Special Coverage

High Field Superconducting Magnets
Active Response Gravity Offload and Method
Sonar Inspection Robot System
Lightweight Internal Device to Measure Tension in Hollow- Braided Cordage
System, Apparatus, and Method for Pedal Control
Dust Tolerant Connectors

Formation-Initialization Algorithm for N Spacecraft

A paper presents an algorithm to initialize a formation of N distributed spacecraft in deep space. Such formations will enable variable-baseline interferometers in future NASA missions designed to study the structure and origin of the universe. The algorithm described in the paper reflects some basic assumptions: Each spacecraft is capable of omnidirectional radio communication with any other spacecraft, Each spacecraft is equipped with a limited field-of-view sensor relative position sensor (RPS) to measure the relative positions and velocities of other formation members, and Spacecraft maneuvers must satisfy Sun-angle pointing constraints to shield sensitive optical equipment from direct sunlight.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Mechanical Components


DNSs of Multicomponent Gaseous and Drop-Laden Mixing Layers Achieving Transition to Turbulence

A paper describes direct numerical simulations (DNSs) of three-dimensional mixing-layer flows undergoing transition to turbulence; the mixing layers may or may not be laden with evaporating liquid drops. In contrast to most studies in this field, the general case is investigated here where both the gas and the liquid drops’ composition encompasses a very large number of species. The simulations were performed using a mathematical model discussed in several prior NASA Tech Briefs articles; the prior studies described a laminar mixing layer, whereas the present study describes a mixing layer that has all attributes of turbulence. The model includes governing equations in an Eulerian and a Lagrangian reference frame for the gas and drops, respectively. To mathematically describe the myriad of species, the model relies on continuous thermodynamics concepts. The paper succinctly reiterates the model and discusses results of the new numerical simulations. Comparisons are performed with previous single-species similar simulations and with the laminar simulations using the same model. The paper presents several conclusions, the main one being that differences between single- and multi-species turbulent flows having the same initial conditions are so significant that neither experiments on, nor theoretical studies of, single-species flows are adequate as surrogates for studies of multi-species flows.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Physical Sciences


Foundry® 5.0 Test and Measurement Software

Eagle Eyes’ original product, the Aviator style,is the number-one choice of pilots and policeofficers.Data Translation, Marlboro, MA, has released Measure Foundry® 5.0 test and measurement software that offers open support of all system standards, including VISA, SCPI, GPIB, USB, PCI, LXI, PXI/VXI, and RS-232. The application builder software enables users to graphically combine various test and measurement instruments without writing code to create process control and data analysis applications. The software uses drag-and-drop components such as oscilloscopes and chart recorders that are placed on a form and then configured with their property pages. Features include a VISA script component to send SCPI commands to any instrument on a system, a process component that allows creation of automated test sequences, and built-in text-based language that allows programming ability for all math and other requirements. The software also includes one-click distribution to create Windows executables without programming, and real-time scope, chart recorder, and spectrum analyzer components. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/10968-120

Posted in: Products


NASA Technology Sees the Light

Developed in the 1980s, the SunTiger sunlight-filtering lens sprung from research by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) scientists James B. Stephens and Dr. Charles G. Miller. The two were studying the harmful properties of light in space, as well as the artificial radiation produced during laser and welding work, to create an enhanced means of eye protection for industrial welding. The two found previously discovered research showing evidence that the eyes of hawks, eagles, and other birds of prey contain unique oil droplets that actually protect them from intensely radiated light rays while allowing vision-enhancing light rays to pass through. These oil droplets absorb short-wavelength light rays, which, in turn, reduce glare and provide heightened color contrast and definition. They devised a way to incorporate these benefits into a filtering system, using lightfiltering dyes and tiny particles of zinc oxide.

Posted in: UpFront


Secure-Document Markup Software

Northrop-Grumman The Portion Marking Verification Tool (PMVT) software automates the process of regulatory document marking. This tool assists users in meeting the mandated requirements for portion marking in sensitive or classified documents. By utilizing PMVT, portion marking can be up to 200–400% faster than traditional review processes. PMVT handles all U.S. classification levels; SCI/SAP control channels and dissemination controls; guides reviewers through the classification process; allows reviewers to verify the suggested portion marking and make changes; and searches for words and complex expressions. The building of rule sets is flexible, and rule sets can be created to reflect government classification requirements. Email and other text repositories can be automatically scanned. PMVT is a software-only product integrated with the Microsoft Office environment.

Posted in: Techs for License


Microencapsulation Technology

Unique Technologies A flexible, platform microencapsulation technology can be applied to actives from water soluble to water insoluble materials at the 20–35% range; loading levels of up to >50% have been achieved for some actives. The microcapsules protect the actives from environmental conditions, and can be designed to release their core materials in a controlled manner over a designated period of time or by a trigger (temperature, etc.). The capsules can be designed to have multiple cores that can either be contained throughout the inner core of the capsule or seeded in the shell (or both). These “seeded” microcapsules could be used in abuse-resistant pharmaceutical formulations, and could also be applied in a tableting process. The technology increases the bioavailability of pharmaceuticals difficult to formulate and can solubilize them.

Posted in: Techs for License


Thin-Film Solar Cell Technologies

Thin-film technologies are sought for dye-sensitized solar cells that are flexible and printable on a plastic substrate; amorphous silicon/microcrystalline silicon tandem solar cells and textured TCO glass; and copper-indium- gallium-selenide solar cells that are flexible and printable on a plastic or stainless steel substrate. Also needed is a quasi-solid-state electrolyte (for outdoor reliability and stability) and a sintering technology to deposit TiO2 paste on flexible substrates at temperatures under 150°C.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs


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