While many of us have seen our productivity levels go down over the past year due to pandemic-related changes in the workplaces, NASA has been harder at work than ever before, churning out a seemingly endless amount of software innovations developed to improve life on Earth as well as explorations in space, with a particular and unsurprising emphasis on Mars.
At the moment, NASA is in the process of unveiling much of this software to the general public, making a number of individual programs available for download via their website in order to improve the efficiency of various industries. It was just recently announced that NASA has over 800 individual software programs ready to launch, and more details will be released to us in the coming weeks and months. For the time-being, we can share the details that have been released that are the most pertinent to our present lives.
Initiatives to Monitor and Combat Climate Change
Perhaps the most important initiatives undertaken by NASA relate to climate change, and we know that NASA has been busy developing technology for years that aims to play a major role in both monitoring and fighting its impacts on our planet.
NASA has teamed up with various organizations over the years in order to develop focused technology to fight numerous threats against Earth. One major development is WorldWind, a software revolving around data visualization which provides the Coast Guard with live feed maps of maritime and satellite data. Its primary aim is to monitor the effects of climate change on fresh water to understand the larger scale of its impact on our most important resources. More technology aims to aid in the competency of wind turbines to generate an alternative source of power.
The most downloaded software from NASA is TetrUSS, used to design aircraft and spacecraft based on advanced fluid dynamic modeling. Primarily, the software creates predictive modeling of flight performance and aerodynamic forces, but it’s now being used to develop other forms of transportation including cars, and can even investigate plane crashes. It’s helped countless agencies and private entities develop more efficient vehicles of all kinds, while better ensuring safety while in transit in a way that has saved lives.
TetrUSS has actually been around for decades, but NASA has revisited the software to introduce more advanced programming that gives us better insight into fluid dynamics as they relate to alternative power sources, including wind. Again, this puts more emphasis on climate change, while providing agencies with visualization and predictive tools to alter their products and methods to be more environmentally sustainable. It can even provide scientists with more comprehensive tools to explore alternative power sources to integrate into their own technology.
Improved Communication Devices
NASA has always been an innovator in communications, based on the essential need to provide fully competent communications between Earth and space. Much of the communications technology that they’ve developed has proven to be useful beyond space-related endeavors, and now, the organization has made much of its most impressive technology more accessible than ever before. Using satellites and drones, NASA has developed communications software and devices that enable some of the most efficient communication between agencies and data devices that our civilization has ever seen. The goal with the most recent technology is to greatly reduce background noise, provide faster communication times and ensure completely wireless interfaces. This also enables data to be communicated in a more comprehensive way so that urgent information can be addressed as it is recorded and received. One advancement in this field is the development of lightweight antennas that provide more stability to communications along with sustainability by utilizing far less power.
Pollution Converting Technology
NASA has developed technology that can convert nitrogen-based pollutants in water into effective fertilizer for crops. Nitrogen pollutants like ammonia are a major threat to our clean water supply, especially in areas of the globe that are poverty-stricken. New, advanced filtration technology developed by NASA can simultaneously clean the water effectively and turn the pollutants into a powerful tool for farmers.
Airless Tire Technology
Airless tire technology was a key factor in the development of the Curiosity rover belonging to the Mars mission, and it’s coming to Earth. Shape memory alloy enables a completely airless design that is far more resilient than the standard tires attached to our vehicles. The material can handle rougher terrain, and is safer due to its lack of air pressure that is capable of exploding. This technology can even be applied to bicycles in order to make cycling a safer endeavor.
What This All Means!
NASA’s latest technological innovations are undoubtedly capable of impacting many of the industries that guide the future of our planet. We highly anticipate the integrations of these various technologies in terms of what they can do to improve life on Earth.