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

JAVA Stereo Display Toolkit

This toolkit provides a common interface for displaying graphical user interface (GUI) components in stereo using either specialized stereo display hardware (e.g., liquid crystal shutter or polarized glasses) or anaglyph display (red/blue glasses) on standard workstation displays. An application using this toolkit will work without modification in either environment, allowing stereo software to reach a wider audience without sacrificing high-quality display on dedicated hardware.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Computer software and hardware, Human machine interface (HMI), Displays


Remote-Sensing Time Series Analysis, a Vegetation Monitoring Tool

The Time Series Product Tool (TSPT) is software, developed in MATLAB®, which creates and displays high signal-to-noise Vegetation Indices imagery and other higher-level products derived from remotely sensed data. This tool enables automated, rapid, large-scale regional surveillance of crops, forests, and other vegetation. TSPT temporally processes high-revisit-rate satellite imagery produced by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and by other remote-sensing systems. Although MODIS imagery is acquired daily, cloudiness and other sources of noise can greatly reduce the effective temporal resolution. To improve cloud statistics, the TSPT combines MODIS data from multiple satellites (Aqua and Terra). The TSPT produces MODIS products as single time-frame and multitemporal change images, as time-series plots at a selected location, or as temporally processed image videos. Using the TSPT program, MODIS metadata is used to remove and/or correct bad and suspect data. Bad pixel removal, multiple satellite data fusion, and temporal processing techniques create high-quality plots and animated image video sequences that depict changes in vegetation greenness. This tool provides several temporal processing options not found in other comparable imaging software tools. Because the framework to generate and use other algorithms is established, small modifications to this tool will enable the use of a large range of remotely sensed data types.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Mathematical models, Computer software and hardware, Remote sensing, Weather and climate


PyPele Rewritten To Use MPI

A computer program known as “PyPele,” originally written as a Python-language extension module of a C++ language program, has been rewritten in pure Python language. The original version of PyPele dispatches and coordinates parallel- processing tasks on cluster computers and provides a conceptual framework for spacecraft-mission- design and -analysis software tools to run in an embarrassingly parallel mode. The original version of PyPele uses SSH (Secure Shell — a set of standards and an associated network protocol for establishing a secure channel between a local and a remote computer) to coordinate parallel processing. Instead of SSH, the present Python version of PyPele uses Message Passing Interface (MPI) [an unofficial de-facto standard language-independent application programming interface for message-passing on a parallel computer] while keeping the same user interface.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Architecture, Communication protocols, Computer software and hardware


Data Assimilation Cycling for Weather Analysis

This software package runs the atmospheric model MM5 in data assimilation cycling mode to produce an optimized weather analysis, including the ability to insert or adjust a hurricane vortex. The program runs MM5 through a cycle of short forecasts every three hours where the vortex is adjusted to match the observed hurricane location and storm intensity. This technique adjusts the surrounding environment so that the proper steering current and environmental shear are achieved. MM5cycle uses a Cressman analysis to blend observation into model fields to get a more accurate weather analysis. Quality control of observations is also done in every cycle to remove bad data that may contaminate the analysis. This technique can assimilate and propagate data in time from intermittent and infrequent observations while maintaining the atmospheric field in a dynamically balanced state.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Computer software and hardware, Data acquisition and handling, Weather and climate


Activating STAT3 Alpha for Promoting Healing of Neurons

Natural anti-apoptotic, pro-axogenic mechanisms are stimulated artificially. A method of promoting healing of injured or diseased neurons involves pharmacological activation of the STAT3 alpha protein. Usually, injured or diseased neurons heal incompletely or not at all for two reasons: (1) they are susceptible to apoptosis (cell death); and (2) they fail to engage in axogenesis — that is, they fail to re-extend their axons to their original targets (e.g., muscles or other neurons) because of insufficiency of compounds, denoted neurotrophic factors, needed to stimulate such extension. The present method (see figure) of treatment takes advantage of prior research findings to the effect that the STAT3 alpha protein has anti-apoptotic and pro-axogenic properties.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Diseases, Nervous system, Pharmaceuticals


Hydrocyclone/Filter for Concentrating Biomarkers From Soil

This apparatus could detect biomarkers or chemical waste in soil. The hydrocyclone- filtration extractor (HFE), now undergoing development, is a simple, robust apparatus for processing large amounts of soil to extract trace amounts of microorganisms, soluble organic compounds, and other biomarkers from soil and to concentrate the extracts in amounts sufficient to enable such traditional assays as cell culturing, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis, and isotope analysis. Originally intended for incorporation into a suite of instruments for detecting signs of life on Mars, the HFE could also be used on Earth for similar purposes, including detecting trace amounts of biomarkers or chemical wastes in soils.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Bio-Medical, Medical


Probing a Spray Using Frequency-Analyzed Light Scattering

Intact length and breakup frequency are determined by a relatively simple technique. Frequency-analyzed laser-light scattering (FALLS) is a relatively simple technique that can be used to measure principal characteristics of a sheet of sprayed liquid as it breaks up into ligaments and then the ligaments break up into droplets. In particular, through frequency analysis of laser light scattered from a spray, it is possible to determine whether the laser- illuminated portion of the spray is in the intact-sheet region, the ligament region, or the droplet region. By logical extension, it is possible to determine the intact length from the location of the laser beam at the transition between the intact-sheet and ligament regions and to determine a breakup frequency from the results of the frequency analysis. Hence, FALLS could likely be useful both as a means of performing research on sprays in general and as a means of diagnostic sensing in diverse applications in which liquid fuels are sprayed. Sprays are also used for drying and to deposit paints and other coating materials.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Computational fluid dynamics, Measurements, Lasers, Spraying, Coatings, colorants, and finishes, Fuel injection


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