Special Coverage

Home

Using ERF Devices To Control Deployments of Space Structures

A report proposes devices containing electrorheological fluids (ERFs) damper for controlling deployments of lightweight, flexible structures in outer space. The structures would include spring members that could be wound or compressed for compact stowage during transport. The ERF based damper would keep the structures compacted and/or regulate the speeds with which the structures would spring out for deployment. After deployment, ERF based dampening mechanism could be used to rigidize the structures or damp their vibrations. The report describes several potential variations on the basic concept of an ERF-controlled structural member, including compartmentalization of the interior volume to prevent total loss of the ERF in case of a leak and the use of multiple, individually addressable electrode pairs to enable more localized control.

Posted in: Mechanical Components, Briefs, TSP

Read More >>

Software for a GPS-Reflection Remote-Sensing System

A special-purpose software Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver designed for remote sensing with reflected GPS signals is described in “Delay/Doppler-Mapping GPS-Reflection Remote-Sensing System” (NPO-30385), which appears on the previous page. The input accepted by this program comprises raw (open-loop) digitized GPS signals sampled at a rate of about 20 MHz. The program processes the data samples to perform the following functions: detection of signals; tracking of phases and delays; mapping of delay, Doppler, and delay/Doppler waveforms; dual-frequency processing; coherent integrations as short as 125 μs; decoding of navigation messages; and precise time tagging of observable quantities. The software can perform these functions on all detectable satellite signals without dead time. Open-loop data collected over water, land, or ice and processed by this software can be further processed to extract geophysical information. Possible examples include mean sea height, wind speed and direction, and significant wave height (for observations over the ocean); bistatic-radar terrain images and measures of soil moisture and biomass (for observations over land); and estimates of ice age, thickness, and surface density (for observations over ice).

Posted in: Software, Briefs, TSP

Read More >>

Crystal Mystery Solved



Posted in: Blog

Read More >>

Tech Needs of the Week

A wide range of new processing and preparation technologies for use in pharmaceutical preparation is sought. Such technologies may enhance current chemistry processes such as finer milling that leads to faster in-process reactions. Or, the technologies may be applicable to pharmaceuticals after preparation, such as techniques for better tablet-forming, encapsulation techniques, or techniques for preparation of non-traditional delivery mechanisms. Technologies that offer improved shelf-life or transportation protection to the pharmaceutical irrespective of its eventual external packaging are preferable. Click here for more info.

Posted in: Blog

Read More >>

Next-Generation Car Engines Optimized to Improve Gas Mileage

This paper examines the simulation and thermal optimization of a wide-range oxygen sensor, which helps to regulate clean and efficient motor operation. The setup of the finite element model of the oxygen sensor is discussed in detail, along with how the sensor’s geometry and material properties were optimized for thermal loads that represented worst-case operating conditions. Developed by Delphi Corporation, a provider of mobile electronics and transportation components, the completed sensor design currently is being integrated into the next generation of car engines to increase fuel efficiency and reduce environmentally unfriendly exhaust emissions. Engines featuring these sensors are expected to be used in 2004.

Posted in: Software, Briefs

Read More >>

Software To Secure Distributed Propulsion Simulations

CORBASec brings role-based security to CORBA-object-wrapped simulations. Distributed-object computing systems are presented with many security threats, including network eavesdropping, message tampering, and communications middleware masquerading. NASA Glenn Research Center, and its industry partners, has taken an active role in mitigating the security threats associated with developing and operating their proprietary aerospace propulsion simulations. In particular, they are developing a collaborative Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) Security (CORBASec) test bed to secure their distributed aerospace propulsion simulations. Glenn has been working with its aerospace propulsion industry partners to deploy the Numerical Propulsion System Simulation (NPSS) object-based technology. NPSS is a program focused on reducing the cost and time in developing aerospace propulsion engines.

Posted in: Software, Briefs, TSP

Read More >>

Software for Displaying High-Frequency Test Data

An easy-to-use, intuitive computer program was written to satisfy a need of test operators and data requestors to quickly view and manipulate high-frequency test data recorded at the East and West Test Areas at Marshall Space Flight Center. By enabling rapid analysis, this program makes it possible to reduce times between test runs, thereby potentially reducing the overall cost of test operations. The program can be used to perform quick frequency analysis, using multiple fast- Fourier-transform windowing and amplitude options. The program can generate amplitude-versus-time plots with full zoom capabilities, frequency-component plots at specified time intervals, and waterfall plots (plots of spectral intensity versus frequency at successive small time intervals, showing the changing frequency components over time). There are options for printing of the plots and saving plot data as text files that can be imported into other application programs. The program can perform all of the aforementioned plotting and plot-data-handling functions on a relatively inexpensive computer; other software that performs the same functions requires computers with large amounts of power and memory.

Posted in: Software, Briefs

Read More >>