Special Coverage

Supercomputer Cooling System Uses Refrigerant to Replace Water
Computer Chips Calculate and Store in an Integrated Unit
Electron-to-Photon Communication for Quantum Computing
Mechanoresponsive Healing Polymers
Variable Permeability Magnetometer Systems and Methods for Aerospace Applications
Evaluation Standard for Robotic Research
Small Robot Has Outstanding Vertical Agility
Smart Optical Material Characterization System and Method
Lightweight, Flexible Thermal Protection System for Fire Protection
Nasa Tech Briefs

Cup Cylindrical Waveguide Antenna

This antenna is used in wireless networks and telemetry. The cup cylindrical waveguide antenna (CCWA) is a short backfire microwave antenna capable of simultaneously supporting the transmission or reception of two distinct signals having opposite circular polarizations. Short backfire antennas are widely used in mobile/satellite communications, tracking, telemetry, and wireless local area networks because of their compactness and excellent radiation characteristics.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Antennas, Waveguides


Radiation-Insensitive Inverse Majority Gates

These gates would be implemented as microscopic vacuum electronic devices. To help satisfy a need for high-density logic circuits insensitive to radiation, it has been proposed to realize inverse majority gates as microscopic vacuum electronic devices. In comparison with solid-state electronic devices ordinarily used in logic circuits, vacuum electronic devices are inherently much less adversely affected by radiation and extreme temperatures.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Semiconductors & ICs, Integrated circuits, Radiation protection


Aerobraking Maneuver (ABM) Report Generator

abmREPORT Version 3.1 is a Perl script that extracts vital summarization information from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) aerobraking ABM build process. This information facilitates sequence reviews, and provides a high-level summarization of the sequence for mission management.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Computer software and hardware, Data acquisition and handling, Spacecraft


ABM Drag_Pass Report Generator

dragREPORT software was developed in parallel with abmREPORT, which is described in the preceding article. Both programs were built on the capabilities created during that process. This tool generates a drag_pass report that summarizes vital information from the MRO aerobreaking drag_pass build process to facilitate both sequence reviews and provide a high-level summarization of the sequence for mission management. The script extracts information from the ENV, SSF, FRF, SCMFmax, and OPTG files, presenting them in a single, easy-to-check report providing the majority of parameters needed for cross check and verification as part of the sequence review process.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Computer software and hardware, Data acquisition and handling, Spacecraft


Transformation of OODT CAS To Perform Larger Tasks

A computer program denoted OODT CAS has been transformed to enable performance of larger tasks that involve greatly increased data volumes and increasingly intensive processing of data on heterogeneous, geographically dispersed computers. Prior to the transformation, OODT CAS (also alternatively denoted, simply, “CAS”) [wherein “OODT” signifies “Object-Oriented Data Technology” and “CAS” signifies “Catalog and Archive Service”] was a proven software component used to manage scientific data from space-flight missions. In the transformation, CAS was split into two separate components representing its canonical capabilities: file management and workflow management. In addition, CAS was augmented by addition of a resource-management component. This third component enables CAS to manage heterogeneous computing by use of diverse resources, including high-performance clusters of computers, commodity computing hardware, and grid computing infrastructures.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences, Computer software and hardware, Data management, Spacecraft


Visualization Component of Vehicle Health Decision Support System

The visualization front-end of a Decision Support System (DSS) also includes an analysis engine linked to vehicle telemetry, and a database of learned models for known behaviors. Because the display is graphical rather than text-based, the summarization it provides has a greater information density on one screen for evaluation by a flight controller. This tool provides a system-level visualization of the state of a vehicle, and “drill-down” capability for more details and interfaces to separate analysis algorithms and sensor data streams.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences, Imaging and visualization, On-board diagnostics, On-board diagnostics (OBD), Telemetry, Vehicle health management


Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Uplink Analysis Tool

This software analyzes Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) orbital geometry with respect to Mars Exploration Rover (MER) contact windows, and is the first tool of its kind designed specifically to support MRO-MER interface coordination. Prior to this automated tool, this analysis was done manually with Excel and the UNIX command line. In total, the process would take approximately 30 minutes for each analysis. The current automated analysis takes less than 30 seconds.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Analysis methodologies, Computer software and hardware, Spacecraft


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