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External Databases

Besides our own internal database, we recommend you also access external databases. However, there will be a lot of duplication because we include publications from external databases within our database. Using our database may give you some or all of these benefits:

  • categorization according to PERMANENT's purpose -- see the Browse feature of our database, whereas other databases have their categories set for other purposes, and may have many publications lopped together into one category whereas we split the category apart much further into subsections

  • better signal to noise ratio -- we have a human filter what is submitted to our database, so that searching some other databases may give you a lot of results which are irrelevant to PERMANENT or outdated or just deemed too low quality (though we have surely missed many high quality references, too) which you must sift thru

  • visitor Comments and Reviews -- most databases don't offer the ability to give outside Comments and Reviews, whereas you can Comment / Review any publication in our database at the bottom of the database record, and can read others' comments / reviews

  • free and open

Advantages of other databases may include:

  • larger size, so that you can find things which are not in our database (and please inform us of these so that we can add relevant materials to our database!)

  • more powerful advanced search

  • more details in the search results

The technical literature is vast, and when engineers, lawyers, and others do a search on an esoteric topic, they will often need to check other databases, too, including those not space related such as engineering databases unlinked to space. There is no all-encompassing database.

PERMANENT highlights publications which apply space science and technology for the purpose of utilizing the resources of the Moon and asteroids near Earth. In other databases, these publications are usually buried within unrelated publications.

NASA STI, NA&SD, NTRS, and CASI

NASA has developed an excellent and publicly accessible database with downloadable PDFs of documents and practical advanced search features which work well, at:

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Now for the acronyms: The NASA Scientific and Technical Information (STI) program has as part of its mission to provide desktop access to the NASA Aeronautics & Space Database (NA&SD) via the NTRS. The administrative core is the Center for AeroSpace Information (CASI). So, the STI as administrated by the CASI provides the NA&SD via the NTRS.

What's in it? As of December 2011, the database consists of 21% NASA contributors, 29% from other US government agencies, 10% US non-governmental sources, 13% international sources, and 27% other (unspecified). See also their breakdown of subjects and an overview of STI, a brief 11 page vugraph PDF.

The NASA STI Scope and Subject Category Guide explains the list of STI categories. This categorization does not have a very useful breakdown for space resources utilization in particular. Their categorization is two main levels deep for browsing -- 10 broad categories, 76 subcategories (as of Jan 2012) -- with a huge number of bulletized third tier areas listed under most subcategories. Publications of strong interest to PERMANENT are distributed among all this and often buried among a huge volume of publications of little or no relevance.

Therefore, NASA databases are better searched by keywords than browsed. However, it may be helpful to have at least a cursory familiarity with the way NASA categorizes its information.

Some of the subcategories of higher density of PERMANENT relevance, and perhaps interesting to browse:

12 Astronautics (General) (under Astronautics)

13 Astrodynamics (under Astronautics)

Includes powered and free-flight trajectories; orbital and launching dynamics.

14 Ground Support Systems and Facilities (Space) (under Astronautics)
Includes extraterrestrial bases, electromagnetic launchers, and lunar roving vehicles, among so many other things. This is a very broad category that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, too broad.

20 Spacecraft Propulsion and Power (under Astronautics)
Includes unmanned propulsion and power.

29 Space Processing (under Chemistry and Materials)

Definition

Space Processing Synthesis, processing, forming, and fabrication of compounds or materials in space or in a simulated space environment; normally involving techniques that exploit low-gravity or high-vacuum conditions.

51 Life Sciences (General) (under Life Sciences)

52 Aerospace Medicine (under Life Sciences)

53 Behavioral Sciences (under Life Sciences)

54 Man/System Technology and Life Support (under Life Sciences)

63 Cybernetics, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (under Mathematical and Computer Sciences)

84 Law, Political Science and Space Policy (under Social and Information Sciences)

91 Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration (under Space Science)
Includes asteroids and comets.

93 Space Radiation (under Space Science)

This is not to say that the other categories are not good. Many have PERMANENT relevant material which falls under other categories, albeit buried within them.


The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) has its Beacon eSpace database at trs-new.jpl.nasa.gov/dspace/ which contains over 23,000 documents as of April 2013, covering a wide range of topics. For example, a search for the keyword "asteroid" turned up 392 documents. However, the results are not sorted by date and are all mixed up for all years, which is approximately 1990 to date, which makes it difficult to keep up with what's new in your area of interest. You can browse all publications by date which is reasonable since there are usually less than about 20 per month, and some months have only a few.

The NASA Johnson [Space Center] Technical Reports Server (JTRS) at ston.jsc.nasa.gov/collections/TRS/ has some publications but not many. You can search by keyword. As of 2013, "lunar" turned up 40 reports, "moon" 20 reports, "mining" 13 reports, ISRU 2 reports, and many of the reports which turned up were irrelevant. There is a low volume so you can just occasionally list the latest of all reports to see what's new.

The NASA Engineering Network at llis.nasa.gov/llis/search/home.jsp but it apparently doesn't have much. A search for "asteroid" turned up 2 documents. ISRU nothing. Mining 1 hit.

NASA Tech Briefs at www.techbriefs.com might be of interest to somebody, but is not very significant for space resources.

The NASA Aeronautics and Space Database (NA&SD) at sti.nasa.gov is available only to NASA employees and contractors inside the NASA firewall. It includes everything in NTRS plus some more. It gives access to more than 4,000,000 citations and abstracts, and over 500,000 documents which are full text searchable. Individuals must apply for access and be vetted.



External links:

NASA Scientific and Technical Information (STI) Program

One of the best external databases for searching, already discussed on this page above.

Scholar.google.com search

Google has a feature called Scholar which limits the search to publications.


PERMANENT.com > Research Resources > NASA STI, NASD, NTRS




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Text by Mark Prado, Copyright © 1983-2013, All Rights Reserved.
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Copyright © 1983-2013 by Mark Evan Prado, All Rights Reserved

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