Postcards from Mars

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At long last …

In the first half of 2020, the SIMOC development team has worked tirelessly to design, develop, rebuild, and test what has become a robust, engaging simulator for the complex interactions of isolated, off-world living.

We are eager to share with you the fruition of our labor in just twelve hours …

By |2020-06-01T05:39:27+00:00May 31st, 2020|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments

Two weeks and counting …

With the completion of the National Geographic Certified Educators review, we are not just two weeks from launch of SIMOC.

The first example of how a teacher has integrated SIMOC into the classroom is now available for viewing and download.

The development team is ironing out a few more wrinkles in the code, making final adjustments to the interface, and testing, testing, testing.

Stay tuned!

By |2020-05-23T03:49:53+00:00May 18th, 2020|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments

SIMOC Phase IIIb review by Nat Geo

SIMOC Dashboard, defaul layout

Today nine National Geographic Certified Educators, primary and secondary classroom instructors, were granted access to the SIMOC Phase IIIb launch candidate for a final review and test run in their virtual classrooms. This marks the second test by this team, the first in October 2019.

This is the first time SIMOC is running on the Google Cloud Platform, a massively scalable infrastructure for automated scaling, fail-over/restart, and for use by hundreds, even thousands of citizen scientists worldwide. We eagerly await their feedback for how they were able to integrate SIMOC into their lesson plans, and how their home-bound students engaged SIMOC, given Preset or custom habitat design exploration.

By |2020-05-07T05:14:55+00:00May 4th, 2020|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments

SIMOC Phase IIIb code freeze

Eventually, even the most enjoyable computer software development projects must come to a close. SIMOC Phase IIIb is as of the close of April 2020 entering a feature and code freeze, save testing, bug squishing, and reliability enhancing across scalable cloud architectures.

The number of improvements to the back-end server and front-end dashboard are many, with the past five months dedicated to refining the agent definitions and their interactions, and improving the database and server-client communication protocol.

The second National Geographic review team commences on Monday, May 4 for a two weeks period.

Launch at the National Geographic Education Resource library is slated for June 1, 2020.

By |2020-04-30T06:35:29+00:00April 30th, 2020|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments

SIMOC Phase IIIb takes to the clouds!

The SIMOC development team is nearly complete with server-side and front-end updates that now include support for cloud-based services such as those offered by Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. This major update saw a redesign of the database for fast read and write times, and greater scalability. What’s more, the Configuration Wizard now includes all updates as suggested by the National Geographic review panel. The configuration procedure is now simplified, the number of steps reduced, and a preferred configuration can be saved to the user’s local drive for re-loading with the next run. The Dashboard too is nearly complete, with simulation data download the final, remaining update. The panel layout and functionality is improved, with a number of features we are eager to share, soon.

Progress!

By |2020-05-02T07:52:36+00:00February 2nd, 2020|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments

SIMOC, SAM featured at the Closed Worlds workshop, Biosphere 2

Closed Worlds banner

SIMOC project lead and principal developer of SAM Kai Staats will provide a one hour talk and live demo for the Life and Systems in Closed Worlds meeting at the Biosphere 2, December 11, 2019.

The French Centre National de la Recherche Scientique, ​the ​Ecole Normale Supérieure ​in Paris, Paris Sciences & Lettres University and its research program Origin and condition of Appearance of Life (OCAV), and the University of Arizona are jointly launching a new research initiative on Life and Systems in Closed Worlds involving social and natural scientists. This is an interdisciplinary initiative between ecologists, anthropologists, biologists, geochemists, space and planetary scientists, engineers, architects, and experts in robotics and AI. The goal is to tackle novel disciplinary and interdisciplinary questions arising from the study of closed living systems across multiple scales of space and time, from the small and short of micro-biospherics, through macro-systems such as Biosphere 2, Ecotrons or Bios, to the large and long of terraformation.

On behalf of the supporting institutions, the International Research Laboratory iGLOBES will convene a small group of experts to address interdisciplinary challenges arising from life and systems in closed worlds, and explore the potential for national and international collaborations. The meeting will be held at the University of Arizona Biosphere 2, 11-13 December 2019.

Download the full workshop description …

By |2019-11-30T21:44:14+00:00November 30th, 2019|Categories: In the news|0 Comments

SIMOC Phase IIIa review by Nat Geo

We have concluded our first round of review by the National Geographic Certified Educator Review Team, primary and secondary classroom instructors who test computer software products in their own classroom. We have received feedback and are already working to revise and improve SIMOC accordingly. With the close of December we anticipate a final round of reviews before diving into Phase IIIb in the first half of 2020. This final effort will take us to a release candidate for the National Geographic Society Education Resource Library.

Stay tuned!

By |2020-05-07T05:16:40+00:00November 30th, 2019|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments

SIMOC Phase IIIa beta is away!

SIMOC Phase III beta dashboard

We did it! Today we provided key partners with access to a beta release of SIMOC Phase IIIa. We now await their feedback, notes, and bugs in order to help us wrap the past ten months of development with the close of the year. Then we move into Phase IIIb in 2020, with the goal of improving realworld fidelity, the user Dashboard experience, and reliability over scalability across a cloud service platform. Come mid 2020, we intend to launch SIMOC a the Mational Geographic Education Resource Library.

By |2020-05-07T05:16:05+00:00October 1st, 2019|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments

A soft release pending

The SIMOC developers are (as I type) hard at work to wrap up loose ends and tighten the details for a soft-release to National Geographic on Monday. The Nat Geo review team will provide feedback for their experience of SIMOC and the associated educational curriculum. The SIMOC development team will then update and improve SIMOC through the month of October. This marks two and a half years in development, a team of a dozen developers in total with countless thousands of hours, and the support of individuals at NASA Johnson Space Center, NASA Kennedy, Arizona State University’s School of Earth & Space Exploration and Interplanetary Initiative, Paragon Space Development Corporation, and many other individuals from both private and public sector institutions.

We are excited for the day in which we can share SIMOC with you!

By |2020-05-02T07:45:55+00:00September 29th, 2019|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments