NASA Announces Software of the Year Award Winners
NASA selected two teams to receive the agency's
Software of the Year Award. A team from NASA's Goddard Space
Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., was recognized for their
"Land Information System Software (LIS) V4.0; and a team
from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., for
the Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment (ASE) software.
"This software is a great asset, as NASA pursues the Vision
for Exploration. As we return to the moon and on to Mars,
these types of software will aid us in our exploration and
scientific discoveries," said NASA's acting Chief Engineer
The LIS software is a high-performance land surface modeling
and data assimilation system. LIS realistically predicts the
water and energy cycles, including runoff, evaporation from
plants and soil, and heat storage in the ground. This enables
observation-driven modeling to help revolutionize the nation's
weather and climate forecasting systems.
The LIS has helped advance NASA's software engineering
principles and practices, while promoting portability,
interoperability and scalability. LIS is being used by the
science teams for the orbiting Gravity Recovery and Climate
Experiment (GRACE), the Tropical Rainfall Measurement
Mission (TRMM) and the Aqua satellites.
The ASE software enables a science-driven autonomous
spacecraft to increase its science return by two orders of
magnitude. ASE is a new approach to space exploration.
Instead of relying on ground operations, a spacecraft can
respond autonomously to detected science events. It provides
onboard decision making by the spacecraft.
It accomplishes this efficiency by autonomously detecting
and tracking dramatic environmental events on Earth, such as
volcanic eruptions, floods, and wild fires. The ASE software
has been successfully used on the Earth Observing One (EO-1)
The two winners were chosen from nominations from NASA
centers. NASA began the competition in 1994. It was designed
to reward outstanding software at the agency. Eligible
software must have NASA intellectual property interest, be
of commercial grade, be available to appropriate commercial
users or dedicated to a NASA mission.
* Science & technology significance of the software and
its impact on NASA's mission
* The extent of potential use
* The usability of the software
* The quality factors considered in the software
* Intellectual property factors, such as patents and
* Innovation of the software
For more information on the Land Information System software, visit their website at: http://lis.gsfc.nasa.gov/Gallery/index.shtml
For information about the Software of the Year award on the
David E. Steitz/Sonja Alexander