Special Coverage

Clamshell Sampler
Shape Memory Alloy Rock Splitter
Deployable Extra-Vehicular Activity Platform (DEVAP) for Planetary Surfaces
2016 Create The Future Design Contest Open For Entries
The Future of Exploration Starts With 3D Printing
Home

Flash LIDAR Emulator

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia The Flash LIDAR Emulator is a computer system designed to be functionally equivalent to a Flash LIDAR sensor camera. The system has the same hardware interfaces as the sensor, and produces images of comparable quality to the flash LIDAR sensor in real time (30 frames per second). The emulator is then used as a substitute for the LIDAR camera during development and testing of the software algorithms and hardware systems that interface with the camera. The emulator software was custom-developed entirely in-house, and integrates tools and techniques from several computer fields, including parallel processing, ray-tracing, geometric optimization, CPU optimization, CameraLink interfaces, lowlevel networking, and GPU-based general computing. The software was designed to run on an 8-processor Dell workstation with an NVIDIA graphics card to support general-purpose GPU computing, and CameraLink and network interfaces to support the hardware interfaces of the Flash LIDAR camera.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics

Read More >>

Nanotube-Based Device Cooling System

These cooling systems can be used for electronic devices in the computer manufacturing, thermal management, and semiconductor industries. Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are being studied for use in high-strength/lowweight composites and other applications. Recent research on thermal dissipation materials for high-power electronic devices is generating a lot of interest in various industries. Carbon nano tubes have attracted much attention due to their extraordinary mechanical and unique electronic properties. Computer chips have been subjected to higher and higher thermal loads, and it is challenging to find new ways to perform heat dissipation. As a result, heat dissipation demand for computer systems is increasing dramatically.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronic Components, Thermal Management

Read More >>

Architecture for an Intermediate-Frequency Digital Downconversion and Data Distribution Network

Developed originally for Deep Space Network downlink receivers, applications include high-speed digital receivers for cellular networks. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) is looking to modernize aging downlink receivers for telemetry, tracking, and radio science. It is looking to replace multiple types of custom-built, special-purpose receivers with a unified receiver architecture that can support the various downlink data types. As part of this modernization, it is desired to only digitize the data once and then distribute the data using commercial switching network technology to multiple back-end receiver processing hardware and software. The main problem to be solved is how to distribute efficiently and flexibly high-bandwidth intermediate-frequency (100 to 600 MHz) digitized signals across a signal processing center for use in the DSN.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics

Read More >>

Reliability Assessment of CCGA 1752 Advanced Interconnect Kyocera Packages for Extreme Thermal Environments

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Ceramic Column Grid Array (CCGA) packages have been increasing in use based on advantages such as high interconnect density, very good thermal and electrical performance, compatibility with standard surface-mount packaging assembly processes, etc. These packages are to be used in space applications such as logic and microprocessor functions, telecommunications, flight avionics, and payload electronics. As these packages tend to have less solder joint strain relief than leaded packages, the reliability of CCGA packages is very important for short- and long-term space missions. The assessment of reliability of CCGA 1752 Kyocera packages is of paramount importance to space applications.

Posted in: Briefs

Read More >>

Pressure Sensor Using Piezoelectric Bending Resonators

This technology applies to any application in which high-pressure measurement is required. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A pressure sensor was developed based on a piezoelectric bending resonator. The resonator is covered and mechanically coupled with a sealed enclosure. The impedance spectrum of the resonator changes with the deformation of the enclosure induced by pressure or force applied to the enclosure. The changes in the impedance can be mapped to exchanges in the external environment, and the shifts in the resonance can be used to track the pressure.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors

Read More >>

Using a Ubiquitous Conductor to Power and Interrogate Wireless Passive Sensors and Construct a Sensor Network

Sensor nodes are used in health monitoring of aircraft and vehicles, building monitoring, human activity monitoring, and information collection for fire and disaster rescue. Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia Many methods have been developed for interrogation of wireless passive sensors. Surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensors and RF reflection sensors can receive and reflect electronic magnetic waves that are broadcast and received by the antennas. The interrogation distance can range from several meters to tens of meters. These previously developed technologies have limitations. The signal frequency is very high (usually at GHz level), which increases the difficulties in signal processing and interrogation system development, and the interrogation distance is limited by the power attenuation in the space. Longer interrogation distance requires higher-power-density electromagnetic (EM) waves in signal broadcasting, which increases the EMI hazard to environments.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors

Read More >>

Full-Field Inverse Finite Element Method for Deformed Shape- and Stress-Sensing of Plate and Shell Structures

Real-time reconstruction of full-field structural displacements helps provide feedback to the actuation and control systems of aerospace vehicles with morphed-wing architecture. Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia Structural health management systems that, by way of real-time monitoring, help mitigate accidents due to structural failures, will become integral technologies of the next-generation aerospace vehicles. Advanced sensor arrays and signal processing technologies are utilized to provide optimally distributed in-situ sensor information related to the states of strain, temperature, and aerodynamic pressure. To process the massive quantities of measured data, and to infer physically admissible structural behavior, requires robust and computationally efficient physics-based algorithms.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors

Read More >>

The U.S. Government does not endorse any commercial product, process, or activity identified on this web site.