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Fiber Metal Laminates Made by the VARTM Process

Fiber metal laminates combine the best properties of the metal and composite. Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia Fiber metal laminates (FMLs) are multicomponent materials utilizing metals, fibers, and matrix resins. Tailoring their properties is readily achievable by varying one or more of these components. Two new processes for manufacturing FMLs using vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM) have been developed.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Method to Produce Copper Nanowires for Interconnect Applications

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California Copper replaced aluminum nearly two decades ago as interconnect material in integrated circuit manufacturing due to its better electrical conductivity. The size of the interconnect wire has been steadily decreasing as Moore’s law has been progressing through various feature size generations. The diameter of the interconnect structure is further expected to decrease as silicon technology is poised to march through a few more generations. Alternatives to copper have been reported—notably, materials such as carbon nanotubes. Their success has been limited, and carbon nanotubes have not been integrated into manufacturing practice.

Posted in: Briefs

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Web Application: Ground Hardware Management Tool

John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida An integrated ground support equipment (GSE) tracking and management tool is designed for tracking and managing GSE data used in support of KSC/Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) planning and launch campaigns. This software (the Ground Hardware Management Tool, GHMT) will be fully integrated with the Ground Operations Planning Database (GOPDb) to provide a complete ground operations planning solution.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers

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Bird Vision System

This system is applicable to commercial airports and military airfields where the likelihood of bird strikes is high, and for environmental studies. John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida About 2.5 seconds after the launch of STS-114, the first Return to Flight launch after the Columbia accident, a large bird struck the external tank and fell into the exhaust plume. While this particular bird strike did not threaten the vehicle because it did not strike the orbiter, it did raise awareness of the threat of avian fauna present at launch. In response to the avian threat, a Bird Radar system was developed to detect birds above the launch pad. Because of interference with launch systems, the radar system could not span closer than a few hundred feet above the pad. There was a gap region that would not be visible with the radar.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers

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Fully Implicit Ablation and Thermal Analysis Program, Version 3 (FIAT v3)

The program is very stable and robust for application to both robotic and crewed vehicles entering a planetary atmosphere from space. Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California FIAT v3 simulates one-dimensional thermal energy transport through a multilayer stack of thermal protection materials, bonding materials, metallic or composite structures, air gaps, and/or insulations. The outer surface encounters aerothermal heating from hypersonic flow, and the inner surface may have various boundary conditions such as assigned temperature history, insulated, or convective cooling. The heated outer surface can ablate, and materials can decompose (pyrolyze) in-depth.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers

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CFD Utility Software Library

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California Originating as the Aerodynamics Division Software Library of the 1980s and -90s, this software is a collection of more than 100 software applications, many of them for manipulating the grids and flow solutions associated with computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Underlying these applications are about 30 libraries containing more than 1,200 subroutines, functions, or modules, mostly written in Fortran [90] with a small collection of C translations. Wherever possible, the software is generalized with reuse and portability in mind. These tools often operate on files in PLOT3D and/or Tecplot format, which represent de facto standards at many sites within academia, NASA, and industry. Utilities for treating unstructured data are also included along with a collection of programming tools for manipulating character data. Library names such as geomlib, interplib, optlib, and searchlib suggest the scope of numerics covered, while I/O packages such as tecplot_io, triangulation_io, and xyzq_io can ease development of new applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers

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Improved Detection of Kidney Stones Using S-mode Ultrasound

Steps were developed to improve kidney stone detection relative to surrounding tissue. Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas Ultrasound has been a useful tool in the detection of kidney stones. It is a low-cost solution that does not require ionizing radiation that would be harmful to vulnerable populations such as children and recurrent stone formers. However, it suffers from a broad range of sensitivity (78 to 96%) and specificity (31 to 100%) in the detection of stones.

Posted in: Briefs

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