Special Coverage

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
Thermomechanical Methodology for Stabilizing Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) Response
Space Optical Communications Using Laser Beams
High Field Superconducting Magnets

Simulation Software Enables Development and Validation of NASA Probe Bus and Probe Carrier

MSC Nastran and MSC Adams Enterprise Simulation Software MSC.Software Corp. Santa Ana, CA 714-540-8900 www.mscsoftware.com NASA’s MIDEX Mission THEMIS (Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms) aims to resolve one of the oldest mysteries in space physics: namely, to determine what physical process in near-Earth space initiates the violent eruptions of the aurora that occur during substorms in the Earth’s magnetosphere. THEMIS is a 2-year mission consisting of five identical probes that will study the violent colorful eruptions of Auroras.

Posted in: Application Briefs


Program Merges SAR Data on Terrain and Vegetation Heights

X/P Merge is a computer program that estimates ground-surface elevations and vegetation heights from multiple sets of data acquired by the GeoSAR instrument [a terrain-mapping synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) system that operates in the X and P bands]. X/P Merge software combines data from X- and P-band digital elevation models, SAR backscatter magnitudes, and interferometric correlation magnitudes into a simplified set of output topographical maps of ground-surface elevation and tree height.

Posted in: Briefs, Software


Two Algorithms for Processing Electronic Nose Data

Vapors are identified and their concentrations are estimated. Two algorithms for processing the digitized readings of electronic noses, and computer programs to implement the algorithms, have been devised in a continuing effort to increase the utility of electronic noses as means of identifying airborne compounds and measuring their concentrations. One algorithm identifies the two vapors in a two-vapor mixture and estimates the concentration of each vapor (in principle, this algorithm could be extended to more than two vapors). The other algorithm identifies a single vapor and estimates its concentration.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences


General-Purpose Front End for Real-Time Data Processing

FRONTIER is a computer program that functions as a front end for any of a variety of other software of both the artificial intelligence (AI) and conventional data-processing types. As used here, “front end” signifies interface software needed for acquiring and preprocessing data and making the data available for analysis by the other software. FRONTIER is reusable in that it can be rapidly tailored to any such other software with minimum effort. Each component of FRONTIER is programmable and is executed in an embedded virtual machine. Each component can be reconfigured during execution. The virtual-machine implementation making FRONTIER independent of the type of computing hardware on which it is executed.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Software


Cumulative Timers for Microprocessors

Accumulated operating times and serial numbers would be displayed. It has been proposed to equip future microprocessors with electronic cumulative timers, for essentially the same reasons for which land vehicles are equipped with odometers (total-distance-traveled meters) and aircraft are equipped with Hobbs meters (total-engine-operating time meters). Heretofore, there has been no way to determine the amount of use to which a microprocessor (or a product containing a microprocessor) has been subjected. The proposed timers would count all microprocessor clock cycles and could only be read by means of microprocessor instructions but, like odometers and Hobbs meters, could never be reset to zero without physically damaging the chip.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Semiconductors & ICs


Photocatalytic/Magnetic Composite Particles

Magnetic agitation enhances effectiveness. Photocatalytic/ magnetic composite particles have been invented as improved means of exploiting established methods of photocatalysis for removal of chemical and biological pollutants from air and water. The photocatalytic components of the composite particles are formulated for high levels of photocatalytic activity, while the magnetic components make it possible to control the movements of the particles through the application of magnetic fields. The combination of photocatalytic and magnetic properties can be exploited in designing improved air- and water-treatment reactors.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials


Separation and Sealing of a Sample Container Using Brazing

This process is an alternative to a prior explosive welding process. A special double-wall container and a process for utilizing the container are being developed to enable (1) acquisition of a sample of material in a “dirty” environment that may include a biological and/or chemical hazard; (2) sealing a lid onto the inner part of the container to hermetically enclose the sample; (3) separating the resulting hermetic container from the dirty environment; and (4) bringing that hermetic container, without any biological or chemical contamination of its outer surface, into a clean environment. The process is denoted “S3B” (separation, seaming, and sealing using brazing) because sealing of the sample into the hermetic container, separating the container from the dirty environment, and bringing the container with a clean outer surface into the clean environment are all accomplished simultaneously with a brazing operation. This container and process were conceived as a superior alternative to the double-wall container and process described in “Explosion Welding for Hermetic Containerization” (NPO-20868), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 27, No. 8 (August 2003), page 46. As in the previously reported case, the present container and process were originally intended to be used to return samples from Mars to Earth, but could also be used on Earth to store and transport material samples acquired in environments that contain biological and/or chemical hazards.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Manufacturing & Prototyping


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