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Create the Future & Win Big!

The 2007 Create the Future Design Contest, presented by SolidWorks Corp. and NASA Tech Briefs, is open for entries in these categories: Machinery, Equipment, and Component Technology; Consumer Products; Medical; Safety and Security; Transportation; and Sustainable Technologies. The contest is co-sponsored by COMSOL Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. So, exercise your imagination and submit your innovative design ideas today. All entries must be received by October 15, 2007. For guidelines, tips on winning, and the official entry form, go here.

Posted in: Blog

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Software Tech Briefs



Posted in: Blog

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A Brighter Choice for Safety

LUNAplast™ EXIT signs illuminate without the need for electricity, maintenance, or a power connection.Emergency exit signs can be lifesavers, but only if they remain visible when people need them. All too often, power losses or poor visibility can render the signs ineffective. Luna Technologies International, Inc., of Kent, Washington, is shining new light on this safety issue. The company’s LUNAplast™ product line illuminates without the need for electricity, maintenance, or a power connection. LUNAplast, which benefited from tests conducted at Johnson Space Center, is so successful that NASA engineers selected it for the emergency exit pathway indicators on the International Space Station (ISS).

Posted in: NTB, Spinoff

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Images Revealing More Than a Thousand Words

A unique sensor developed by ProVision Technologies, a NASA Commercial Space Center housed by the Institute for Technology Development, produces hyperspectral images with cutting-edge applications in food safety, skin health, forensics, and anti-terrorism activities. While hyperspectral imaging technology continues to make advances with ProVision Technologies, it has also been transferred to the commercial sector through a spinoff company, Photon Industries, Inc.

Posted in: NTB, Spinoff

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Digital Library of NACA Reports

Aging paper NACA documents are scanned, then disseminated in electronic form. The NACA Technical Report Server (NACATRS) is both a node in the NASA Technical Report Server and a stand-alone World Wide Web (WWW) site. The NACATRS is dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of reports produced by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs, TSP

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A Method for Designing Low-Pass FIR Digital Filters

Time-domain filters are first constructed in the frequency domain, using special window functions. A class of finite-impulse-response (FIR) digital filters has been developed to perform certain frequency-limiting, decimation, and differentiation (with respect to time) functions on a time series of data samples. The method is implemented by use of design equations that contain parameters that can be adjusted to obtain the desired functionality while limiting such undesired effects as aliasing and gain ripple. The original application is processing of a time series of raw range data from the proposed Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), in which microwave phase tracking between two small spacecraft orbiting the Earth would yield the time-tagged raw range data, which would be processed to extract information on the structure of the gravitational field of the Earth. The method is general enough to be applicable in other situations that involve similar signal-processing requirements.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs, TSP

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High-Temperature Switched-Reluctance Electric Motor

Motors like this one would be incorporated into gas turbines as starter/generators. An eight-pole radial magnetic bearing has been modified into a switched-reluctance electric motor capable of operating at a speed as high as 8,000 rpm at a temperature as high as 1,000 °F (Å540 °C). The motor (see figure) is an experimental prototype of starter-motor/ generator units that have been proposed to be incorporated into advanced gas turbine engines and that could operate without need for lubrication or active cooling.

Posted in: Mechanics, Mechanical Components, Briefs

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