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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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Monitoring by Use of Clusters of Sensor-Data Vectors

Incoming data vectors are compared with clustered vectors representative of normal operation. The inductive monitoring system (IMS) is a system of computer hardware and software for automated monitoring of the performance, operational condition, physical integrity, and other aspects of the “health” of a complex engineering system (e.g., an industrial process line or a spacecraft). The input to the IMS consists of streams of digitized readings from sensors in the monitored system. The IMS determines the type and amount of any deviation of the monitored system from a nominal or normal (“healthy”) condition on the basis of a comparison between (1) vectors constructed from the incoming sensor data and (2) corresponding vectors in a database of nominal or normal behavior. The term “inductive” reflects the use of a process reminiscent of traditional mathematical induction to “learn” about normal operation and build the nominal-condition database. The IMS offers two major advantages over prior computational monitoring systems: The computational burden of the IMS is significantly smaller, and there is no need for abnormal-condition sensor data for training the IMS to recognize abnormal conditions.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences

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Processing Satellite Imagery To Detect Waste Tire Piles

Less time is needed for searching for previously unidentified piles. A methodology for processing commercially available satellite spectral imagery has been developed to enable identification and mapping of waste tire piles in California. The California Integrated Waste Management Board initiated the project and provided funding for the method’s development. The methodology includes the use of a combination of previously commercially available image-processing and georeferencing software used to develop a model that specifically distinguishes between tire piles and other objects. The methodology reduces the time that must be spent to initially survey a region for tire sites, thereby increasing inspectors’ and managers’ time available for remediation of the sites. Remediation is needed because millions of used tires are discarded every year, waste tire piles pose fire hazards, and mosquitoes often breed in water trapped in tires. It should be possible to adapt the methodology to regions outside California by modifying some of the algorithms implemented in the software to account for geographic differences in spectral characteristics associated with terrain and climate.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences

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Circuit and Method for Communication Over DC Power Line

New technique usable in harsh, high-heat environments, allows for networking and smart vehicle operation with no additional wiring beyond power. A circuit and method for transmitting and receiving on-off-keyed (OOK) signals with fractional signal-to-noise ratios uses available high-temperature silicon-on-insulator (SOI) components to move computational, sensing, and actuation abilities closer to high- temperature or high- ionizing radiation environments such as vehicle engine compartments, deep-hole drilling environments, industrial control and monitoring of processes like smelting, and operations near nuclear reactors and in space. This device allows for the networking of multiple, like nodes to each other and to a central processor. It can do this with nothing more than the already in-situ power wiring of the system. The device’s microprocessor allows it to make intelligent decisions within the vehicle operational loop and to effect control outputs to its associated actuators. The figure illustrates how each node converts digital serial data to OOK 18-kHz in transmit mode and vice-versa in receive mode; though operations at lower frequencies or up to a megahertz are within reason using this method and these parts.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Semiconductors & ICs

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CHEM-Based Self-Deploying Planetary Storage Tanks

A document proposes self-deploying storage tanks, based on the cold elastic hibernated memory (CHEM) concept, to be used on remote planets. The CHEM concept, described in previous NASA Tech Briefs articles, involves the use of open-cell shape-memory-polymer (SMP) foam sandwich structures to make lightweight, space-deployable structures that can be compressed for storage and can later be expanded, then rigidified for use.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Materials

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Sequestration of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in a Polymer

The nanotubes would be solubilized for incorporation into lightweight composites. Sequestration of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNs) in a suitably chosen polymer is under investigation as a means of promoting the dissolution of the nanotubes into epoxies. The purpose of this investigation is to make it possible to utilize SWCNs as the reinforcing fibers in strong, lightweight epoxy-matrix/ carbon-fiber composite materials. SWCNs are especially attractive for use as reinforcing fibers because of their stiffness and strength-to-weight ratio: Their Young’s modulus has been calculated to be 1.2 TPa, their strength has been calculated to be as much as 100 times that of steel, and their mass density is only one-sixth that of steel.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials

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Foam Core Shielding for Spacecraft

A foam core shield (FCS) system is now being developed to supplant multilayer insulation (MLI) systems heretofore installed on spacecraft for thermal management and protection against meteoroid impacts. A typical FCS system consists of a core sandwiched between a face sheet and a back sheet. The core can consist of any of a variety of low-to- medium-density polymeric or inorganic foams chosen to satisfy application-specific requirements regarding heat transfer and temperature.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials

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PPC750 Performance Monitor

The PPC750 Performance Monitor (Perfmon) is a computer program that helps the user to assess the performance characteristics of application programs running under the Wind River VxWorks real-time operating system on a PPC750 computer. Perfmon generates a userfriendly interface and collects performance data by use of performance registers provided by the PPC750 architecture. It processes and presents run-time statistics on a per-task basis over a repeating time interval (typically, several seconds or minutes) specified by the user.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences

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