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Self-Healing Wire Insulation
Thermomechanical Methodology for Stabilizing Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) Response
Space Optical Communications Using Laser Beams
High Field Superconducting Magnets
Active Response Gravity Offload and Method
Strat-X
Sonar Inspection Robot System
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Cyberspace Comes To Outer Space



Posted in: Blog

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Photonics Tech Briefs Products of the Year



Posted in: Blog

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Improved Instrument for Detecting Water and Ice in Soil

This device can be used to assess ice buildup on aircraft. An instrument measures electrical properties of relatively dry soils to determine their liquid water and/or ice contents. Designed as a prototype of instruments for measuring the liquid-water and ice contents of lunar and planetary soils, the apparatus could also be utilized for similar purposes in research and agriculture involving terrestrial desert soils and sands, and perhaps for measuring ice buildup on aircraft surfaces.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Physical Sciences

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Lithium-Ion Batteries Fuel the Future of Automotive Design

In 1924, General Motors president Alfred P. Sloan Jr. devised annual model-year design changes in order to maintain unit sales. Body shapes faced cosmetic changes every year, whether or not the underlying automobile had changed. This breakthrough strategy had widespread effects on the automobile business, automotive design, and eventually the United States economy. In recent years, amongst a worsening economy and a struggling auto industry, the underlying automobile has changed rapidly, with emphases on efficiency and environmental friendliness. As industrialized nations begin to devote serious attention to lessening dependence on oil and at improving emissions, the electrification of the automobile is a very real solution.

Posted in: Articles

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Determining Surface Roughness in Urban Areas Using Lidar Data

An automatic derivation of relevant parameters estimates surface roughness. An automated procedure has been developed to derive relevant factors, which can increase the ability to produce objective, repeatable methods for determining aerodynamic surface roughness. Aerodynamic surface roughness is used for many applications, like atmospheric dispersive models and wind-damage models. For this technique, existing lidar data was used that was originally collected for terrain analysis, and demonstrated that surface roughness values can be automatically derived, and then subsequently utilized in disaster-management and homeland-security models.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences

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DSN Data Visualization Suite

The DSN Data Visualization Suite is a set of computer programs and reusable Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that assist in the visualization and analysis of Deep Space Network (DSN) spacecraft-tracking data, which can include predicted and actual values of downlink frequencies, uplink frequencies, and antenna-pointing angles in various formats that can include tables of values and polynomial coefficients. The data can also include lists of antenna-pointing events, lists of antenna-limit events, and schedules of tracking activities.

Posted in: Briefs, Software

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Real-Time Detection of Dust Devils From Pressure Readings

Dust devils are identified as large deviations from a sliding polynomial fit. A method for real-time detection of dust devils at a given location is based on identifying the abrupt, temporary decreases in atmospheric pressure that are characteristic of dust devils as they travel through that location. The method was conceived for use in a study of dust devils on the Martian surface, where bandwidth limitations encourage the transmission of only those blocks of data that are most likely to contain information about features of interest, such as dust devils. The method, which is a form of intelligent data compression, could readily be adapted to use for the same purpose in scientific investigation of dust devils on Earth.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Physical Sciences

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