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Posted in: Blog

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Lower-Dark-Current, Higher-Blue-Response CMOS Imagers

Semiconductor junctions are relocated away from Si/SiO2 interfaces. Several improved designs for complementary metal oxide/semiconductor (CMOS) integrated- circuit image detectors have been developed, primarily to reduce dark currents (leakage currents) and secondarily to increase responses to blue light and increase signal- handling capacities, relative to those of prior CMOS imagers. The main conclusion that can be drawn from a study of the causes of dark currents in prior CMOS imagers is that dark currents could be reduced by relocating p/n junctions away from Si/SiO2 interfaces. In addition to reflecting this conclusion, the improved designs include several other features to counteract dark-current mechanisms and enhance performance.

Posted in: Semiconductors & ICs, Briefs

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A Data Type for Efficient Representation of Other Data Types

Some obstacles to programming of parallel computers are removed. A self-organizing, monomorphic data type denoted a sequence has been conceived to address certain concerns (summarized below) that arise in programming parallel computers. [“Sequence” as used here should not be confused with “sequence” as the word is commonly understood or with “sequence” as used elsewhere to denote another, polymorphic data type that is also relevant to computer programming.] A sequence in the present sense can be regarded abstractly as a vector, set, bag, queue, or other construct. A sequence is defined in terms of the behavior of the operators that can be applied to it without any foreknowledge of the underpinnings of its representation or particular implementation.

Posted in: Briefs

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Two-Camera Acquisition and Tracking of a Flying Target

An unanticipated moving target can be automatically spotted and tracked. A method and apparatus have been developed to solve the problem of automated acquisition and tracking, from a location on the ground, of a luminous moving target in the sky. The method involves the use of two electronic cameras: (1) a stationary camera having a wide field of view, positioned and oriented to image the entire sky; and (2) a camera that has a much narrower field of view (a few degrees wide) and is mounted on a two-axis gimbal. The wide-field-of-view stationary camera is used to initially identify the target against the background sky. So that the approximate position of the target can be determined, pixel locations on the image-detector plane in the stationary camera are calibrated with respect to azimuth and elevation. The approximate target position is used to initially aim the gimballed narrow-field-of-view camera in the approximate direction of the target. Next, the narrow-field-of view camera locks onto the target image, and thereafter the gimbals are actuated as needed to maintain lock and thereby track the target with precision greater than that attainable by use of the stationary camera.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Visual Data Analysis for Satellites

The Visual Data Analysis Package is a collection of programs and scripts that facilitate visual analysis of data available from NASA and NOAA satellites, as well as dropsonde, buoy, and conventional in-situ observations. The package features utilities for data extraction, data quality control, statistical analysis, and data visualization.

Posted in: Briefs

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Low-Cost LED Lighting



Posted in: Blog

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Bill Thigpen, Engineering Branch Chief of NASA’s Advanced Supercomputing Division

Ames Research Center As Engineering Branch Chief for NASA’s Advanced Supercomputing Division, Bill Thigpen led the team that built and deployed the 10,240-processor Columbia supercomputer in just 120 days. Listed as one of the world’s fastest and most powerful supercomputers, Columbia is just part of the computing resources currently being managed by Mr. Thigpen.

Posted in: Who's Who

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