Why Designing a Mars Rover Like Curiosity Just Got a Lot Easier By Tim Maly

MSL Rover NX CAD model

You’ve all seen the artist renditions. This is what Curiosity looks like to an engineer.

A few minutes into our interview last Thursday, I ask Tim Nichols, managing director of Global Aerospace, Defenses and Marine Industries at Siemens, if he was nervous about the Curiosity’s fate on Sunday. “Of course I am,” he says with a laugh, “We all know about missions to Mars — they’re complex.” None moreso than Curiosity’s elaborate landing sequence, designed to get the SUV-sized robot down safely.

He needn’t have worried. Late Sunday night, the rover successfully set down on the Martian landscape, overseen by a tense room of Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) engineers and watched by so many people here on Earth that all of NASA’s websites crashed. Like the rest of us, Nichols was glued to his screen. Unlike the rest of us, Nichols gets to say he had a hand in it. His company’s software designed Curiosity.

Curiosity is much larger than her unexpectedly long-lived predecessors, Spirit and Opportunity. This meant that she couldn’t just land bundled inside airbags like the smaller rovers.

Instead, the mission executed a complex series of maneuvers to eject the robot from its capsule and lower it to the ground, via a rocket-powered sky crane in a sequence of events that NASA called the Seven Minutes of Terror.

Curiosity was designed by the JPL at the California Institute of Technology. When it came time to coordinate the enormous team of designers and engineers that built Curiosity, the capsule, and the sky crane, JPL turned to Siemens. They needed to design the robot (relatively) cheaply and they needed to design it fast — the launch window for missions to Mars comes once every two years. If you miss the deadline, there’s a long wait ahead. MSL Capsule with Rover NX CAE thermal model

If you squint, you can see Curiosity and the sky crane folded up together in the capsule.

Luckily, Siemens had developed software suited to this sort of project. They call it Product Lifecycle Management (PLM).

One of the costliest parts of creating a new physical product is building and testing prototypes. With PLM’s robust suite of simulators and version tracking, you can avoid a lot of physical prototyping — saving both time and money, and speeding up the development process. In essence, PLM turns the physical engineering of a product into a process that looks more and more like designing code.

PLM runs on a laptop, connected to a central asset manager, called the Team Center. Engineers can check out parts of the project, work on their problems and assignments, and then check it back in to the main branch. This allows for a lot of concurrent design work. “In the past, engineering teams would be somewhat isolated by discipline,” says Nichols, “The overall leadership recognized that they needed to bring all the groups together.”

This is a far cry from past projects, which would be designed as a series of handoffs between teams. First the thermal profiles would be worked out, then the aerodynamics, on down the line. Propagating changes between teams could become a nightmare. PLM changed all of that, Nichols says, giving the team the ability to “compress the schedule and … do many more design iterations.” MSL NX CAD Exploded view of seperation stages

With luck, this is the only exploded view of the Mars lander that we’ll ever see.

If this sounds a lot like software engineering, especially the open source variety, it’s because it is. There’s a version control system, the ability to check code in and out of the system, and a set of test suites that allow you check the performance of your part of the module in relation to the whole. By keeping the objects in software for as long as possible, you can treat them like software, with all of the speed and flexibility that this implies.

Nichols says their suite of tools has been used to design everything from golf clubs — “Golf clubs are pretty sophisticated, though they haven’t helped my game.” — to aircraft carriers. Looking ahead, he predicts an increasing incidence of distributed international teams of contributors working on a project. “Global virtual collaboration and engineering is really the future,” he says. “We want to see more of that.”

But first, Curiosity had to make it to Mars. “We all have our fingers crossed,” he said on Thursday. You can uncross them now, Mr Nichols.

