Software of the Year

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2008 Award Winner

The Software Advisory Panel met at NASA Langley Research Center to hear presentations from nominees to determine their recommendations to the Inventions and Contributions Board for the selection of the 2008 award. The Software Advisory Panel Members for 2008 were:

Software Advisory Panel MembersMembers of the Software Advisory Panel
(left to right)
  • Ray R. Bryant (Stennis Space Center)
  • Melissa Bodeau (NASA Office of Safety & Mission Assurance)
  • Robert T. Savely (Johnson Space Center)
  • Scott E. Green (Goddard Space Flight Center)
  • James T. Renfrow (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
  • Caroline K. Wang (Marshall Space Flight Center)
  • Jesse C. Midgett (NASA Headquarters)
  • Felicia M. Wright (Langley Research Center)
  • Arthur E. Beller (Kennedy Space Center)
  • Anthony R. Gross (Ames Research Center)
  • Jay G. Horowitz (Glenn Research Center)
  • Roger Truax (Dryden Flight Research Center)
Not pictured: Anthony J. Maturo (NASA Inventions and Contributions Board Staff Director), Martha S. Wetherholt (NASA Office of Safety & Mission Assurance), John C. Kelly (NASA Office of the Chief Engineer), Walter Kit (NASA Office of the Chief Information Officer)

On August 20, 2008 the Inventions and Contributions Board confirmed the following award selections. The Winner's award was presented at the 2009 NASA Project Management Challenge in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Award Title:

Optimal Trajectories by Implicit Simulation, Version 4 (OTIS4)

Lead NASA Center:

Glenn Research Center (GRC)

Case Number:



The Optimal Trajectories by Implicit Simulation program version 4 (OTIS4) is used to perform trajectory performance studies based on many variables to determine the best trajectory for a given mission. A user can simulate a wide variety of vehicles such as aircraft, missiles, reentry vehicles, hypervelocity vehicles, satellites, and interplanetary vehicles. The vehicle models used in OTIS4 are defined by user inputs; there are no embedded, vehicle-specific aerodynamic or propulsion models. OTIS4 is primarily a point mass, three-degree of freedom (3DOF) simulation program for single vehicles. Options allow six-degree of freedom (6DOF) simulations and several types of special multiple vehicle problems. The program name is derived from one of the program's methods used to solve differential equations, which was distinctive at the time of OTIS4's origin. Trajectory integration can be specified as implicit, explicit, or analytic. Flight paths can be generated with respect to any of the major bodies in the solar system. Trajectory generation, targeting, and optimization can all be accomplished using this program.OTIS4 provides two general modes of operation: explicit trajectory integration (or propagation) and optimization using either explicit or implicit integration methods. OTIS4 provides a number of implicit integration schemes including Gauss-Labatto methods and pseudo-spectral methods. However, it can optimize with explicit integration and parameterized suboptimal controls. It is implicit integration that provides the OTIS4 user with rapid, robust, and accurate solutions to trajectory optimization problems.

NASA engineers discuss results from the Flight Optimization Program, which can simulate flight paths to any major body in the solar system on a wide variety of vehicles

Above: NASA engineers discuss results from the Flight Optimization Program, which can
simulate flight paths to any major body in the solar system on a wide variety of vehicles.

Runners Up

(alphabetically by NASA Center)
  • Inductive Monitoring System (IMS), Ames Research Center ARC-15058-1
  • Goddard Mission Services Evolution Center (GMSEC) System, Goddard Space Flight Center GSC-15142-1, 15143-1, 15141-1, 15575-1, 15576-1, 15577-1
  • Mission-Analysis and Operations Navigation Toolkit Environment (MONTE), Jet Propulsion Laboratory NPO-41826-1, 46083-1

Honorable Mentions

(alphabetically by NASA Center)
  • Architecture for Exploration Studies (ARES) (known as ANTARES), Johnson Space Center MSC-24188-1
  • Systems Maintenance Automated Repair Tasks (SMART), Kennedy Space Center KSC-12909-1
  • Boundary Layer Transition Tool for Shuttle Mission Operations, Langley Research Center LAR-17337-1
  • Electronic Test Preparation System (eTPS), Marshall Space Flight Center MSF-32695-1