Article: Stanford’s New Open-Source Software for Designing Sustainable Cities

Cities, Innovation, Open Space

Stanford’s New Open-Source Software for Designing Sustainable Cities

New technology could help cities around the world improve people’s lives while saving billions of dollars. The free, open-source software developed by the Stanford Natural Capital Project creates maps to visualize the links between nature and human wellbeing. City planners and developers can use the software to visualize where investments in nature, such as parks and marshlands, can maximize benefits to people, like protection from flooding and improved health.

“This software helps design cities that are better for both people and nature,” said Anne Guerry, Chief Strategy Officer and Lead Scientist at the Natural Capital Project. “Urban nature is a multitasking benefactor — the trees on your street can lower temperatures so your apartment is cooler on hot summer days. At the same time, they’re soaking up the carbon emissions that cause climate change, creating a free, accessible place to stay healthy through physical activity and just making your city a more pleasant place to be.”

Read Full Article

Article: Data-driven environmental decision-making and action in armed conflict

Access, Geospatial, Open Data, Open Decision-Support

Data-driven environmental decision-making and action in armed conflict

*A digital revolution through a myriad of earth observation data and open-source investigations is reshaping our understanding of the environmental causes and consequences of armed conflicts. From spatio-temporal analysis to near-real time monitoring of conflicts and resulting harm from scorched earth tactics, environmental data can quickly be incorporated in humanitarian action and reconstruction efforts.

In other words, the scope and severity of environmental damage in conflict is now better understood and more foreseeable. How can this transformative development influence military conduct to strengthen the protection of civilians and the environment in armed conflict?

Read Full Article

Article: Open-Source Champion Auterion Partners With Mars-Exploring Maxon to Deliver State-Of-The-Art Drones for Enterprise and Government

Hardware, Materials, Open Manufacturing

Open-Source Champion Auterion Partners With Mars-Exploring Maxon to Deliver State-Of-The-Art Drones for Enterprise and Government

 Auterion, the company building an open and software-defined future for enterprise drone fleets, today announced its partnership with drive and motor specialist maxon — whose precision systems are enabling the autonomous helicopter Ingenuity and rover Perseverance to explore Mars.

Enterprise customers will benefit from the most advanced, open ecosystem of avionics and motors integration in the drone industry, which joins Auterion’s module Skynode and maxon’s best-in-class BLDC motors, like the EC 87 flat UAV motor. The implementation uses open-source standardization that’s critical for the drone industry’s next phase of enterprise scaling and smooth workflow management.

Read Full Article

Article: Flying on Mars fueled with open-source software

Code, Free, Innovation, Open Software, Open Space

Flying on Mars fueled with open-source software

For the first time in history, we’ve flown an aircraft, the mini-helicopter Ingenuity, on another planet. Opens-source software backed up its engineering. A small miracle happened at 3:31am ET on Monday morning. Ingenuity, a tiny NASA helicopter, became the first powered aircraft to fly on another planet, Mars. This engineering feat was done with Linux, open-source software, and a NASA-built program based on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) open-source  (pronounced F prime) framework.

At 11-light minutes from Earth, there was nothing easy about this. True, Mars has only a third of Earth’s gravity, but Mars’ atmosphere has only one-hundredth of the density of Earth’s air.

Read Full Article

Article: NASA’s next lunar rover will run open-source software

Code, Hardware, Open Manufacturing, Open Software, Open Source

NASA’s next lunar rover will run open-source software

In 2023, NASA will launch VIPER (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover), which that will trek across the surface of the moon and hunt for water ice that could one day be used to make rocket fuel. The rover will be armed with the best instruments and tools that NASA can come up with: wheels that can spin properly on lunar soil, a drill that’s able to dig into extraterrestrial geology, hardware that can survive 14 days of a lunar night when temperatures sink to ˗173 °C.

But while much of VIPER is one of a kind, custom-made for the mission, much of the software that it’s running is open-source, meaning it’s available for use, modification, and distribution by anyone for any purpose. If it’s successful, the mission may be about more than just laying the groundwork for a future lunar colony—it may also be an inflection point that causes the space industry to think differently about how it develops and operates robots.

Read Full Article

Article: SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Open MCT

Code, Free, Libre, Open Software, Open Source

SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Open MCT

The Open Mission Control Technologies (Open MCT) is NASA’s open-source project for mission control software. It was developed at NASA’s Ames Research Center in collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a next-generation mission control framework for data visualization.

NASA currently uses it for data analysis on spacecraft missions, and to support the development of lunar rover mission concepts. According to NASA, it provides integrated situational awareness, health monitoring, and telemetry display.

Read Full Article

Article: The not-so-secret value of sharing commercial geospatial and open-source information

Geospatial, Open Data, Open Source

The not-so-secret value of sharing commercial geospatial and open-source information

Two years ago, reports surfaced that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was detaining hundreds of thousands of China’s Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in so-called “re-education” camps. Chinese authorities initially denied the existence of these camps until human rights organizations and media sources provided indisputable evidence that they do exist.

Discovering human rights abuses such as this would be nearly impossible without access to commercial geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) provided by satellite imagery that established visual evidence of the camps. Beyond the discovery of the camps, GEOINT also provided the ability to track developments at the camps by comparing images taken over time.

Read Full Article

Article: How open source will affect the future of our energy use

Energy, Open Provisioning

How open source will affect the future of our energy use

Humanity depends upon the energy furnished by our environment. Without powerful energy sources, we would not be able to digitally communicate with people from anywhere and feel as if we’re in the same room.

According to the 2019 edition of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, we are still heavily relying on non-renewable energy sources such as coal, gas, and oil (by a share of 85%) to maintain our lifestyle. The slight 8% share renewable resources represent is obviously not sufficient to match today’s queries. With that knowledge, at what price are we leading this lifestyle? We’re meeting the needs of the present, but are we compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs?

Read Full Article