Special Coverage


Method of Water Regeneration From Waste and Cascade Distillation

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas Effective recovery of potable water from various streams and sources of wastewater, seawater, or contaminated water is a significant task for securing existence of human beings in space, terrestrial, and marine environments. Efficient purification of the wastewater is also a very important task for protection of the global environment. The existing and known methods of recovery of clean water from the wastewater are technically complicated, have low energy efficiency, consume processing material, and are bulky, heavy, and not cost effective.

Posted in: Briefs, Recycling Technologies


Reducing Power-On/Off Glitches in Precision DACs

Voltage glitches are common in a signal chain path, especially when the system is being powered up or down. Depending on the peak amplitude and glitch duration, the end result in the system output can be catastrophic. One example is an industrial motor control system where a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) drives the motor drivers to control motor spin. If the glitch amplitude is higher than the motor driver’s sensitivity threshold, the motor could be spinning without control in any direction when the system is powered up/down.

Posted in: Briefs, Power Management, Motors & Drives


Piezoelectric Actuated Inchworm Motor (PAIM)

This linear piezoelectric actuator can operate at temperatures of 77 K or below. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Conventional piezoelectric materials, such as PZTs, have reasonably high electromechanical coupling over 70%, and excellent performance at room temperature. However, their coupling factor (converting electrical to mechanical energy and vice versa) drops substantially at cryogenic temperatures, as the extrinsic contributions (domain wall motions) are almost frozen out below 130 K.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Fluid Handling, Motors & Drives


Advanced Rolling Mechanics Analysis (AROMA) 1.0

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas AROMA uses a boundary-element formulation to calculate normal and shear pressure distributions and sub-surface stresses for elastic bodies in contact. In addition to handling static normal and sheer loading, it also solves the contact problem for rolling elements such as bearings, traction drives, and wheel-to-rail interfaces. AROMA is a powerful and flexible tool for studying the tractive forces that arise during rolling in combination with kinematic effects, such as creepage and spin that are related to rolling element alignment. This GUI-based tool was developed in MATLAB, and can run within the MATLAB environment or as a standalone application.

Posted in: Briefs, Measuring Instruments


Multivariate Time Series Search Capability to Identify Complex Patterns in Large Datasets

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California There exist many datasets that can be viewed as multivariate time series, such as the daily high temperature at a locality, sensor recordings in diagnostic systems and scientific data, and music and video recordings. These time series reside in large repositories, and there is often a need to search for particular time series exhibiting certain types of behaviors. Many current approaches to time series search are too slow on large repositories, or constrain the range of possible queries.

Posted in: Briefs, Data Acquisition, Mathematical/Scientific Software


NGDCS Linux Application for Imaging-Spectrometer Data Acquisition and Display

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A simple method of controlling recording and display of imaging spectrometer data in (airborne) flight was needed. Existing commercial packages were overly complicated, and sometimes difficult to operate in a bouncing plane. The software also was required to keep up with the imaging data rate, while still running on commodity hardware and a desktop operating system. Finally, the software needed to be as robust as possible — repeating a flight because of lost data is sometimes impossible, and always expensive.

Posted in: Briefs, Displays/Monitors/HMIs, Data Acquisition


Kepler Community Data Analysis Tools

A series of scripts stitch together existing open-source Python modules for the purpose of displaying, cleaning, and measuring photometric properties within public Kepler data. The intent of these tools is to provide convenience to the Kepler science community, and to increase cost efficiency for the project. With 500+ users in the community, an open-source development provides the best resource for sharing tools, while minimizing cost and duplicated effort.

Posted in: Briefs, Data Acquisition, Mathematical/Scientific Software