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Friday, June 26, 2015

NASA's vision for IT's future by Adam Rowe

What does NASA need for its next mission to Mars? And how will this impact IT? reports Adam Rowe, IDG Connect.  

NASA has recently unveiled its 2015-2035 technological roadmap, an outline of all the advancements it will need to push for to meet the next two decades’ worth of mission goals, including the big one: a manned trip to the surface of Mars.

Photo: IDG Connect

Some advancements won’t have an obvious application outside of NASA’s aerospace niche. I don’t see radiation-resistant hardware on Hewlett-Packard’s back-to-school slate, for instance. And it’s hard to imagine the application of space-mined rocket fuel when we still have the normal kind down on Earth.

But NASA-led research has still made incredible advances in a wide variety of fields. Last April, two briefcase-sized prototypes of a radar technology developed by NASA were able to locate heartbeats beneath ten feet of debris in earthquake-devastated Nepal, saving four lives. And now NASA has pointed out a shockingly in-depth array of fields that it expects will be leaping forward in the near future. The future is so bright, I gotta wear NASA-funded shades…

Here are the top IT fields that NASA has targeted for improvement.

Cloud-based supercomputers

Cloud-based supercomputing is taking off mostly because organizations can save money by renting their services. If you need complex computing for one task in particular, there’s no point in configuring an in-house computer when you can just use the cloud. ‘InfiniBand,’ a high-speed network communications link, has provided a valuable resource in supercomputers’ move to the cloud. The rate at which it processes data is the highest out of any competing interconnect, PC World reported last year...

NASA is looking for more autonomous robotics. In other words, systems that can arrive at decisions by themselves. But the physical constraints of a Mars-located rover or lander can’t be ignored. They’ll also need to improve tactile sensors, activity recognizers, and extreme-terrain mobility...

Big Data Analytics
The future of big data is pretty simple: bigger data. And data analytics is probably the biggest field that we’ll see advancing over the next few decades, although this has deep ties to cloud and cognitive computing, which are the best ways to aggregate the data...

Cognitive Computing

Designed to deal with more complex input than typical computers, a cognitive-based system is able to reason, interpret language, and build upon past knowledge...

As data gets bigger, tech gets smaller: with nanotechnology, NASA will be getting results on an atomic level. And the results are awe-inspiring: for example, nanoscale textured surfaces can self-clean and self-heal. They’re biomimetic, drawing inspiration from the healing power within a gecko’s foot. Nanotech might also boost efficiency of power storage, propulsion, and sensors, all while reducing mass...

Artificial intelligence

The rise of cloud computing was like opening a Pandora’s box, and the biggest advancement to come out will be artificial intelligence. At least, according to Roman Stanek, founder and CEO of cloud analytics company GoodData...
Read more... 

Related links
NASA Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

NASA's Vision: To reach for new heights and reveal the unknown so that what we do and learn will benefit all humankind.

Source: IDG Connect