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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.


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

A focus on ease of deployment, user interface

The months of July and August have seen a steady improvement in the SIMOC Configuration Wizard, Dashboard, and back-end server. With new team member and developer Ezio Melotti we have focused on ease of deployment and the user interface while Iurii and Sinead continued to fine tune back-end efficiency. In a system as complex as SIMOC, we have had to rethink and retool a few of our systems, including the means by which we request and then deliver data to the front-end. In so doing, we have doubled the performance and stabilized long duration runs. SIMOC is now a proper research tool, fully function from the command line or with web interface. The simulation of a modest habitat on Mars can be completed in roughly twenty minutes on a laptop, less on a more substantial system.

By |2020-05-02T07:43:31+00:00September 21st, 2019|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments

Steady as she goes …

Software development does not always move from exciting milestone to major update.

Sometimes, as with sailing, you find the wind to be steady but not terribly strong, the direction consistent and the course well known. Each day you welcome the rising sun, and each night check your progress against the stars.

Steady as she goes, SIMOC is getting closer to a new home.

By |2020-05-02T07:29:39+00:00July 26th, 2019|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments

Beta product is running!

After more than two months focused effort on improving performance, stability, and the user interface, we have produced a launch beta product that installs on Linux, OSX, Windows, both personal computers and servers alike. The performance improvements are astounding, with 500 simulation time-steps running in just 50 seconds, or 5 hours per second. This means we can simulate roughly one full day on Mars in roughly 5 seconds. And this includes the front-end (web dashboard). If we run the server alone, it is even faster!

Stay tuned!

By |2020-05-02T07:27:35+00:00June 16th, 2019|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments

Update from the Development Team – April 15, 2019

Well into Phase III, the SIMOC development team is preparing for debut launches with partners National Geographic Society and the Arizona Science Center this summer.

We have completed the redesign and rebuild of the Configuration Wizard upon a highly flexible, scalable code foundation, with both a Novice and Advanced configuration. The dashboard is now being rebuilt, based upon the same, new code base that supports the Wizard.

The Agent-Based Model (ABM) is now highly programmable by means of the JSON file settings. Most important is introduction of non-linear (normal, log, sigmoid, exp) functions to describe plant growth and respiration cycles as close as possible to the real world.

With the close of May 2019 and the Phase III development cycle, SIMOC will enjoy a more robust back-end server, improved performance and stability.

Stay tuned!

By |2019-04-15T22:10:36+00:00April 15th, 2019|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments

SIMOC at Biosphere 2, research concluded

SIMOC at Biosphere 2 - water in, out simulation comparison, by Kai Staats

The research project is cleaned up, all equipment returned to boxes, shelves, and storage units. The barley has been dried for comparison to the original seeds, with an astounding result: 800g seeds, just 450g dry mass after fully mature plants are achieved.

SIMOC was configured to closely approximate the biomass accumulation, water retention and loss, and CO2 production for the duration of the live experiment. We consider this a success, as SIMOC is given its first non-linear functionality.

The draft paper is complete and submitted to ICES, the International Conference on Environmental Systems. Thank you University of Arizona for funding to make this possible, and the Biosphere 2 for hosting, supporting, and helping to guide this rapid-fire experiment.

By |2019-03-13T05:50:44+00:00March 13th, 2019|Categories: Research & Development|0 Comments