News Release 99-63
For Release: August 5, 1999
Barbara L. Kakiris
John G. Watson
NASA’s 1999 Software of the Year Makes Cars Safer and Spacecraft Cheaper
NASA has chosen as its 1999 NASA Software of the Year two innovative programs developed at NASA centers. One program applies technology developed for space to everyday life here on Earth by helping to make our cars, airplanes, bridges and other structures safer. The other program makes spacecraft cheaper and transforms science fiction into science fact by allowing spacecraft to operate themselves.
The award winners are: Genoa, a progressive failure-analysis software with unique predictive capabilities, developed at the NASA Glenn Research Center, and Remote Agent, which has been used to control NASA’s Deep Space 1 mission, developed at Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA.
Genoa is the first and only software that can predict progressive aging and failure of materials as diverse as metals, ceramics, concrete and all types of composites. The development of Genoa began at the center in the 1970s and was commercialized only about a year ago. Alpha STAR Corporation, Long Beach, CA, a minority-owned small business is now marketing the software, which is used by aircraft manufacturers and others. The ability to predict material and structural failure helps engineers and manufacturers design and build more durable aircraft fuselages, engines, car bodies and bridges. This is especially important today as commercial aircraft fleets age and many components of road and bridge infrastructure reach the end of their useful lives.
The other software co-winner, Remote Agent, is the first software package ever used to autonomously control a spacecraft: Deep Space 1. The software detected, diagnosed and fixed problems, showing that it can make decisions to keep a mission on track.
Another Glenn software program, the NPARC Alliance Flowfield Simulation System, used to simulate the air or fluid flow in aerospace systems, ranging from individual engine components to entire aircraft, received Honorable Mention. The system is currently in use by over 150 organizations in the United States.
The NASA award is the largest award for software excellence in the United States. The winners were selected from 50 entries representing more than 150 corporations, universities, and government laboratories.
Last year, NASA awarded over $350,000 in cash prizes to the winners. The event is sponsored by the NASA Inventions and Contributions Board and the NASA Chief Information Officer. NASA officials will officially present the awards at special ceremonies later this year. Information about the winning teams and other finalists is available from:
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