Curious about Curiosity?

Perhaps you have watched video recreations of the NASA Mars Science Laboratory on wheels, Curiosity. The web is presently flooded with still images and video from NASA  on this planetary landing.  DYI fans can read articles like How to Land Safely on Mars. Or you may prepare for your own future journey to mars and read Packing for the curious science of life in the void by Mary Roach.

But what if you are curious to locate scholarly scientific articles on computer systems that helped a scientific laboratory land gently on the surface of a planet millions of miles from earth. One place you could search is  Engineering Village (EV). EV which provides access to bibliographic databases of applied science and engineering research literature, including Compendex, as well as to patents, standards and handbooks, recently released some changes to their discovery search platform for the engineering community.

I’ll show you how to take a simple google like search and turn it into a powerful targeted search using controlled vocabulary. A sample query might be someone who wants to know something about the computing system that has powered this mission. I’ll start with a simplified natural language search like you might perform in Google, ‘mars rover computer’. This annotated PDF will show you a few tips for choosing and using controlled vocabulary in Engineering Village.

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