Special Coverage

Active Aircraft Pylon Noise Control System
Unmanned Aerial Systems Traffic Management
Method of Bonding Dissimilar Materials
Sonar Inspection Robot System
Applying the Dynamic Inertia Measurement Method to Full-Scale Aerospace Vehicles
Method and Apparatus for Measuring Surface Air Pressure
Fully Premixed, Low-Emission, High-Pressure, Multi-Fuel Burner
Self-Healing Wire Insulation
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Rocket Science 101 Interactive Educational Program

To better educate the public on the basic design of NASA’s current mission rockets, Rocket Science 101 software has been developed as an interactive program designed to retain a user’s attention and to teach about basic rocket parts. This program also has helped to expand NASA’s presence on the Web regarding educating the public about the Agency’s goals and accomplishments.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences

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Automated Identification of Nucleotide Sequences

STITCH is a computer program that processes raw nucleotide-sequence data to automatically remove unwanted vector information, perform reverse-complement comparison, stitch shorter sequences together to make longer ones to which the shorter ones presumably belong, and search against the user’s choice of private and Internet-accessible public 16S rRNA databases. [“16S rRNA” denotes a ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) sequence that is common to all organisms.] In STITCH, a template 16S rRNA sequence is used to position forward and reverse reads. STITCH then automatically searches known 16S rRNA sequences in the user’s chosen database(s) to find the sequence most similar to (the sequence that lies at the smallest edit distance from) each spliced sequence.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences

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Balloon Design Software

PlanetaryBalloon Version 5.0 is a software package for the design of meridionally lobed planetary balloons. It operates in a Windows environment, and programming was done in Visual Basic 6. By including the effects of circular lobes with load tapes, skin mass, hoop and meridional stress, and elasticity in the structural elements, a more accurate balloon shape of practical construction can be determined as well as the room-temperature cut pattern for the gore shapes. The computer algorithm is formulated for sizing meridionally lobed balloons for any generalized atmosphere or planet. This also covers zero-pressure, overpressure, and super-pressure balloons. Low circumferential loads with meridionally reinforced load tapes will produce shapes close to what are known as the “natural shape.”

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences

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Fusing Image Data for Calculating Position of an Object

A computer program has been written for use in maintaining the calibration, with respect to the positions of imaged objects, of a stereoscopic pair of cameras on each of the Mars Explorer Rovers Spirit and Opportunity. The program identifies and locates a known object in the images. The object in question is part of a Mössbauer spectrometer located at the tip of a robot arm, the kinematics of which are known.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences

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Creep Forming of Carbon-Reinforced Ceramic-Matrix Composites

A set of lecture slides describes an investigation of creep forming as a means of imparting desired curvatures to initially flat stock plates of carbon-reinforced ceramic-matrix composite (C-CMC) materials. The investigation is apparently part of a continuing effort to develop improved means of applying small CCMC repair patches to reinforced carbon- carbon leading edges of aerospace vehicles (e.g., space shuttles) prior to reentry into the atmosphere of the Earth.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Dog-Bone Horns for Piezoelectric Ultrasonic/Sonic Actuators

Relative to other shapes, the dog-bone shape offers better performance. A shape reminiscent of a dog bone has been found to be superior to other shapes for mechanical-amplification horns that are components of piezoelectrically driven actuators used in a series of related devices denoted generally as ultrasonic/sonic drill/corers (USDCs). The first of these devices was reported in “Ultrasonic/Sonic Drill/Corers With Integrated Sensors” (NPO-20856), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 25, No. 1 (January 2001), page 38. The dog-bone shape was conceived especially for use in a more recent device in the series, denoted an ultrasonic/ sonic gopher, that was described in “Ultrasonic/Sonic Mechanisms for Drilling and Coring” (NPO-30291), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 27, No. 9 (September 2003), page 65. The figure shows an example of a dog-bone-shaped horn and other components of an ultrasonic gopher.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Benchtop Detection of Proteins

This process is relatively rapid and simple. A process, and a benchtop-scale apparatus for implementing the process, have been developed to detect proteins associated with specific microbes in water. The process and apparatus may also be useful for detection of proteins in other, more complex liquids. There may be numerous potential applications, including monitoring lakes and streams for contamination, testing of blood and other bodily fluids in medical laboratories, and testing for microbial contamination of liquids in restaurants and industrial food-processing facilities. A sample can be prepared and analyzed by use of this process and apparatus within minutes, whereas an equivalent analysis performed by use of other processes and equipment can often take hours to days.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical

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