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The Release of Large Menu Icons announces the release of Large Menu Icons, a royalty-free library of stock menu images for application developers and web designers. The new set includes 398 icons drawn in matching style, color and gamut. The Large Menu Icons collection sells for $49.00.
About Large Menu Icons
Large Menu Icons is the perfect choice for busy application and Web site developers. This collection of stock icons with matching properties such as style and colors, can be used in various projects and scripts, as well as on portals, blogs, forums, and web sites. Large Menu Icons will make an application, blog or applet look modern and consistent throughout. All icons in the Large Menu Icons collection are royalty-free. The entire collection is immediately available and comes with an online preview.
What’s Inside
The Large Menu Icons collection contains images representing all sides of the application work. Some of the icons in the set are: open, close, edit, validate, time, clock, error, OK, data, computer, archive, people, user, girl, man, admin, horse, car and more.
Large Menu Icons
Technically, the set includes icons in a number of formats, sizes, color resolutions, and image styles. Every icon from the library comes in sizes of 16x16, 24x24, 32x32, 48x48 and 64x64 pixels. Normal, disabled, and highlighted versions are included for every icon. 256-color and semi-transparent True Color icons are supplied. Large Menu Icons are delivered in Windows Icon (ICO), Bitmap (BMP), GIF and PNG formats for instant integration into any systems. The entire Large Menu Icons collection is available for only $49.00. Source images are also available in SVG and AI formats for an additional payment. also plans to release a number of new original icon sets including Lumina Menu Icons, Windows Menu Icons, New Menu Icons, Cool Menu Icons, Win8 menu Icons, Vista Menu Icons, Mac Menu Icons, Android Tab Icons, Linux Menu Icons, Nokia Menu Icons, iPhone Menu Icons, Mobile Menu Icons.
About the Company offers thousands of icons in the most difficult small resolutions. PDA and mobile developers and designers can enhance their software with smooth, perfectly rendered icons in the most convenient resolutions. are available in all sizes common to desktop and mobile applications for mobile phones, communicators, and desktop applications. All icons offered by Menu Icons are royalty-free, ready-made and instantly available.

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Perfect Design Icons – Best for Websites and Desktops!

There are numbers of icons models available in the market through which you can able to decorate your desktop beautifully. Among all icons the perfect design icons are gaining more importance from those users who are relating with the common application work. These sorts of icons are best websites icons for anything targeted at creative professional, graphic designers, and artists. If you want to use the royalty free and ready made icons, then the perfect design icons are the best options to use in your task. The perfect design icons are coming to the market in assortment formats, multiple states and resolutions. Also, these sorts of icons are available 256 colors variation with 4 picture formats such as PNG, GIF, BMP, and ICO. These icons are available in three states normal, highlighted, and disabled. Its biggest opportunity for you to add these sorts icons on your desktop. With these sorts of icons you can increase your desktop appearance properly.


In case, you develop the product aimed in graphic designers, and you will not afford missing the target audience with the ugly graphics. The graphic software needs to convey the message to clients. You should make use of best quality of images throughout the product to convince te audience to use the product. In order, to get the quality images for the product, you may order the icons to make and get the set of the stock designer icons. With the perfect design icons as the option, why will you pay little extra for long wait when you may have all the images, which you need now? Perfect Design Icons range is also drawn by the professional designers, as well as hand-painted by the experienced artists. Set of the design icons can enhance graphic editor and image the editing product.

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Icon Extractor Tool with How it Executes its Functions Effectively on your Windows Vista.

Icon extractor is a simple tool that allows you to be able to scan and extract icons from any kind of location like the files and the internet. The icon extraction is for any kind of folder this is the local file, zip-archive, Mac OS file or a website. 

You can use an icon extractor in many ways when dealing with the icons, files and folders. It helps in downloading of the icons that you need to make use of from the internet to your desktops. You can also be able to change your icons in anyway or design of your desktop, start menu, drives and folders. However, the sib icon extractor can customize very many settings that are on your desktop to look exactly the way you want.

On the other hand, you can be able to replace the main icons with the ones you like giving the desktop a more personalized look with style. The program helps you to locate all the commands and operations on your tool bar when you are in need of using then with ease. As an icon collector can extract the icon image very fast from any library that you select. The icon extractor gives you the best image resolutions and extracts even the archive images that you need at any given time.


Alternatively, you can use the tool to split the icon libraries that you have into individual icon files that you desire to have on your desktop. With this icon extractor, you can choose to view all the icons that you have already collected in many deferent modes. In addition, it also has the ability to export icons from one file format to another file. You can use the icon extractor to delete all the duplicate files that you do not use and create more s pace for the new icons that you want to add. It rebuilds and repairs all the necessary icon caches that are there in your file or folder.

Nevertheless, the extractor saves the windows vista icons and stores the found icons in a very special collection format with all the information required for the icon source. You can use the sib icon extractor to help you sort the icons that are inside your collections at any time. This icon extractor gives you an option of extracting icons from a specific file or from all the registered folders that you have. This gives you an option of getting the icons without distorting of the color.

