Tech Briefs

A Novel Orbiting Cloud Imager System for IR/UV/ X-Ray Bands

Applications include telecommunications involving satellite links, agile military communication, reconnaissance, and surveillance of ground assets from orbit.Typically, the cost of a spaceborne imaging system is driven by the size and mass of the primary aperture. Innovative solutions for imagers that are less complex and are lightweight are very desirable. Currently, telescopes such as JWST and ATLAST are very expensive and very complex.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Downsizing, Optics, Lightweighting, Satellites


Launch Trajectory Acquisition System (LTAS) Simulator

The objective of the LTAS Simulator application is to transmit one or more streams of simulated LTAS data frames in User Datagram Protocol (UDP) packets to the network. Each LTAS data frame is filled with simulated data values, with each data field determined using several methods: 1) constant value from the user’s input via a graphical user interface (GUI), 2) internal generated counter from a start value, 3) internally generated random value using uniform probability that is set by the user, and 4) internally generated modified value using uniform probability that is set by the user.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Trajectory control, Computer simulation, Spacecraft guidance, Human machine interface (HMI), Displays


Active Remote Sensing Radiometer

This technology can be used for security screening and security imaging, as well as automotive navigation in dust and fog conditions where machine vision performs poorly.Millimeter-wave (mm-wave) imaging techniques are already a popular solution for imaging through dust and fog. While mm-wave offers excellent penetration to dust when compared with infrared or optical sensing, the longer wavelengths create many problems associated with the specular response of surfaces at mm-wave. Generally, at mm-wave, the geometry and orientation of the target object has a larger influence on captured contrast than material properties by several orders of magnitude. While these effects can be somewhat mitigated with a radar imager, there is still a large contrast dependence on beam-target angle, and images are still entirely derived from geometry instead of material compositions.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors, Imaging and visualization, Radar, Remote sensing, Thermodynamics


Inductive Monitoring System Graphical User Interface (IMS GUI) for Processing, Analyzing, and Cleaning Datasets

The Inductive Monitoring System (IMS) software uses data mining techniques to automatically characterize nominal system operation by analyzing archived system data. These nominal characterizations are then used to perform near-realtime system health monitoring or analyze archived system data to detect anomalies in system behavior as compared with previous nominal behavior. To operate most effectively for system monitoring, the archived system data used to build the system models for IMS should contain only nominal operations data. Most available data sets contain contaminated data, data transients, or other data that does not represent nominal operations. Finding and removing these undesirable off-nominal data points manually is an error-prone and time-consuming task. Along with a variety of data extraction and program controls, the IMS graphical user interface (IMS GUI) allows the user to visually examine results of IMS monitoring analyses, and graphically select segments of data and outlier data points using a mouse or similar input device. The GUI will then automatically process the candidate dataset to remove undesired data points, leaving a clean dataset containing nominal data to use for building IMS system monitoring models.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Computer software and hardware, Human machine interface (HMI), Displays, Vehicle health management, Data management, Reliability


Computer Models Could Help Design Physical Therapy Regimens

After a stroke, patients typically have trouble walking, and few are able to regain the gait they had before suffering a stroke. Researchers funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) in Bethesda, MD have developed a computational walking model that could help guide patients to their best possible recovery after a stroke.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Computer simulation, Mathematical models, Kinematics, Medical equipment and supplies, Biomechanics


Mechanical Metamaterials Block Symmetry of Motion

These nonreciprocal metamaterials can benefit applications such as soft robotics, prosthetics, and energy harvesting.Engineers and scientists at the University of Texas at Austin and the AMOLF institute in the Netherlands have invented mechanical metamaterials that easily transfer motion in one direction while blocking it in the other. The material can be thought of as a mechanical one-way shield that blocks energy from coming in but transmits it going out the other side. The researchers developed the nonreciprocal mechanical materials using metamaterials, which are synthetic materials with properties that cannot be found in nature.

Posted in: Briefs, Automation, Product development, Fabrication, Materials properties


Portable Superconductivity Systems for Small Motors

Substituting for a conventional permanent magnet, this system can produce a 3-tesla magnetic field.Superconductivity, where electrical currents travel unhindered through a material, has many practical uses. It is used in applications extending from MRIs in hospitals to the cavities of particle accelerators. However, practical exploitation of superconductivity also presents many challenges.

Posted in: Briefs, Automation, Downsizing, Off-board vehicle charging systems, Nuclear energy, Conductivity, Magnetic materials, Electric motors


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