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USRA researchers work closely with customer organizations to apply advanced information technology to various missions in astrobiology, biological sciences, space sciences, and Earth sciences.

Current expertise includes:


Decision support and autonomous systemsUSRA scientists are leading the way in the development of advanced automation capabilities. Research efforts in this area seek to develop computer software and algorithms to enable progressively more independent decision-making to be made by spacecraft and robots, instead of always relying on human ground controllers for guidance. Over time, this will lead to robots, spacecraft, and remote crews that can accomplish more with less communication with ground control, reducing mission costs and increasing scientific return.


NASA's highly-modified F-15B IFCS research aircraftSoftware is an increasingly critical component in aerospace systems, and automated software testing technologies that use formal methods are emerging as a new approach for verifying and validating software for high levels of reliability, safety, and security. This capability can advance the development, procurement, and acquisition cycle of customer technologies that require software IV&V. This provides significant benefit to the government and industry in efficiency effectiveness, and cost savings. USRA scientists have a worldwide reputation in the advanced techniques for software verification and validation, including the use of formal methods with support for traditional and non-traditional software (e.g., neural network flight control software).


Charged with pushing the boundaries of innovation, government and industry must work smarter while juggling funding priorities. Computing infrastructure and architecture are at the forefront of efficient science operations. USRA scientists have a worldwide reputation in advanced techniques for high-end cloud computing infrastructure, with extensive capability in use of cloud computing in the domain of scientific and engineering applications. Current work in this area is in support of the federal government's shift to a "Cloud First" information technology policy aimed at reducing costs and improving performance.


Space Debris Modeling

Low-cost approach for debris-debris and debris-satellite collision avoidance.