Tech Briefs

An On-Demand Gas Generator for CubeSat or Low-Mass Propulsion Systems

This system is applicable to aerospace, automotive, ocean/marine, or limited-resource environments. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California There are difficulties related to storing enough gas to propel a CubeSat within an onboard tank. Currently, a CubeSat requiring a large volume of gas for extended propulsion (outside Earth orbit) would need to store liquefied gases that require heavy-bodied tanks that add significant weight to the spacecraft. Safe storage of gases is difficult and not suited well to the CubeSat platform.

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Suppression of Unwanted Noise and Howl in a Test Configuration Where Jet Exhaust is Discharged Into a Duct

This method is permanent to a test facility, and does not need to be changed from test to test. John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio This technology is based on a model-scale experiment simulating a test facility where an engine exhaust is discharged into a duct. Such a configuration sometimes encounters unwanted noise in the form of high-amplitude spectral levels in certain frequency ranges or, in worst cases, a howl that can raise structural concern. The innovation involves placement of a velocity fluctuation damper at the end of the duct. Such a damper is shown to suppress not only the broadband unwanted noise, but also the howl when it occurs. Even though placing the damper on the upstream end of the duct works, the preferred location is the downstream end.

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Distributed, Fast, Intelligent Infrastructure Health Monitoring System

Improve operation and reduce maintenance costs with intelligent systems. Stennis Space Center, Mississippi NASA needed an innovative solution to conduct system assessments of frameworks and to characterize subsystems of interest. This tool would be required to determine anomalies; examine their causes (root-cause analysis); make predictive statements (prognostics); provide intelligent health monitoring with incremental knowledge for working with unknown scenarios; and provide maintenance support for a complex collection of systems, subsystems, and elements in rocket engine test platforms.

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Net Radiation and Evapotranspiration (Rn/ET) Download Product Tools and Interfaces

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California This toolset automates downloads of global, multi-year Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and related data necessary for performing net radiation and evapotranspiration (Rn/ET) modeling, and provides an application programming interface (API) for simple and reliable access of these data from Python or MATLAB applications. Several useful utilities for validating and curating/indexing the downloaded data are also included.

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Software Tools for Fault Management Technologies

Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama Several key areas of improvement in effect design, development, verification, and validation of fault management processes have been identified in NASA’s Fault Management Handbook. The majority of these guidelines are focused on making the modeling tools more user friendly and reducing the modeling cost and time, as well as enhancing the analytic capabilities.

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Tool to Analyze a Leaking Source of Saturated Ammonia

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas Containers of ammonia are used to supply cooling to different modules of the International Space Station. Each container has an attachment piece used to extract the ammonia. The attachment piece may allow ammonia to exit when not connected, and may also allow ammonia to exit to an outside area even when connected. The ammonia that has exited the container may accumulate in different compartments of the spacecraft. The ammonia is not desirable when accumulated in a compartment with a certain concentration.

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Mixed-Integer Convex Programming Algorithm for Constrained Attitude Guidance

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A general problem in spaceflight since its beginning is attitude guidance: how to turn a spacecraft — also called a slew — so as to point science instruments at their targets. The slew must be done while avoiding pointing sensitive science instruments (e.g., a camera) and attitude sensors (e.g., a star tracker) at bright objects in the sky (e.g., the Sun or the Moon).

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