NASA has made a range of software products publicly available, including codes for more advanced drones and quieter aircraft, which people can use for a wide variety of technical applications – without any royalty or copyright fees.
The 2017-2018 software catalogue has contributions from all the NASA’s centres on data processing/storage, business systems, operations, propulsion and aeronautics. It includes many of the tools NASA uses to explore space and broaden our understanding of the universe.
A number of software packages are being presented for release for the first time. Each catalogue entry is accompanied with a plain language description of what it does. The new NASA Software Catalogue includes the code LEWICE, developed to help study the effects of ice on an aircraft in flight and to help create ice detection systems.
“The software catalogue is our way of supporting the innovation economy by granting access to tools used by today’s top aerospace professionals to entrepreneurs, small businesses, academia and industry,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) in Washington.
“Access to these software codes has the potential to generate tangible benefits that create American jobs, earn revenue and save lives,” said Jurczyk. NASA published the first edition of its software catalogue in April 2014, becoming the first comprehensive listing of publicly available software to be compiled by a federal government agency – the largest creator of custom code.
Since then, NASA has shared thousands of its software programmes with students, industry, individuals and other government agencies. “Software has been a critical component of each of NASA’s mission successes and scientific discoveries. In fact, more than 30 per cent of all reported NASA innovations are software,” said Dan Lockney, NASA’s Technology Transfer programme executive.
“We’re pleased to transfer these tools to other sectors and excited at the prospect of seeing them implemented in new and creative ways,” Lockney said. Some of the software available include codes for more advanced drones, and quieter aircraft.