Downloading the icon extractor saves a lot of time thus making it easy and faster to make use of it all the time you want to. You can be able to get any type of icon using the extractor. The icons can be for medical needs, smile icons, and many others that you can work with.

Finally, the icon extractor has a sib code that designs many icon sets and develops the software for the editing of the icons and designing of the tool bars.

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Landscape Design has Considered as Art Tradition.

Landscape design is an art tradition and it has practice by the landscape designers. Landscape design is the combination of nature and culture. These days, the practice of landscape design bridges garden design and landscape architecture. Also, it is focusing one both the specific garden design and master landscape planning. Often the landscape designers are collaborating with relevant rules like geography, architecture, surveying, botany, landscape architecture, landscape contracting, and artisan specialties.

There are numbers of landscape designers who wants to involve in gardening personally, and professionally. Getting help from landscape designer is the best option for making outlet of your dream project. Now, you can get the details of landscape designers from online. By using the services of landscape designers you can create an excellent project. These days, the landscape design career is going high on demand in the market. So, you can build your career as a landscape designer.

Factors to design include the objective qualities; like microclimates and climate; orientation and topography, groundwater recharge and site drainage; resource building codes and municipal, irrigation and soils, vehicular and human access or circulation, furnishings, recreational amenities property safety, native plant botany while present, construction detailing, or other measurable considerations. The factors to design as well include the subjective qualities like: genius loci (special location qualities to emphasize); costumer requirements and preferences; elements to stay on the site, modify, and replace, and accessible to use as the borrowed scenery; artistic composition from the perspectives of looking on and being in *gardens; the spatial development or definition; artistic focal points and plant palettes in the designed layouts. There are many design factors as well as considerations that are brought to complex procedure of designing the garden, which is beautiful, functioning, as well as thrives with time.

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Pictogram Can Resemblance to a Physical Object.

Pictogram is also known as pictograph. Pictogram can convey explain the meaning of it through resemblance to a physical object like prehistoric drawings, and paintings. Pictogram is also used to write graphic system through the characters to measurable extent pectoral in looks. Pictogram is a form of writing that has used in representational and pictorial drawings.


Pictogram is a basis form of hieroglyphic writing, cuneiform, and these are using in determinative rhymes, phonetic letters and painting. If you move towards 500 years back, then you can hear that Chinese, Egyptian, and Sumerian peoples were begun to use the pictogram symbols. Subsequently, it has developed in form of logographic writing system around the 3rd millennium BCE. Pictogram is still in use as the prime media of communication in some regions like The Americas, Oceania, and Africa. Often, Pictogram can be used as simple, representational symbols, and pictorial through contemporary cultures. Pictographs stay in the common use now, serving as the pictorial, instructions, representational signs, and statistical diagrams. Due to the graphical nature or fairly realistic style, you will see they are used widely to indicate the public toilets, and places like train stations and airports.

The standard set of the pictographs was been defined in international standard ISO7001: the Public Information Symbols. One more very common set of the pictographs are laundry symbols that are used on the clothing tags or chemical hazard. The pictographic writing as modernist poetic method is been credited to Pound Ezra, though the French surrealists rightly credit Pacific Northwest American of Alaska that introduced writing, through totem poles, on North America. The contemporary artist Bing made Book from Ground, the universal language that was made from pictogram collected from all over the world.

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Perfect Hardware Icons – Beautiful Hand Crafted Icons Design!

Perfect hardware icons is a collection of beautiful hand crafted icons design that required for several method such as: online computer shops, databases, system software products, and web sites related information. You can get more than 179 unique smooth and rounded edges icons designs in various formats and sizes that suitable for every application. These icons are available in several formats such as: ICO, PNG, BMP and GIF as well as numbers of sizes like the 16x16, 20x20, 24x24, 32x32, and 48x48. In this regard, you can never require any sorts of editing and reshaping the icons before downloading. These icons are making the websites creation works, so simpler as well as faster than before. You can get the total sets of perfect hardware icons for only $49.95. Perfect hardware icons are also making the websites designer’s works much simpler and website more attractive that attract lot of visitors and clients.


