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High Field Superconducting Magnets
Active Response Gravity Offload and Method
Strat-X
Sonar Inspection Robot System
Lightweight Internal Device to Measure Tension in Hollow- Braided Cordage
System, Apparatus, and Method for Pedal Control
Dust Tolerant Connectors
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The Mars Science Laboratory Touchdown Test Facility

In the Touchdown Test Program for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, a facility was developed to use a full-scale rover vehicle and an overhead winch system to replicate the Skycrane landing event. A driving requirement for the testing facility was the need to support a load of 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) at a minimum height of 13 m. Few facilities at JPL qualify with enough height, leaving the Building 280 Static Test Tower as the logical choice. However, this facility is popular, so an additional requirement was that the MSL test facility be temporary, and be able to be disassembled in a matter of a week or two, be stored for a period of time, and then be reassembled again quickly for V&V (verification and validation) testing.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences

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Combinatorial Generation of Test Suites

Testgen is a computer program that generates suites of input and configuration vectors for testing other software or software/hardware systems. As systems become ever more complex, often, there is not enough time to test systems against all possible combinations of inputs and configurations, so test engineers need to be selective in formulating test plans. Testgen helps to satisfy this need: In response to a test-suite-requirement-specification model, it generates a minimal set of test vectors that satisfies all the requirements.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Software

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InP Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor Amplifiers to 255 GHz

These amplifiers can be used in millimeter-wave imaging systems for weapons detection and airport security, and for radar instruments. Two single-stage InP heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) amplifiers operate at 184 and 255 GHz, using Northrop Grumman Corporation’s InP HBT MMIC (monolithic microwave integrated circuit) technology. At the time of this reporting, these are reported to be the highest HBT amplifiers ever created. The purpose of the amplifier design is to evaluate the technology capability for high-frequency designs and verify the model for future development work.

Posted in: Briefs, Semiconductors & ICs

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Composite Layer Manufacturing With Fewer Interruptions

An improved version of composite layer manufacturing (CLM) has been invented. CLM is a type of solid freeform fabrication (SFF) — an automated process in which a three-dimensional object is built up, point-by-point, through extrusion of a matrix/fiber composite-material precursor. The elements of SFF include (1) preparing a matrix resin in a form in which it will solidify subsequently, (2) mixing fibers and matrix material to form a continuous preimpregnated tow (also called “towpreg”), and (3) dispensing the towpreg from a nozzle onto a base while moving the nozzle to form the dispensed material into a series of patterned layers of controlled thickness.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Improved Photoresist Coating for Making CNT Field Emitters

This technique could contribute to development of cold cathodes for diverse applications. An improved photoresist-coating technique has been developed for use in the fabrication of carbon-nanotube- (CNT)- based field emitters of the type described in “Fabrication of Improved Carbon- Nanotube Field Emitters” (NPO-44996), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 32, No. 4 (April 2008), page 50. The improved photoresist- coating technique overcomes what, heretofore, has been a major difficulty in the fabrication process. This technique is expected to contribute to the realization of high-efficiency field emitters (cold cathodes) for diverse systems and devices that could include gas-ionization systems, klystrons, flat-panel display devices, cathode-ray tubes, scanning electron microscopes, and x-ray tubes.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Integrated System Health Management Development Toolkit

This software toolkit is designed to model complex systems for the implementation of embedded Integrated System Health Management (ISHM) capability, which focuses on determining the condition (health) of every element in a complex system (detect anomalies, diagnose causes, and predict future anomalies), and to provide data, information, and knowledge (DIaK) to control systems for safe and effective operation.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences

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TCP/IP Interface for the Satellite Orbit Analysis Program (SOAP)

The Transmission Control Protocol/Internet protocol (TCP/IP) interface for the Satellite Orbit Analysis Program (SOAP) provides the means for the software to establish real-time interfaces with other software. Such interfaces can operate between two programs, either on the same computer or on different computers joined by a network. The SOAP TCP/IP module employs a client/server interface where SOAP is the server and other applications can be clients. Real-time interfaces between software offer a number of advantages over embedding all of the common functionality within a single program. One advantage is that they allow each program to divide the computation labor between processors or computers running the separate applications. Secondly, each program can be allowed to provide its own expertise domain with other programs able to use this expertise.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences

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