The DIDO Quiz

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About This Quiz

DIDO is helping machines think by turning large amounts of data on ever-changing conditions into a sequence of best responses. Take the quiz to see how much DIDO you know.

What organization markets the DIDO software?

Elissar Global is a world leader in optimal control hardware and software, including DIDO.

What is Dido's Problem?

Dido's Problem is the term mathematicians use to describe finding a shape encompassing the maximum area given a boundary line and the perimeter of the remaining edges.

Which calculus theory is behind the design of DIDO software?

DIDO software specializes in calculating optimal control at a given time based on given conditions.

What is the biggest challenge for finding optimal control?

Optimal control is used to find the best response under given conditions at a given time, but a machine must handle conditions that are constantly changing over time. This means that optimal control software like DIDO must constantly recalculate new best responses as it senses new conditions.

True or False: DIDO software was used successfully on the International Space Station (ISS).

DIDO software helped NASA accomplish its zero-propellant maneuver (ZPM) used to rotate the ISS without using its thrusters, which use costly propellant material.

Who created DIDO software?

Isaac "Mike" Ross and Fariba Fahroo were professors at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School while working on a research project titled "Pseudospectral Optimal Control-Theory and Computation." Ross created DIDO software to aid in that and other aeronautics research in flight control.

DIDO is ideally suited to solve optimal control problems in autonomous systems. What's an autonomous system?

An autonomous system is a robotics concept referring to a system that, when given a certain goal, can calculate and execute its own instructions to reach that goal.

True or False: DIDO has been used to calculate optimal control for an undersea glider.

A group of researchers at Virginia Tech used DIDO as its preferred solution method to determine optimal control for an unmanned autonomous system in the form of an winged undersea vehicle.

Besides helping calculate trajectories, what other benefit has DIDO brought to flight control?

DIDO doesn't affect the size and shape of an aircraft, but finding the optimal control for the craft means making the most efficient use of fuel during its flight, too.

The TRACE satellite was orbiting what object?

The mission of the TRACE satellite was to study the sun, but it orbited Earth while it trained its sensors on the sun.

How had NASA been slewing objects in space prior to the 2010 TRACE satellite research?

Though the straight line is the shortest distance between two points, it also required an extensive amount of time and electrical power to travel that path. DIDO was used in calculating the optimal slew for TRACE, which was not a straight line.

How many zero-propellant maneuvers (ZPMs) were performed on the International Space Station in 2006 and 2007?

Attributing their success in part to DIDO software, Mike Ross and other researchers were able to perform two ZPMs, moving the ISS 90 degrees in November 2006 and 180 degrees in March 2007.

DIDO's creator was a professor at what school?

DIDO creator Mike Ross and his optimal control research colleague Fariba Fahroo were professors at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) when Ross first developed the language.

Pseudospectral optimal control is most like which of the following in nature?

Your brain is constantly sensing the world around your and responding to those sensations, often using information in your memory to guide you.

What operating system must you be running in order to install and use DIDO?

To run DIDO, you'll need MATLAB running on Microsoft Windows.

DIDO was developed for what scientific computing platform?

MATLAB is a computing platform used to design and test algorithms. Programmers can write code for MATLAB just as they can in other high-level languages, though the language's features are optimized to the specific needs of mathematicians and scientists.

Which of the following was one of the primary reasons to move the International Space Station without using thrusters?

The propellant used by thrusters at the ISS and in other modern space vehicles is extremely expensive, and NASA hoped to spare that expense as much as possible in making ISS maneuvers.

What is the acronym used to refer to the International Space Station maneuvers accomplished without using thrusters.

ZPM stands for zero-propellant maneuvers.

Which calculus theory involves using approximate values in optimal control calculations?

DIDO software is known for its pseudospectral approach to solving optimal control problems.

How long was the TRACE maneuvering research team given to perform its experiments?

NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) researcher Mark Karpenko and his team were able to maneuver TRACE successfully several times within their two-month window, accomplishing a 90-degree slew within four weeks.

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