Tech Briefs

Improved Interactive Medical-Imaging System

Complex surgery can be simulated collaboratively at multiple locations in real time. An improved computational-simulation system for interactive medical imaging has been invented. The system displays high-resolution, three-dimensional-appearing images of anatomical objects based on data acquired by such techniques as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI). The system enables users to manipulate the data to obtain a variety of views — for example, to display cross sections in specified planes or to rotate images about specified axes. Relative to prior such systems, this system offers enhanced capabilities for synthesizing images of surgical cuts and for collaboration by users at multiple, remote computing sites.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs

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Predicting Accumulations of Ice on Aerodynamic Surfaces

LEWICE is a computer program that predicts the accumulation of ice on two-dimensional aerodynamic surfaces under conditions representative of the flight of an aircraft through an icing cloud. The software first calculates the airflow surrounding the body of interest, then uses the airflow to compute the trajectories of water droplets that impinge on the surface of the body. The droplet trajectories are also used to compute impingement limits and local collection efficiencies, which are used in subsequent ice-growth calculations and are also useful for designing systems to protect against icing. Next, the software predicts the shape of accumulating ice by modeling transfers of mass and energy in small control volumes. The foregoing computations are repeated over several computational time steps until the total icing exposure time is reached. Results of computations by LEWICE have been compared with an extensive database of measured ice shapes obtained from experiments, and have been shown to closely approximate those shapes under most conditions of interest to the aviation community.

Posted in: Software, Briefs, TSP

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Spore-Forming Bacteria That Resist Sterilization

A report presents a phenotypic and genotypic characterization of a bacterial species that has been found to be of the genus Bacillus and has been tentatively named B. odysseensis because it was isolated from surfaces of the Mars Odyssey spacecraft as part of continuing research on techniques for sterilizing spacecraft to prevent contamination of remote planets by terrestrial species. B. odysseensis is a Gram-positive, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacterium that forms round spores. The exosporium has been conjectured to play a role in the elevated resistance to sterilization. Research on the exosporium is proposed as a path toward improved means of sterilization, medical treatment, and prevention of biofouling.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Manufacturing Process Management for Test

Test is critical to the board manufacturing process. Effective test ensures quality and customer satisfaction both for the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and the CEM (contract electronics manufacturer). By isolating defects before product shipment, test minimizes returns and related costs. But test takes time, and the cost can be prohibitive.

Posted in: Briefs

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Analyzing Aeroelasticity in Turbomachines

ASTROP2-LE is a computer program that predicts flutter and forced responses of blades, vanes, and other components of such turbomachines as fans, compressors, and turbines. ASTROP2-LE is based on the ASTROP2 program, developed previously for analysis of stability of turbomachinery components. In developing ASTROP2-LE, ASTROP2 was modified to include a capability for modeling forced responses. The program was also modified to add a capability for analysis of aeroelasticity with mistuning and unsteady aerodynamic solutions from another program, LINFLX2D, that solves the linearized Euler equations of unsteady two-dimensional flow. Using LINFLX2D to calculate unsteady aerodynamic loads, it is possible to analyze effects of transonic flow on flutter and forced response. ASTROP2-LE can be used to analyze subsonic, transonic, and supersonic aerodynamics and structural mistuning for rotors with blades of differing structural properties. It calculates the aerodynamic damping of a blade system operating in airflow so that stability can be assessed. The code also predicts the magnitudes and frequencies of the unsteady aerodynamic forces on the airfoils of a blade row from incoming wakes. This information can be used in high-cycle-fatigue analysis to predict the fatigue lives of the blades.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Acoustical Applications of the HHT Method

A document discusses applications of a method based on the Huang-Hilbert transform (HHT). The method was described, without the HHT name, in "Analyzing Time Series Using EMD and Hilbert Spectra" (GSC-13817), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 24, No. 10 (October 2000), page 63. To recapitulate: The method is especially suitable for analyzing time-series data that represent nonstationary and nonlinear physical phenomena. The method involves the empirical mode decomposition (EMD), in which a complicated signal is decomposed into a finite number of functions, called "intrinsic mode functions" (IMFs), that admit well-behaved Hilbert transforms. The HHT consists of the combination of EMD and Hilbert spectral analysis.

Posted in: Briefs

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Developments at the Advanced Design Technologies Testbed

A report presents background and historical information, as of August 1998, on the Advanced Design Technologies Testbed (ADTT) at Ames Research Center. The ADTT is characterized as an activity initiated to facilitate improvements in aerospace design processes; provide a proving ground for product-development methods and computational software and hardware; develop "bridging" methods, software, and hardware that can facilitate integrated solutions to design problems; and disseminate lessons learned to the aerospace and information-technology communities.

Posted in: Briefs

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