Press Release

NASA Ames’ Technologies Highlight TGIR Awards Ceremony

By SpaceRef Editor
July 14, 2004
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The NASA teams that have helped make the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) such a resounding success and helped NASA determine the cause of the Columbia disaster will be highlighted in an awards ceremony today honoring NASA’s best and brightest.

Today, NASA will hold its sixth annual Turning Goals into Reality (TGIR) Awards ceremony and reception at NASA Headquarters and the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven J. Udvar Hazy Center. The TGIR awards celebrate outstanding contributions made by employees to accomplish NASA’s aerospace goals and objectives. NASA Ames Research Center, located in California’s Silicon Valley, will receive four awards, including the prestigious Administrator’s Award and Associate Administration’s Choice Award. NASA Ames is a contributing partner to three additional award-winning teams.

“We are honored that NASA has recognized the dedicated men and women at NASA Ames for their outstanding work in the field of aerospace,” said G. Scott Hubbard, NASA Ames center director. “Ames has a long tradition of developing the technologies essential to help NASA achieve its goals, particularly in the areas of information technology, air traffic management and inspiring students.”

NASA Ames teams will receive the following TGIR awards for 2004:

Administrator’s Award
NASA Ames’ Advanced Information Infusion Team has helped the Mars Exploration Rovers become one of NASA’s greatest success stories with its innovative tools to help manage and organize the 240 scientists and engineers working on the MER mission. The Ames tools contributing to MER’s success are the Mixed-initiative Activity Plan Generator (MAPGEN) and the Collaborative Information Portal (CIP). MAPGEN is an automated planning and scheduling tool that the MER teams use to build and edit science activity plans for the rovers based on the scientists’ ‘wish list’ of observations and the rovers’ available resources. CIP is the primary time management tool for operations and science for the MER missions. It is the latest in a series of applications to support data retrieval, analysis and understanding for the scientists performing MER’s time-critical tasks.

Associate Administrator’s Choice Award

After the tragic accident of Feb. 1, 2003, the Investigation Organizer Team provided space shuttle Columbia accident investigators around the country with a means of conducting a well-organized and systematic investigation. Investigation Organizer is a Web-based application that provided accident investigators a collaborative process to gather and share evidence and develop and test accident scenarios. This application proved invaluable in helping determine the cause of the Columbia disaster. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Department of Defense have expressed interest and are evaluating the organizer for potential use.

Increase Capacity and Mobility Award

With a projected doubling of air traffic across the United States, the Surface Management System (SMS) Development Team is helping airport controllers schedule and manage the flow of aircraft on the ground. The technology helps carriers and controllers coordinate flight schedules to prevent ‘bottlenecks’ at the terminal and on the runways. SMS is one of many new decision-support tools being developed at NASA Ames by the Advanced Air Transportation Technologies Project under NASA’s Airspace Systems Program.

Inspire Students, Engage Public Project Award

Inspiring the nation’s youth is one of NASA’s primary missions, and the members of the Edgarville Airport-Take Off to the Future of Air Travel Team have developed a fun and informative means of introducing students and the general public to the inner workings of an airport. Consisting of three plasma screens and a touch screen navigation display, Edgarville allows the user to travel to different parts of an airport and interact with the airport’s animated characters. Edgarville Airport is a traveling exhibit for NASA’s Airspace Systems Program and has been very well received at several venues including the Centennial of Flight celebrations at Kitty Hawk, N.C., and at Rockefeller Center in New York in 2003.

Ames also received awards as a contributing partner in three additional NASA technology teams:

Partnership Award

The Shape Sonic Boom/Abrupt Wing Stall/Active Aeroelastic Wing Program teams at NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., and NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif.

Revolutionary Aeronautics Concepts Award

The Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology UAV Team at NASA Dryden.

Scientific and Engineering Driven Architectures and Technologies Award
The Ground Truthing Team at NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland

For more information about the Turning Goals Into Reality Awards ceremony, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.