Special Coverage

Distributed Propulsion Concepts and Superparamagnetic Energy Harvesting Hummingbird Engine
Aerofoam
Wet Active Chevron Nozzle for Controllable Jet Noise Reduction
Magnetic Relief Valve
Locking Mechanism for a Flexible Composite Hinge
Active Aircraft Pylon Noise Control System
Unmanned Aerial Systems Traffic Management
Method of Bonding Dissimilar Materials
Sonar Inspection Robot System
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Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Game Phase III

The Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program is responsible for providing communications and navigation services to spaceflight missions located throughout the solar system. Astronauts, mission controllers, and scientists depend upon the reliable transmission of information between Earth and spacecraft in low Earth orbit (LEO) or deep space.

Posted in: Briefs, Software

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Adverse Condition and Critical Event Prediction Toolbox (ACCEPT)

One of the main features is the relaxation of the technical conditions required for robust early detection of the onset of adverse events.Many natural or complex engineered systems rely upon critical functions or processes that can be measured with the aid of various sensors or other novel devices. As a result, sensor and measurement data can be used to learn a parametric or non-parametric model of the behavior for a given process or metric. For such processes or metrics, it may be critical to avoid or be forewarned of impending level crossings that may characterize entry into extreme or potentially catastrophic operating regimes. Under certain circumstances, the metric to be monitored may represent the residual, or difference between an actual value and a predicted value generated by an independent regression method, rather than a physical process having a physically interpretable meaning.

Posted in: Briefs, Software

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Invertible Time Invariant Linear Filtering (InTILF) Method for Pattern Detection and Modeling of Stochastic One- or Two-Dimensional Data

This tool can analyze and model surface metrology data for polishing-tool fabricators.X-ray astronomy offers the opportunity to observe important phenomena, including the early accretion of massive black holes and detecting diffuse ionized intergalactic gas that is heated to X-ray temperatures (>106). One of the technical challenges facing X-ray astronomy is fabricating optics that are properly shaped and smooth enough to produce quality images. Surface defects on the order of the wavelength of the observed spectrum and up to the size of the optical surface must be polished out of the mirrors without leaving a detectable pattern because the detectable signal is on the order of magnitude of the noise. This leads to a cycle of polishing and metrology that adds time and expense to optics fabrication.

Posted in: Briefs, Imaging, Photonics

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Stereoscopic Imaging in Hypersonic Boundary Layers Using Planar Laser-Induced Fluorescence

This technique offers a more complete visualization of high-speed flowfields than standard imaging methods.Stereoscopic time-resolved visualization of three-dimensional structures in a hypersonic flow was performed for the first time in NASA Langley Research Center’s 31-inch Mach 10 Air Tunnel. Nitric oxide (NO) was seeded into hypersonic boundary layer flows that were designed to transition from laminar to turbulent. A laser excitation and multiple-camera imaging scheme was used to obtain raw images containing three-dimensional spatial information. The images were processed in a computer visualization environment to provide stereoscopic image pairs that could be viewed several ways, including using the cross-eyed viewing method, with the aid of a stereoscope, as animated image pairs (i.e., wiggle stereoscopy), or as anaglyph images through conventional red/blue 3D glasses.

Posted in: Briefs, Imaging, Photonics

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Compact, Lightweight, Athermal, Nanocomposite Telescopes with Freeform Optics

Small space missions such as CubeSats frequently require telescopes with highly sophisticated optical systems that are also low in mass and cost. The very limited spacecraft volume and mass limits also preclude adjustments to maintain critical alignment with change in temperature. Existing systems, especially those that employ folded optical paths with freeform optics, are expensive to fabricate. The optics, and support and metering structures, are also heavy due to the use of high-density material such as glass, aluminum, or nickel.

Posted in: Briefs, Imaging, Optics, Photonics

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Variably Transmittive, Electronically Controlled Eyewear

This technology can be used in pilot glasses, military goggles, gaming and virtual reality, and transition lenses for eyewear.During instrument flight training, the pilot must have his/her view through the aircraft windscreen restricted to simulate low-visibility conditions while permitting the pilot to view the instrument panel. In one current method, a hood is draped across the aircraft windscreen, or a face mask or blackened glasses are worn by the pilot. All such current methods create potentially hazardous disorientation and an unnatural environment for the trainee. In particular, the face mask and blackened glasses restrict the pilot’s peripheral vision, and require uncomfortable and unnatural head positions in order to see the entire instrument panel.

Posted in: Briefs, Instrumentation

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Method for Ground-to-Satellite Laser Calibration System

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed the Ground-to-Space Laser Calibration (GSLC) system concept for calibrating Earth observing sensors measuring reflected radiance. GSLC is capable of calibrating sensitivity to polarization, degradation of optics, and response to stray light of spaceborne reflected solar sensors. The concept is based on using an accurate ground-based laser system pointing at and tracking the instrument on orbit during nighttime and clear atmosphere conditions. The GSLC system will be applicable to instrument calibration in both low Earth and geostationary Earth orbits.

Posted in: Briefs, Instrumentation

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