Special Coverage

Mechanoresponsive Healing Polymers
Variable Permeability Magnetometer Systems and Methods for Aerospace Applicationst
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
High-Precision Electric Gate for Time-of-Flight Ion Mass Spectrometers
Polyimide Wire Insulation Repair System
Distributed Propulsion Concepts and Superparamagnetic Energy Harvesting Hummingbird Engine
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Apparatus and Method for Creating a Photonic Densely Accumulated Ray-Point

NASA's Langley Research Center has discovered a new approach to achieving a laser focal point size much smaller than the wavelength of light used, and smaller than that obtained using conventional micro zone plate lenses. The Photonic Densely Accumulated Ray-poinT (DART) technology relies on phase contrast along with interference phenomena, with or without the use of a micro zone plate lens. Coupled with the extremely small spot size, the technology also provides very high laser energy density at the pseudo focal point surrounded by destructive interference, thereby enabling a range of potential useful applications such as laser processing, lithography, nanofabrication, and optical data storage.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics

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Filtering Molecules with Nanotube Technology

Innovators at NASA's Johnson Space Center have developed a filtration device to eliminate contaminants from water supplies. Originally developed to purify waste-water for reuse aboard the International Space Station, the innovation is applicable to numerous situations on Earth where there is a need to collect potable, medical-grade water from a contaminated water supply. The unique aspect of the technology is its use of acoustics, rather than pressure, to drive water through small-diameter carbon nanotubes. The invention requires less power than conventional filtration systems, and is well-suited to a variety of water processing needs.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical

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Automated Behavior and Cohesion Assessment Tools (ABCAT)

An important consideration of long-duration spaceflight operations is interpersonal dynamics that affect crew cohesion and performance. Flight surgeons have stated the need for unobtrusive monitoring to help detect if crews are having difficulties coping with long-duration spaceflight environments.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical

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Algorithm Measures Range of Motion and Applies Eccentric and Concentric Loads During Exercise

Microprocessor-controlled exercise equipment that uses a servomotor has the capability to adjust the applied resistive load based on position, velocity, and acceleration. One method of applying the resistive load consists of applying a greater load during the eccentric phase of the exercise motion (muscles actively lengthening) than during the concentric phase of the motion (muscles actively shortening). This technique, called eccentric overloading, can improve the benefits of a strength training session significantly. Although the exercise device can alternate between concentric and eccentric loading based solely on the direction of the bar movement, this is undesirable for several reasons. First, when the velocity is close to zero, the system would rapidly switch between the eccentric and concentric loads. Second, if the exerciser is unable to complete a lift with the concentric load and wishes to lower the bar, the system would apply the high eccentric load, which is highly undesirable. Thus, it is necessary for the system to know the limits of the movement (range of motion, ROM) so that the system can identify when the user has completed the lift and the eccentric load can be properly applied.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical

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Generalized Query Tool for Accessing the Database of the Mars Relay Operations Service (MaROS)

The Generalized Query Tool for accessing the database of MaROS can be utilized in three modes: (1) batch mode where a user's authentication data is inserted directly along with a desired query to the database, (2) interactive mode where a desired query is known and can be entered directly, and (3) interactive mode with a query “wizard” that walks a user through the steps needed to construct a valid query to the database. In all three cases, the successful execution of the script results in data from the MaROS database being made available to the user in a comma-separated output file. For new users, it is recommended to use the third mode to build a sample query and then tailor that as desired for use with the first or second modes.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences

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JPF-NAS Extension of Java Pathfinder

Java PathFinder (JPF) version 7 provides basic support for verifying the distributed Java applications. It can receive a distributed Java application as input that is perceived as multiple Java processes. However, JPF does account for communication between processes of the distributed application, and it thus cannot be used to verify any realistic distributed Java application. Applying JPF on distributed applications requires a model of inter-process communication (IPC) and process aware scheduling.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software

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Institutional Budgeting Tool (IBT)

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Institutional Budgeting Tool (IBT) was designed and developed to meet the needs of JPL's budget planners, numbering 1,600, who required a robust and state-of-the-art budgeting application. JPL's budgeting process had been constrained by legacy tools that presented usability and performance issues and lacked critical innovative budgeting features. IBT delivered superior user experience, system performance, and modern features necessary for essential laboratory budgeting.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Software

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