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March 6, 2017

NASA releases key software for free public access

The NASA Software Catalogue offers a portfolio of software products for several technical applications.

By CBR Staff Writer

US space agency NASA has released its 2017-2018 software catalogue to the public, enabling anyone to access its codes free of charge.

It is the third time NASA has released such a compilation as part of its technology transfer programme.

The catalogue, which is available in both hard copy and online, includes several tools the agency utilises to explore space and widen its understanding of the universe. Several of software packages are being released to the public for the first time.

Structured into 15 categories, the catalogue includes software for data processing/storage, business systems, operations, propulsion, and aeronautics.

It features the code LEWICE, developed to help study the effects of ice on an aircraft in flight and to help develop ice identification systems.

NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate associate administrator Steve Jurczyk said: “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.

Read more: 5 tech companies that helped NASA in the space race

“Access to these software codes has the potential to generate tangible benefits that create American jobs, earn revenue and save lives.”

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Some of the software available includes codes for more advanced drones, and quieter aircraft.

NASA said that while access restrictions apply to some codes, the automation and update of its software release process in the last two years will make sure that it is as quick, easy and straightforward as possible.

NASA’s technology transfer programme executive Dan Lockney said software has been a critical component of each of the space agency’s mission successes and scientific discoveries, with over 30% of all reported NASA innovations are software.

“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 added.

NASA’s technology transfer programme is managed by the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD).

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