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Iodine-Compatible Hall Effect Thruster
Precision Assembly of Systems on Surfaces (PASS)
Development of a Novel Electrospinning System with Automated Positioning and Control Software
2016 Create The Future Design Contest Open For Entries
Clamshell Sampler
Shape Memory Alloy Rock Splitter
Deployable Extra-Vehicular Activity Platform (DEVAP) for Planetary Surfaces
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Altimetry Using GPS-Reflection/Occultation Interferometry

A Global Positioning System (GPS)- reflection/occultation interferometry was examined as a means of altimetry of water and ice surfaces in polar regions. In GPS- reflection/occultation interferometry, a GPS receiver aboard a satellite in a low orbit around the Earth is used to determine the temporally varying carrier-phase delay between (1) one component of a signal from a GPS transmitter propagating directly through the atmosphere just as the GPS transmitter falls below the horizon and (2) another component of the same signal, propagating along a slightly different path, reflected at glancing incidence upon the water or ice surface.

Posted in: Briefs

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Improved Thermal Design of a Compression Mold

A compression tool used to make 1-in. (2.5-cm) diameter disks of high-temperature polymers was designed to be shorter and of larger diameter than conventional tools to reduce heat loss to the surrounding air, thus making more efficient use of applied heat. This system is less sensitive to the amount and quality of insulation than previous tools, provides more repeatable processing, and improves the quality of the samples produced. These improvements come without increasing the weight of the punch portion of the tool over that of a conventional version, an important quality when handling lower-viscosity resins.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Enhanced Pseudo-Waypoint Guidance for Spacecraft Maneuvers

An enhanced version of the scheme reported in “Pseudo-Waypoint Guidance for Proximity Spacecraft Maneuvers” (NPO-42753), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 31, No. 6 (June 2007), page 73 was developed. To recapitulate: the scheme provides algorithms for guidance and control (G&C) of a spacecraft maneuvering near a small astronomical body. The open-loop guidance problem is solved in advance or in real time by use of the pseudo-waypoint generation (PWG) method. Feedback control is implemented to track PWG trajectories, in a manner that enables updating of G&C in a model-predictive manner. The scheme includes silent periods following each thruster firing.

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Thermally Driven Josephson Effect

A concept is proposed of the thermally driven Josephson effect in superfluid helium. Heretofore, the Josephson effect in a superfluid has been recognized as an oscillatory flow that arises in response to a steady pressure difference between two superfluid reservoirs separated by an array of submicron-sized orifices, which act in unison as a single Josephson junction. Analogously, the thermally driven Josephson effect is an oscillatory flow that arises in response to a steady temperature difference.

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Determining Concentration of Nanoparticles From Ellipsometry

Counting of particles is not necessary. A method of using ellipsometry or polarization analysis of light in total internal reflection of a surface to determine the number density of gold nanoparticles on a smooth substrate has been developed. The method can be modified to enable determination of densities of sparse distributions of nanoparticles in general, and is expected to be especially useful for measuring gold-nanoparticle-labeled biomolecules on microarrays.

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Gold Nanoparticle Labels Amplify Ellipsometric Signals

The ellipsometric method reported in the immediately preceding article was developed in conjunction with a method of using gold nanoparticles as labels on biomolecules that one seeks to detect. The purpose of the labeling is to exploit the optical properties of the gold nanoparticles in order to amplify the measurable ellipsometric effects and thereby to enable ultrasensitive detection of the labeled biomolecules without need to develop more-complex ellipsometric instrumentation.

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Nasa Tech Briefs - Perturbation Effects on a Supercritical C7H16/N2 Mixing Layer

This report presents a computational- simulation study of effects of perturbation wavelengths and initial Reynolds numbers on the transition to turbulence of a heptane/ nitrogen mixing layer at supercritical pressure. The governing equations for the simulations were the same as those of related prior studies reported in NASA Tech Briefs. Two-dimensional (2D) simulations were performed with initially imposed spanwise perturbations whereas three-dimensional (3D) simulations had both streamwise and spanwise initial perturbations.

Posted in: Briefs

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