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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Advanced Ultra-Thin Integrated Electronics on Membranes

Flexible integrated circuits are integrated with other circuitry on flexible membranes. A method of fabricating flexible assemblies comprising flexible integrated circuits bonded onto or into flexible membranes has been developed. The method provides for bonding of thinned (more specifically, thin enough to be flexible) integrated-circuit chips to the membranes and for electrical connection of the integrated circuits to other circuitry on or in the membranes. The method is expected to enable the further development of a variety of membrane-based flexible, lightweight electronic systems and assemblies — for example, phasedarray antenna assemblies comprising integrated-circuit transmitting/ receiving (T/R) modules further integrated with arrays of transmission lines and antenna radiator elements.

Posted in: Briefs, Semiconductors & ICs

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Algorithm-Based Fault Tolerance for Numerical Subroutines

A software library implements a new methodology of detecting faults in numerical subroutines, thus enabling application programs that contain the subroutines to recover transparently from single-event upsets. The software library in question is fault-detecting middleware that is wrapped around the numerical- subroutines. Conventional serial versions (based on LAPACK and FFTW) and a parallel version (based on ScaLAPACK) exist. The source code of the application program that contains the numerical subroutines is not modified, and the middleware is transparent to the user.

Posted in: Briefs, Software

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Computational Support for Technology- Investment Decisions

Strategic Assessment of Risk and Technology (START) is a user-friendly computer program that assists human managers in making decisions regarding research- and- development investment portfolios in the presence of uncertainties and of non- technological constraints that include budgetary and time limits, restrictions related to infrastructure, and programmatic and institutional priorities. START facilitates quantitative analysis of technologies, capabilities, missions, scenarios and programs, and thereby enables the selection and scheduling of value-optimal development efforts. START incorporates features that, variously, perform or support a unique combination of functions, most of which are not systematically performed or supported by prior decision-support software. These functions include the following:

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Software

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DSN Resource Scheduling

TIGRAS is client-side software, which provides tracking-station equipment planning, allocation, and scheduling services to the DSMS (Deep Space Mission System). TIGRAS provides functions for schedulers to coordinate the DSN (Deep Space Network) antenna usage time and to resolve the resource usage conflicts among tracking passes, antenna calibrations, maintenance, and system testing activities. TIGRAS provides a fully integrated multi-pane graphical user interface for all scheduling operations. This is a great improvement over the legacy VAX VMS command line user interface.

Posted in: Briefs, Software

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Distributed Operations Planning

Maestro software provides a secure and distributed mission planning system for long-term missions in general, and the Mars Exploration Rover Mission (MER) specifically. Maestro, the successor to the Science Activity Planner, has a heavy emphasis on portability and distributed operations, and requires no data replication or expensive hardware, instead relying on a set of services functioning on JPL institutional servers.

Posted in: Briefs, Software

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Phase-Oriented Gear Systems

Larger mechanical advantages can be realized in smaller packages. Phase-oriented gear systems are differential planetary transmissions in which each planet gear has two sets of unequal numbers of teeth indexed at prescribed relative angles (phases). The figure illustrates an application of the phase-oriented gearing concept to a relatively simple speed-reducing differential planetary transmission that includes a sun gear, an idler gear, three identical planet gears, a ground internal ring gear, and an output internal ring gear. Typically, the ground internal ring gear and output internal ring gear have different numbers of teeth, giving rise to a progressive and periodic phase shift between the corresponding pairs of teeth engaged by each successive planet gear. To accommodate this phase shift, it is necessary to introduce a compensating phase shift between the groundgear- engaging and output-gear-engaging sections of each planet gear. This is done by individually orienting each planet gear.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Mechanics

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Picosatellite Design Incorporates Thin Aluminum Structure and Self-Clinching Fasteners

A reduced parts count and lower weight are attributable to less fastening-related hardware. The CubeSat standard (10 × 10 × 10 cm and weighing 1kg) has evolved into one of the most widely accepted families of picosatellite designs. A CubeSat can package a universe of payload possibilities for launch into space at a fraction of the cost of traditional multimillion- dollar satellites. The success of any CubeSat project will owe much to how closely participants adhere to unforgiving timelines linked to launches scheduled far in advance. Serving to jumpstart projects and keep them on track within the typical 24 months from inception to launch, Pumpkin, Inc. created an off-the-shelf CubeSat Kit™ offering all the advantages of a standardized assembly. Conforming fully to the recognized CubeSat specification, the kit’s structure, electronics, and software are intended to save time and money.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Mechanics

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