Environment

System for In-Situ Detection of Plant Exposure to Trichloroethylene (TCE)

The system can scan the surface of a leaf to quickly detect the presence or absence of TCE without damaging the plant.In collaboration with the State University of New York and the Naval Research Laboratory, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center is developing a hyperspectral estimator to detect trichloroethylene (TCE) in plants. TCE has been a widely used industrial solvent known to be toxic to humans and animals. Although its use and disposal have become more restricted in recent years, TCE is one of the more prevalent groundwater contaminants in the United States. Current methods exist to identify the locations of TCE at contaminated sites; however, these methods typically require destructive sampling techniques as well as time-consuming and expensive laboratory analysis. In contrast, the hyperspectral estimator is being designed as a nondestructive, quick, and lower-cost way to screen for TCE across large areas. It works by using spectral signatures to determine the presence/absence of TCE in the leaves of plants that may have absorbed the contaminant from surrounding groundwater.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing

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Time-Shifted PN Codes for CW LIDAR, RADAR, and SONAR

Algorithm eliminates channel interference and artifacts from lidar return signals.NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a waveform processing technique to eliminate signal noise resulting from sources of interference (scatterers) that can degrade continuous wave (CW) lidar return data. The algorithm was developed to enable CW lidar measurement of atmospheric gas concentrations as part of NASA’s Active Sensing of CO2 Emissions over Nights, Days, and Seasons (ASCENDS) program, but can be used to test any chemical species, such as poison gas or other trace elements in the atmosphere. The algorithm demonstrated reduction in interference resulting from thin cloud layers and other scatterers. The improvement holds the potential for significant advancement of CW lidar systems that are less expensive, of simpler design, and can be operated at higher average power than pulsed lidar systems.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing

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Data Informatics Infrastructure for the Megacities Carbon Project

With the goal of assessing the anthropogenic carbon-emission impact of urban centers on local and global climates, the Megacities Carbon Project has been building carbon-monitoring capabilities for the past two years around the Los Angeles metropolitan area as a pilot effort. Hundreds of megabytes of data are generated daily and distributed among data centers local to the sensor networks involved. These remotely generated data are then aggregated into a centralized data infrastructure located at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to provide collaboration opportunities on the data as well as generate refined data products through centralized data processing pipelines.

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Activated Metal Treatment System (AMTS) for Paints

A safe and effective method for removing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) seeks partners interested in the commercial application of the Activated Metal Treatment System (AMTS) for treating polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in paints. NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is offering companies licensing or partnering opportunities in the development of this innovative remediation technology.

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Airborne Elastic Backscatter and Raman Polychromator for Ash Detection

Volcanic ash is a significant hazard to aircraft engines and electronics. It has caused damage to unwary aircraft and disrupted air travel for thousands of travelers, costing millions of dollars. The small, jagged fragments of rocks, minerals, and volcanic glass that constitute volcanic ash are about the size of sand and silt. Volcanic ash is hard, does not dissolve in water, is extremely abrasive and corrosive, and conducts electricity when wet. The upper winds transport the particles away to eventual dispersal in an ash cloud. Ash clouds typically form above 20,000 feet, but the lower limit of the initial cloud depends on both the height of the volcanic vent and the vigor with which material is ejected from it.

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Daily Mesoscale Sea Surface Salinity from Evaporation and Precipitation

This model leads to a method for deriving sea surface salinity from evaporation and precipitation data at improved resolution. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Quantification of salinity is hampered by the lack of time and space resolution of existing measurements and models. At present, skin salinity measurements are available every few days with limited spatial resolution. Daily skin salinity products are full of gaps, which some applications can’t tolerate. Modeled salinity derived in the ocean mixed layer differs from remote sensing data of ocean skin layer salinity to a large extent for certain regions. The cool skin is a conductive layer in the upper few millimeters of the ocean within which transport of salt is dominated by vertical diffusion under the condition of weak to moderate winds. A technique to derive ocean skin layer salinity from satellite-based data for daily and 101 to 102 km scales was developed.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Measurements, Remote sensing, Water, Marine vehicles and equipment

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Software for Inferring the Aerosol Water and Soot Fractions from Remote Sensing Measurements

The technique uses the aerosol real refractive index. Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia Aerosol water content and soot concentrations are important components of aerosol forcing. Aerosols contain varying amounts of water depending upon their aerosol hygroscopicity, and anthropogenic aerosols are among the most hygroscopic aerosols; hence, it is important to properly model aerosol hygroscopic effects when computing the effect of anthropogenic aerosols upon the climate system. Soot is the dominant absorbing particulate, and atmospheric soot originates exclusively from fossil fuel burning and biomass burning.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Measurements, Computer software and hardware, Remote sensing, Air pollution, Water

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