Yeah, you know how much you enjoy open source software? You can download a distro, play with it a bit, recompile it. It’s not rocket science, right? Well sometimes it actually IS rocket science! Did you know that NASA runs a Technology Transfer Program that offers up some of the great programs and code they use internally to the public? As part of their charter and as a Federal agency, NASA offers you a variety of software under various release agreements for your use (General Public Release, U.S. Release Only, U.S. Government Purpose Release, U.S. and Foreign Release, Open Source). In some cases you’ll have to request the code from NASA but I found over 200 software packages available under Open Source and many downloadable immediately.
The NASA software is organized by category across topics such as business systems and process management, system testing, data and image processing, autonomous systems, and more. Browsing the software catalog on the open source side of things turns up some interesting software nuggets:
- “Worldview” satellite imagery browsing and downloading tool
– Worldview is a software tool designed for interactively browsing and downloading imagery from NASA’s Earth observing satellites. Building upon a set of open source mapping and user interface libraries, it provides an environment to visually discover interesting phenomena as observed by NASA satellites, then download the data for further analysis.
- Sound Lab (SLAB), Version 5
– SLAB is a software-based, real-time, virtual acoustic-environment rendering system designed to study spatial hearing in environments such as concert halls, listening rooms, virtual reality, aviation spatial information displays, and video game sound effects.
- Cobra: A Code Browser and Analyzer — an extendable, interactive tool for the analysis of C code
– Provides software developers, peer reviewers, testers, and quality assurance personnel with an interactive tool that facilitates searching for patterns, confirm compliance or non-compliance with coding guidelines and coding standards, identify suspicious code fragments, etc. Cobra uses a lexical analyzer for C to scan in source code.
Get the full story in their video below and browse away to see if you find some code that may help you manage your next mission to Mars!