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Physical Characterization of Radiated and Non-Radiated Materials to Temperatures Less than 50 K

Coefficient of thermal expansion and Young’s modulus of the materials are determined via custom analytical equipment that can allow temperatures down to 20 K. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Solar-array panels will experience very low temperatures of 50 K for the proposed Europa Clipper Mission (ECM). Solar-array panels will also undergo thermal cycling from 50 K to 133 K during the mission due to Jovian eclipsing. Unfortunately, there was no knowledge of the physical properties of the materials planned to be used down to ≈50 K, making it difficult to assess their reliability under such extreme cryogenic temperature conditions.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Data Acquisition, Sensors

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Worldview Satellite Imagery Browsing and Downloading Tool

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland Worldview is a software tool designed for interactively browsing and downloading imagery from NASA’s Earth observing satellites. Building upon a set of open source mapping and user interface libraries, it provides an environment to visually discover interesting phenomena as observed by NASA satellites, then download the data for further analysis. It was originally designed to address the needs of the near-real-time applications community to provide relevant information for time-critical scenarios such as wildfire and flood management. As such, satellite imagery is available to be viewed in Worldview within four hours of observation; the imagery can be viewed in its highest, or native, resolution, and the imagery can be panned and zoomed rapidly through space and time to find the most relevant/cloud-free information available.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Method and Device for Biometric Subject Verification and Identification

This technique can be used by homeland security personnel, in airports, and by law enforcement for identity verification. Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California This invention allows the verification and identification of a person based on features extracted from one or more electrocardiographic leads or channels. For identification purposes, the invention can be used to identify a subject from a group of known subjects. For verification purposes, the invention can be used to allow access to secured facilities or remote services over the Internet to allow access to or control of computers, cars, airplanes, ships, and submarines; to enable/disable electronic alarms; to open safes or security deposits; and to enable guns and special weapons that require restricted access.

Posted in: Briefs

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SMAP Radiometer Instrument Science Signal and Data Processing Software (SPS)

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland This technology was developed for the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission and for the IRAD-FY13 Technology for Radiometer RFI Noise Detection & Mitigation Based on HHT2. Spacecraft beyond the present state-of-the-art passive radiometry will make use of natural thermal emissions to remotely sense Earth phenomena of interest to science (soil moisture, for example) in the technologically challenging microwave L-band. In this 1.4-GHz band (used by SMAP), a terrestrial source thermal signal emission to space suffers less attenuation by the intervening atmosphere. Unfortunately, the relative insensitivity of the L-band region to atmospheric effects also makes it an extremely attractive spectral range for wireless communications and radars that are causing radio frequency interference (RFI) with the spaceflight science radiometer instruments’ terrestrial phenomenon signal of interest, even as this band is protected by radio-communication regulations. Detection and excision or mitigation of the RFI-contaminated measurements is a challenge to the state of the art.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Motion Blur Evaluation Techniques

These techniques model human sensitivity to moving spatial patterns to evaluate and improve display performance. Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California Motion blur results when a moving edge travels across a display, such as a liquid crystal display (LCD), that has limited temporal response. It is important to be able to quantify this effect in visual terms. The techniques described in this work provide methods for estimating the strength of the motion blur artifact in perceptual units of JNDs (just noticeable differences).

Posted in: Briefs, Optics

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Illuminating Permanently Shadowed Lunar Regions Using a Solar Sail

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Sunlight can be reflected into permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) using S/C solar sails in order to detect and confirm the presence and distribution of water ice cold-trapped in PSRs in lunar polar craters. This reflected light is then viewed with an optical spectrometer.

Posted in: Briefs, Optics

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Hardening Electronics Against Difficult High-Temperature Environments

This technology provides extended performance for enhanced digital electronics while significantly increasing mean time between failures (MTBF). Silicon Space Technology (SST), Austin, Texas A new technology delivers temperature hardening in a number of products at the CMOS process level while increasing overall product reliability and longevity. Providing solutions that operate successfully in extreme temperature applications in the oil and gas, space, automotive, aerospace, and medical industries, as well as broader applications like industrial automation and high-performance computing, is paramount. As a result of the technology, system engineers are able to extend the limits of what’s possible in designing ruggedized and broader electronics for today’s extreme and difficult environments.

Posted in: Briefs

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