NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 S3.07-8762
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Sensor and Platform Data Processing and Control
PROPOSAL TITLE: Software Tools for Rapid Algorithm Development on HPC, Data-Processing Hardware

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Tech-X Corporation
5621 Arapahoe Avenue, Suite A
Boulder, CO 80303 - 1379
(303) 448-0727

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Paul J Mullowney
5621 Arapahoe Ave
Boulder, CO 80303 - 1379
(303) 996-2030

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Current and future NASA missions are confronted with the challenge
that the amount of data collected by its sensors significantly
outpaces the down-link bandwidth. As a consequence, initial data
reduction has to occur on-board, using algorithms sophisticated enough
to sufficiently reduce the amount of data while simultaneously
ensuring the preservation of valuable information. This requires
enhanced processing power on-board the spacecraft/device/telescope. While future generations of rugged, radiation-hardened hardware can be expected to deliver the necessary performance by employing highly heterogeneous architectures consisting of a combination of FPGAs, DSPs and massively multicore architectures, software development for such devices poses a significant challenge. We prepose to develop tools that facilitate and accelerate algorithm development on these hardware devices. The tools will enable scientists to prototype algorithms in the High-Level language that they are most familiar with while simultaneously building code for
high-performance computational hardware.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The software tools in this project can benefit a variety of current
NASA missions including the Landsat Continuity Mission (LDCM), or
planned missions like HyspIRI, the hyperspectral infrared
imager. These missions offer a glimpse of the flood of
data that is going to be expected from far-future missions. This is not
only a challenge encountered with Earth Science missions, but with all
future missions, including the Solar Dynamics Observatory or the James
Webb Space Telescope.
Mechanisms currently used or investigated to reduce the amount of data
prior to transmission to Earth ranges from fairly simple trigger
functions as encountered on board of RHESSI or planned for XMM, to
more complex cloud detector algorithms on board the Earth Observing
System (EOS) mission.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Modern computational accelerator technologies like FPGAs and GPUs can
be difficult to program efficiently and effectively due to the complex
nature of the underlying hardware. Many companies provide libraries
with highly specialized algorithms that can be accessed from compiled
languages like C/C++/Fortran. However, this presents another barrier
for many scientists who generally program in high-level languages like
MATLAB and IDL. The tools developed in this project, can make these
computational accelerators easily accessible to a much wider range of
scientists through open source high level languages.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Software Development Environments

Form Generated on 09-18-09 10:14