NASA Mission Operations on the NetBeans Platform (Part 4 of 4)

Polaris Slipstream is an extensible data modeling application designed to provide NASA Mission analysts a tool that not only visually models their workflow but allows for a data sandbox. Analysts can use this sandbox to explore variations on daily mission operations or offline analysis using experimental algorithms and configurations.

The software specializes in data products and formats that are typically associated with NASA Missions. Slipstream is under development by Aerospace Industry contractor ai Solutions and is built off Polaris, which is their NetBeans Platform framework.

Polaris Slipstream Sequence And Execution:

Polaris Slipstream Les Miserable Fused With Napoleon Info JDK8 WebSockets:

Polaris Slipstream Dataflow Builder:

Polaris Slipstream Embedding JavaFX Charts:

What Does the Software Do?

Slipstream has been designed to reuse existing NASA mission and Polaris plugins for data production and visualization. The interface is a Node Graph workflow that leverages the NetBeans Platform Visual Library for scene rendering and a custom dependency and execution model. The goal is for non-programmer analysts to model, explore, and share their data analysis both visually and functionally. Palettes of data components and processes are made available to the user with the intent to separate different Mission components into their own sub-palettes.

Currently, experimental visualization is possible through a subset of JavaFX charts and D3 JS data visualizations. This is being expanded as new types of views become relevant to existing workflows and future support will include more JavaFX chart components and WorldWind.

How Does the NetBeans Platform Help?

The NetBeans Platform makes this all possible by providing the Visual Library within a rich window docking framework. The NetBeans Platform Lookup makes combined mission palettes possible. The same Lookup also makes drag and drop from palette to scene, and eventually straight from custom project data nodes, simple.

Integrated support for JavaFX interop provides all the visualization capabilities, such as JavaFX line and area charts. This is especially true in that custom plugins provide early developer builds of JDK 8, which are used for embedded web visualizations. Recent builds of JDK 8 also include enhanced JavaFX WebKit support, which enable HTTP WebSockets, making remote collaboration feasible directly within the scene.

All the info and text above was provided by Sean Phillips (@SeanMiPhillips), who is a Software Engineer and NASA contractor with aerospace experts ai Solutions.


Very cool Sean, this seems like a great solution for the case where your engineers are analytically minded, but don't want to fiddle around in software. Reminiscent of LabView or Simulink but much more useful when needing to tie in legacy software and custom modules.

Posted by guest on April 15, 2013 at 10:13 AM PDT #

Yes the comparison to LabView or Simulink is necessary. I feel that the difference is that LabView and Simulink were meant to be an encompassing workflow manager that automates complex tasks, while Slipstream is meant to explore a dataspace.

So you are right in that an analytical mind could really take advantage of this. The real power is not just changing the data visualizations easily... or modeling a data flow visually, its the ability to use that same interface to then convey the insight of how the data tranforms to someone else.

Posted by Sean Phillips on April 15, 2013 at 10:58 AM PDT #

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Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) is a Principal Product Manager in the Oracle Developer Tools group living & working in Amsterdam. He is a Java technology enthusiast, evangelist, trainer, speaker, and writer. He blogs here daily.

The focus of this blog is mostly on NetBeans (a development tool primarily for Java programmers), with an occasional reference to NetBeans, and sometimes diverging to topics relating to NetBeans. And then there are days when NetBeans is mentioned, just for a change.


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