomously homed in on the target so closely that the robot touched the tag!