Maplesoft has announced a major adoption of its products by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). JPL is implementing Maple, MapleSim, and MapleNet in its various projects. Whether creating America’s first satellite, Explorer 1, sending the first robotic craft to the moon, or exploring the edges of the solar system, JPL has been at the forefront of pushing the limits of exploration.
Curiosity, JPL’s latest space rover, launched at the end of November, aims to explore Mars to investigate whether the planet could have ever supported microbial life. Current JPL projects include spacecraft missions to comets, asteroids and the edge of the solar system, as well as satellites that monitor the land, oceans, and atmosphere of our own planet.
Maplesoft products are expected to help JPL save time and reduce cost by providing more efficient and smarter methods for mathematical analysis, modeling, and simulation. Maplesoft solutions are built within a natively symbolic framework, avoiding some of the worst sources of error and computational inefficiencies generated by traditional, numeric-based tools – thus providing great tools for precision-rich projects such as those of JPL.
In addition to using Maple for advanced mathematical analysis, JPL will use MapleSim, Maplesoft’s high-performance physical modeling and simulation platform, as a key tool in its engineering workflow. MapleSim works in combination with Maple. It accesses Maple’s symbolic computation technology to efficiently handle all of the complex mathematics involved in the development of engineering models, including multi-domain systems, multibody systems, plant modeling, and control design.
“Maplesoft products will allow JPL to unify their approach to mathematics, modeling, and simulation,” says Paul Goossens, Vice President, Applications Engineering, Maplesoft. “MapleSim’s intimate connection to the underlying physics of the system models, combined with the knowledge capture and analysis capabilities inherent in Maple, will make project design and development faster and more accountable. JPL scientists will arrive at optimal solutions much faster, and their models will be much more reusable.”
Maplesoft technology is also being used in other space robotics research. Dr. Amir Khajepour, Canada Research Chair in Mechatronic Vehicle Systems and Professor of Engineering in the Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering department at the University of Waterloo, is working with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), to develop a full solution for the power management system of autonomous rovers. His team is using MapleSim to rapidly develop high fidelity, multi-domain models of the rover subsystems.