Office of Technology Transfer News



FINDER Searching WreckageFINDER, which stands for Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response, is a collaboration between JPL and the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate in Washington. In the wreckage of a collapsed textile factory and another building in the Nepalese village of Chautara, four men were rescued, two from each destroyed building, in one of the hardest-hit areas of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake on April 25. The technology detected the men's presence even though they were buried under about 10 feet of brick, mud, wood and other debris.

Maestro Science Activity Planner for Mars

NASA Software Catalog, JPL-45871
Center Rotation for Software Website Featured Stories NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) 2nd Quarter, February 1, 2015

The Maestro Science Activity Planner (Maestro) combines cutting-edge visualization with sophisticated planning and simulation capabilities to provide and intuitive interface to the Mars Exploration Rovers. It achieved simultaneous successes in missions operations and technology development.

Maestro's 2D visualization components are the best in class, offering high performance, immersing visualization of images and terrain. In this version, the Maestro software includes a Map View utilizing an image from the HiRise satellite to create an interactive annotated rover traverse path and navigation camera (navcam) image overlay. It also includes an overhead mosaic capability that is made from navcam stereo data to create an overhead perspective image that is true to the terrain.


Fig. 1: SAP/Maestro, used by Mars rover scientists to create desired activities for rover operations.

Maestro is easier to use and more powerful than it's predecessors. It is built upon the Java Eclipse Platform providing independent software allowing scientists the ability to obtain the speed and responsiveness of the software without the limitation of being on the operations console. Maestro is build around a browser-based UI paradigm that reduces complicated missions operations tasks to point-and-click. The visualization components of the software are more tightly coupled than in any similar tool, increasing performance and helping users to better understand the environment of the rover.

Maestro is consistently advancing the state of the art in its field. It is based on the open source project paradigm, Eclipse that enables it to take advantage of incorporating other open source projects increasing its capabilities and potential. In addition, it is significantly more portable and lightweight, and supports more platforms than other existing options.

JPL Welcomes Open Source Software Development Paradigm

Opensource ParadigmThe Open Source paradigm for developing and disseminating software continues to be a growing trend in industry and increasingly, in government. JPL is continuing to develop a clearly articulated and thoughtful policy and set of best practices relating to the Open Source paradigm.

Open Source Software Policy at JPL

The current JPL policy is to embrace the open source paradigm for developing and disseminating software in cases where it makes sense to do so. To date JPL endorses open source software releases that are vetted and approved by the Software Release Authority (SRA) using pre-approved licenses such as: Apache 2.0, Eclipse Public License (EPL) and BSD etc.

The benefits of open source policy include:

  • Facilitates exchange of ideas in a research setting, fostering exploration and experimentation

  • Facilitates productivity and efficiency in a collaborative development setting, based on ease of sharing status and progress

  • Facilitates ease of interaction and timeliness of support relative to traditional vendors

  • Positions the institution to recruit fresh-outs who are aware of Open Source as a useful, modern practice

  • Increases institutional productivity when consuming Open Source software for appropriate uses and applications

For more information on Open Sourcing your software, please contact Brian Morrison, JPL’s Software Release Authority (SRA) at (818) 354-2458.


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