Dashlink is Online Home for Collaborative Research

NASA researchers have created an online resource that dramatically changed how the agency fosters collaborative research. In this new innovative method capitalizing strengths of the Internet, scientists can share information about systems health and data mining while aiming to help improve aviation safety in ways never before possible. The web site is called Dashlink. DASH stands for Discovery in Aeronautics Systems Health. The name hints at the identity of the particular group of scientists who created this online gathering place in 2008. The site has more than 410 registered users.

"The primary goal of Dashlink is to disseminate information on the latest data mining and systems health algorithms, data and research," said Ashok Srivastava, principal investigator for NASA's Integrated Vehicle Health Management Project at the agency's Ames Research Center in California. Integrated vehicle health management, or IVHM, involves technologies designed to monitor all the different systems that enable an aircraft to fly. IVHM technologies are sensors and software applications that work in concert to detect and address potential problems with an aircraft before the problems become serious.

To be effective, IVHM requires new software programs that can record and analyze instantly many variables such as temperature, pressures, stresses, and even cockpit switch positions. Also needed are new computer algorithms, which are sets of mathematical rules used by the computers to make decisions on how to solve a problem given a certain set of data. Dashlink allows researchers, whether inside or outside NASA, who are working on a particular software application to share the applications they have written, test each other's work, and openly discuss the results.

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