Physical Sciences

Automated, Ultra-Sterile Solid Sample Handling and Analysis on a Chip

This technique could be used in the pharmaceutical industry for the automated manipulation of small amounts of powdered drugs. There are no existing ultra-sterile lab-on- a-chip systems that can accept solid samples and perform complete chemical analyses without human intervention. The proposed solution is to demonstrate completely automated lab-on- a-chip manipulation of powdered solid samples, followed by on-chip liquid extraction and chemical analysis.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Test & Measurement, Briefs

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Spectrally and Radiometrically Stable, Wideband, Onboard Calibration Source

The Onboard Calibration (OBC) source incorporates a medical/scientific-grade halogen source with a precisely designed fiber coupling system, and a fiber-based intensity-monitoring feedback loop that results in radiometric and spectral stabilities to within

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Test & Measurement, Briefs

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Advanced Magnetic Materials Methods and Numerical Models for Fluidization in Microgravity and Hypogravity

Solid wastes can be gasified for the recovery of valuable resources. To support long-duration manned missions in space such as a permanent lunar base, Mars transit, or Mars Surface Mission, improved methods for the treatment of solid wastes, particularly methods that recover valuable resources, are needed. The ability to operate under microgravity and hypogravity conditions is essential to meet this objective. The utilization of magnetic forces to manipulate granular magnetic media has provided the means to treat solid wastes under variable gravity conditions by filtration using a consolidated magnetic media bed followed by thermal processing of the solid wastes in a fluidized bed reactor.

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Data Transfer for Multiple Sensor Networks Over a Broad Temperature Range

Unique codes may be generated to distinguish among the signals from sensors coming in via a common medium. At extreme temperatures, cryogenic and over 300 °C, few electronic components are available to support intelligent data transfer over a common, linear combining medium. This innovation allows many sensors to operate on the same wire bus (or on the same airwaves or optical channel: any linearly combining medium), transmitting simultaneously, but individually recoverable at a node in a cooler part of the test area.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs

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Using Combustion Synthesis to Reinforce Berms and Other Regolith Structures

New structures will require a minimum of maintenance and upkeep. The Moonraker Excavator and other tools under development for use on the Moon, Mars, and asteroids will be employed to construct a number of civil engineering projects and to mine the soil. Mounds of loose soil will be subject to the local transport mechanisms plus artificial mechanisms such as blast effects from landers and erosion from surface vehicles. Some of these structures will require some permanence, with a minimum of maintenance and upkeep.

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Three-Axis Attitude Estimation With a High-Bandwidth Angular Rate Sensor

Commercial applications include pointing of cameras on space telescopes, spacecraft instrument payloads, moving vehicles, and surveillance from airborne platforms. A continuing challenge for modern instrument pointing control systems is to meet the increasingly stringent pointing performance requirements imposed by emerging advanced scientific, defense, and civilian payloads. Instruments such as adaptive optics telescopes, space interferometers, and optical communications make unprecedented demands on precision pointing capabilities. A cost-effective method was developed for increasing the pointing performance for this class of NASA applications.

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Visible-Infrared Hyperspectral Image Projector

The VisIR HIP generates spatially-spectrally complex scenes. The generated scenes simulate real-world targets viewed by various remote sensing instruments. The VisIR HIP consists of two subsystems: a spectral engine and a spatial engine. The spectral engine generates spectrally complex uniform illumination that spans the wavelength range between 380 nm and 1,600 nm. The spatial engine generates two-dimensional gray-scale scenes. When combined, the two engines are capable of producing two-dimensional scenes with a unique spectrum at each pixel. The VisIR HIP can be used to calibrate any spectrally sensitive remote-sensing instrument. Tests were conducted on the Wide-field Imaging Interferometer Testbed at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

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