The Perfect Hardware Icons is extensive range of the professionally made icons for the use in applications as well as websites. The large range of the icons can help to give the projects interfaces as well as professional look they already deserve when also highly improving the usability. What is more is all of these icons in the package come in many different sizes as well as states, so they must be appropriate for the wide range of the purposes. All these icons come in the sizes from 48x48 to 16x16 with the true color support also. That depends on what you would like to use icons for, and they are been supplied in appropriate formats that includes standard Windows format and Bitmap, PNG or GIF. Every icon as well has states, which change whether icon is highlighted, normal, and disabled. Perfect Hardware Icons set gives you with the icons of hardware theme, like icons for the printers, drives as well as other kinds of the Computer Hardware.

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Icon Design – Get More Icon Design Image!

At present, numbers of icons designers and developers are offering some eye-catching and lucrative icons through which computer users are getting right result to decorate their system. Keep in mind that icons are the primary things while users interface a system. There are numbers icons design images available in the online market which has specially designed for Windows, MAC OS, Iphone, and Anadroid. These sorts of icon designs are available in four picture formats such as ICO, PNG, GIF and BMP. One of the best advantages of icon design is so compatible in 2003, XP, Vista, 98 and 95 respectively. Also, the icon design is available in assortment formats through which you can fulfill your system’s requirements. Before downloading the icon design, you need to consider your system operating system. It’s time to spend more attention for downloading the icon designs from online media. This sort of icon design is available in 16 color screen.


In case, you are searching for the professional custom icon design, the Icon Design does all thing for you, and presenting you with best quality of expert results. Whatever kind of the icons you need, the service cannot disappoint, giving you the main Program Icons, the Company logos or interface icons for toolbars and menus. Main program icon is the first things the user of software will see, thus this needs to have the distinct, memorable as well as attractive look. The first impressions count for much as well as software is of no exception. Despite importance of however, it is ignored and lots of programs make use of poor quality of icons. The interface icons will be made with the custom icon design, giving the software unique look as well as feel and making interface simpler to use.

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Large Delicious Icons – Name Suggest Everything!

Large Delicious Icons are also known as the free icons collection that suitable for websites pages and personal blogs. It is also gain more popularity due to its eye catching and new variations. You can get these icons designs all shape and size like the 16x16, 24x24, 32x32, 48x48 and 128x128 pixels, so you have never required any sorts editing or change at the time of downloading. These icons are also available in the real color with semi-transparency format and formats like ICO, BMP, GIF and PNG. You can directly download these icons design from its sites because it instant free downloads. These icons are perfect option for users to operate any sorts of application on their desktop as well as web application. Large Delicious Icons are suitable for various operating system users like the Apple Macintosh, Windows Microsoft, and Linux. These icons will makes the user task easier and smoother. As icons play important role in the modern user interfaces and navigations, and we design them meeting digital standards today’s.


All the icons are used in various projects, personal and commercial, like platform based applications, phones, desktops, websites, applications and lots more. When you have bought one of the products, you are also allowed using that unlimited amount of the times in personal and commercial projects. All the icons are made in the vector format as well as exported as the EPS or high resolution JPG. The large delicious icons are rescaled to size when retaining the original detail. It makes large delicious icons perfectly suitable for the small and large formats, web and mobile applications. Thus it is very simple to download the large delicious icons on your computer and you just need to remember the points given.

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How Atts Iphone Exclusivity Ends – Available in Exclusive Models!

At present, there are numbers of cool Iphone models available in the market. So, you can get the option to select one of the best Iphone designs or models from the market. Before selecting the best Iphone, you need to consider the features and benefits through which you can fulfill your requirements easily. Now, there are some best options available through which you can get the answer about how Atts Iphone exclusively ends. Keep in mind that3. Iphones have designed by 4 retina display. So, you can get the best quality images while you are using this sort of multimedia. One of the best benefits of this sort of Iphones is allowing you to make a video calls, and also it can offer you tons of benefits or advance features while you are making video calls. Now, you need to move for the online media and search this sort of Iphone in cheap price.


Other major improvement is the in app purchases for the Android Market apps. Few payment providers such as Boku and Zong have deployed or else tested same systems on the Android apps. However, it is Google’s initial move toward giving the native support for the inapp purchases for the virtual goods or extra content in Android apps. The developers that integrate feature will give you one click payments by Google Checkout and carrier billing from the AT&T and the T-Mobile. Inapp payments can roll out to the consumers by an end of quarter. It is very clearly bigger announcement for the developers as it brings the huge new revenue to Android app developers. And inapp purchases have incredibly proven lucrative to the Apple iPhone developers, that now make a lot more money from these purchases as they will do from the paid downloads.

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