Real-Time Smart Tools for Processing Spectroscopy Data

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX12CB05C
Agency Tracking Number: 100061
Amount: $749,999.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: T5.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
MD, Rockville, MD, 20850-3563
DUNS: 620282256
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Chiman Kwan
 Principal Investigator
 (240) 505-2641
Business Contact
 Chiman Kwan
Title: Business Official
Phone: (240) 505-2641
Research Institution
 University of Tennessee
 Hairong Qi
 1508 Middle Drive
Knoxville, TN, 37996-37996
 () -
 Domestic nonprofit research organization
Since Mars rovers have limited life span, NASA wants to maximize the exploration activities during this period. Rock sample analysis is one of the main tasks of rover missions. Traditionally, rock selection is decided by human operators. Due to long communication delay, manual selection process is time-consuming. There is a strong need to develop an automatic software system to automate the process.We propose a novel and high performance approach to enhancing rock selection process. We explicitly take advantage of the availability of LIBS instrument in the new generation of Mars rover. First, we use LIBS to quickly sample the neighborhood of the rover. LIBS can collect samples in seconds. Our software algorithms can quickly analyze the LIBS data and determine whether there are any interesting chemical elements. If yes, the APXS instrument will be activated. Otherwise, the rover will move to a new location and start the process again. In Phase I, we have demonstrated that our smart processing tools using actual Mars data and our results are more consistent than a current method. Moreover, our tools can implemented in a parallel processing system to achieve real-time performance. Our parallel processing system utilizes multi-core CPUs for distributed processing and we have used such processing architecture for speech and genomic processing.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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