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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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Flash Diffusivity Technique Applied to Individual Fibers

Inversion of spatially and temporally resolved temperature measurements yields thermal-diffusivity maps. A variant of the flash diffusivity technique has been devised for determining the thermal diffusivities, and thus the thermal conductivities, of individual aligned fibers. The technique is intended especially for application to nanocomposite fibers, made from narrower fibers of polyphenylene benzobisthiazole (PBZT) and carbon nanotubes. These highly aligned nanocomposite fibers could exploit the high thermal conductivities of carbon nanotubes for thermal-management applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences

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System for Thermal Imaging of Hot Moving Objects

This advanced ratio-intensity thermography system has numerous potential uses. The High Altitude/ Re-Entry Vehicle Infrared Imaging (HARVII) system is a portable instrumentation system for tracking and thermal imaging of a possibly distant and moving object. The HARVII is designed specifically for measuring the changing temperature distribution on a space shuttle as it reenters the atmosphere. The HARVII system or other systems based on the design of the HARVII system could also be used for such purposes as determining temperature distributions in fires, on volcanoes, and on surfaces of hot models in wind tunnels. In yet another potential application, the HARVII or a similar system would be used to infer atmospheric pollution levels from images of the Sun acquired at multiple wavelengths over regions of interest.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Physical Sciences

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Improved Readout Scheme for SQUID-Based Thermometry

Flux-unit-counting ambiguities would be eliminated. An improved readout scheme has been proposed for high-resolution thermometers, (HRTs) based on the use of superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) to measure temperature- dependent magnetic susceptibilities. The proposed scheme would eliminate counting ambiguities that arise in the conventional scheme, while maintaining the superior magnetic-flux sensitivity of the conventional scheme. The proposed scheme is expected to be especially beneficial for HRT-based temperature control of multiplexed SQUID-based bolometer sensor arrays.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Physical Sciences

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Error Rates and Channel Capacities in Multipulse PPM

It is now possible to compare expected performances of candidate modulation schemes. A method of computing channel capacities and error rates in multipulse pulse-position modulation (multipulse PPM) has been developed. The method makes it possible, when designing an optical PPM communication system, to determine whether and under what conditions a given multipulse PPM scheme would be more or less advantageous, relative to other candidate modulation schemes.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences

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Simpler Adaptive Selection of Golomb Power-of-Two Codes

The selected code-parameter value is within 1 of the optimum value. An alternative method of adaptive selection of Golomb power-of-two (GPO2) codes has been devised for use in efficient, lossless encoding of sequences of non-negative integers from discrete sources. The method is intended especially for use in compression of digital image data. This method is somewhat suboptimal, but offers the advantage in that it involves significantly less computation than does a prior method of adaptive selection of optimum codes through “brute force” application of all code options to every block of samples.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences

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Adaptive Deadband Synchronization for a Spacecraft Formation

A paper discusses general problems in estimation and control of the states (positions, attitudes, and velocities) of spacecraft flying in formation, then addresses the particular formation-flying-control problem of synchronization of deadbands. The paper presents a deadband- synchronization algorithm for the case in which the spacecraft are equipped with pulse- width-modulated thrusters for maintaining their required states. The algorithm synchronizes thruster-firing times across all six degrees of freedom of all the spacecraft. The algorithm is scalable, inherently adapts to disturbances, and does not require knowledge of spacecraft masses and disturbance forces. In this algorithm, one degree of freedom of one spacecraft is designated the leader, and all other degrees of freedom of all spacecraft as followers. The Cassini adaptive optimum deadband drift controller is the subalgorithm for control in each degree of freedom, and the adaptation is run until each spacecraft achieves a specified drift period. The adaptation is critical because a different disturbance affects each different degree of freedom. Then the leader communicates its thruster-firing starting times to the followers. Then, for each follower, a deadband- synchronization subalgorithm determines the shift needed to synchronize its drift period with that of the leader. This work was done by Daniel Scharf, Fred Hadaegh, and Bryan Kang of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The software used in this innovation is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Karina Edmonds of the California Institute of Technology at (626) 395-2322. Refer to NPO-43258.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Mechanics

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Analysis of Performance of Stereoscopic Vision Software

A team of JPL researchers has analyzed stereoscopic vision software and produced a document describing its performance. This software is of the type used in maneuvering exploratory robotic vehicles on Martian terrain. The software in question utilizes correlations between portions of the images recorded by two electronic cameras to compute stereoscopic disparities, which, in conjunction with camera models, are used in computing distances to terrain points to be included in constructing a threedimensional model of the terrain. The analysis included effects of correlation-window size, a pyramidal image down-sampling scheme, vertical misalignment, focus, maximum disparity, stereo baseline, and range ripples. Contributions of sub-pixel interpolation, vertical misalignment, and foreshortening to stereo correlation error were examined theoretically and experimentally. It was found that camera-calibration inaccuracy contributes to both down-range and cross-range error but stereo correlation error affects only the down-range error. Experimental data for quantifying the stereo disparity error were obtained by use of reflective metrological targets taped to corners of bricks placed at known positions relative to the cameras. For the particular 1,024-by-768- pixel cameras of the system analyzed, the standard deviation of the down-range disparity error was found to be 0.32 pixel. This work was done by Won Kim, Adnan Ansar, Robert Steele, and Robert Steinke of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For further information, contact iaoffice@jpl.nasa.gov.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences

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