January 2006

Articles : Electronics & Computers
A Software Development Process for Small-Scale Embedded Systems

Developing software for small-scale embedded applications is different from developing large-scale software applications. Large-scale applications use commercially available ‘one fits all’ software development solutions that are difficult to scale downward and usually miss the...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Choosing Among ZigBee RF Power Options for Your Wireless Application

While often associated with home automation, the new ZigBee wireless data standard is making fast inroads into industrial, military, and aerospace applications. By supplying highly reliable, wireless mesh networking at very low cost, ZigBee enables improvements to traditional...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Current Loop Controller (CLC) Eases Industrial Automation Retrofits

Micronor Inc.’s (Newbury Park, CA) MR267 Current Loop Controller (CLC) option remotely controls a motorized potentiometer and/or rotary cam switch via current, voltage input, or external potentiometer.

Products : Electronics & Computers
Hardware Debug Software Adds 64-bit JTAG, Flash Support

Macraigor Systems LLC (Brookline, MA) has added JTAG debug and Flash memory programming support for several Freescale PowerPC and MIPS processor support, in addition to existing ARM microprocessor support to its OCDemon debug suite.

Full JTAG debug and Flash programming support has...

Products : Electronics & Computers
USB Digital I/O Board Enables High-Speed Digital Monitoring and Control

ACCES I/O Products (San Diego, CA) offers the Model USB-IIRO-16, featuring 16 Form C (SPDT) electromechanical relays and 16 optically isolated digital inputs. The board is designed to meet the needs of industrial systems monitoring and control. The industrial I/O market...

Products : Electronics & Computers
PLL/Synthesizer Includes VCO

Crystek Corporation’s (Fort Myers, FL) CPLL66 family is the company’s first foray into the PLL/Synthesizer market. Designed for digital radio equipment, fixed wireless access, satellite communications systems, base stations, personal communications systems, portable radios, and test instruments, the CPLL66 is a...

Briefs : Medical
Biomimetic/Optical Sensors for Detecting Bacterial Species

Biomimetic/optical sensors have been proposed as means of real-time detection of bacteria in liquid samples through real-time detection of compounds secreted by the bacteria. Bacterial species of interest would be identified through detection of signaling compounds unique to those...

Briefs : Medical
Analysis of Membrane Lipids of Airborne Micro-Organisms

A method of characterization of airborne micro-organisms in a given location involves (1) large-volume filtration of air onto glass-fiber filters; (2) accelerated extraction of membrane lipids of the collected micro-organisms by use of pressurized hot liquid; and (3) identification and...

Briefs : Medical
Noninvasive Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease Using 12-Lead High-Frequency Electrocardiograms

A noninvasive, sensitive method of diagnosing certain pathological conditions of the human heart involves computational processing of digitized electrocardiographic (ECG) signals acquired from a patient at all 12 conventional ECG electrode positions....

Products
DualHead2Go™

Matrox Graphics, Montreal, Canada

, has introduced DualHead2Go™, an external device that connects to the monitor connector of a computer to add support for an extra monitor. The operating system treats the device like a monitor, supporting resolutions twice as wide as standard resolutions. The device divides the...
Who's Who
Dr. Walter Merrill, Associate for Business Development, John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

Dr. Walter Merrill is involved in a variety of programs aimed at forming partnerships with private and public entities. For the past five years, he has been working towards developing microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices that are made...

Application Briefs : Software
Collaboration Software Connects NASA Employees with Suppliers
Teamcenter®product lifecycle management software
UGS Corp.
Plano, TX
341-264-8216
www.ugs.com
Application Briefs : Test & Measurement
Science Instruments to Examine Pluto and Its Moon
Science instruments
Southwest Research Institute
San Antonio, TX
210-684-5111
www.swri.org
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
System Would Detect Foreign-Object Damage in Turbofan Engine

A proposed data-fusion system, to be implemented mostly in software, would further process the digitized and preprocessed outputs of sensors in a turbofan engine to detect foreign-object damage (FOD) [more precisely, damage caused by impingement of such foreign objects as birds, pieces...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Recovering Residual Xenon Propellant for an Ion Propulsion System

Future nuclear-powered Ion-Propulsion- System-propelled spacecraft such as Jupiter Icy Moon Orbiter (JIMO) will carry more than 10,000 kg of xenon propellant. Typically, a small percentage of this propellant cannot be used towards the end of the mission because of the pressure...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Temperature Sensing for Oil, Gas, and Structural Analysis

With retirement of the space shuttle imminent, and the commercial space industry burgeoning, NASA is searching for safe and innovative methods for carrying payload and passengers to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. The search for new vehicles has been going on for some years now, with a...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Fuel Cells Utilizing Oxygen From Air at Low Pressures

A fuel cell stack has been developed to supply power for a high-altitude aircraft with a minimum of air handling. The fuel cell is capable of utilizing oxygen from ambient air at low pressure with no need for compression. For such an application, it is advantageous to take oxygen from the air...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Hybrid Ion-Detector/Data-Acquisition System for a TOF-MS

A modified ion-detector/ data-acquisition system has been devised to increase the dynamic range of a time-of-flight mass spectrometer (TOF-MS) that, previously, included a microchannel-plate detector and a data-acquisition system based on counting pulses and time-tagging them by use of a...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Spontaneous-Desorption Ionizer for a TOF-MS

A time-of-flight mass spectrometer (TOF-MS) like the one mentioned in the immediately preceding article has been retrofitted with an ionizer based on a surface spontaneous- desorption process. This ionizer includes an electron multiplier in the form of a microchannel plate (MCP). Relative to an ionizer...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Clean Digital Data Acquisition With Anti-Aliasing Filters

When acquiring low-data-rate signals such as temperature, engineers sometimes forget that low-data-rate sampling does not guarantee an uncontaminated recording. Regardless of the sample rate employed in digital data acquisition, signals entering the sampler above half the sampling...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Manufacturing Precise, Lightweight Paraboloidal Mirrors

A process for fabricating a precise, diffraction- limited, ultralightweight, composite-material (matrix/fiber) paraboloidal telescope mirror has been devised. Unlike the traditional process of fabrication of heavier glass-based mirrors, this process involves a minimum of manual steps and...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Automated Solvent Seaming of Large Polyimide Membranes

A solvent-based welding process enables the joining of precise, cast polyimide membranes at their edges to form larger precise membranes. The process creates a homogeneous, optical - quality seam between abutting membranes, with no overlap and with only a very localized area of figure...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Equipment for On-Wafer Testing From 220 to 325 GHz

A system of electronic instrumentation, constituting the equivalent of a two-port vector network analyzer, has been developed for use in on-wafer measurement of key electrical characteristics of semiconductor devices at frequencies from 220 to 325 GHz. A prior system designed according to...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
PVM Enhancement for Beowulf Multiple-Processor Nodes

A recent version of the Parallel Virtual Machine (PVM) computer program has been enhanced to enable use of multiple processors in a single node of a Beowulf system (a cluster of personal computers that runs the Linux operating system). A previous version of PVM had been enhanced by addition of...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Programs for Testing Processor-in-Memory Computing Systems

The Multithreaded Microbenchmarks for Processor-InMemory (PIM) Compilers, Simulators, and Hardware are computer programs arranged in a series for use in testing the performances of PIM computing systems, including compilers, simulators, and hardware. The programs at the beginning of the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Detection of Water Hazards for Autonomous Robotic Vehicles

Four methods of detection of bodies of water are under development as means to enable autonomous robotic ground vehicles to avoid water hazards when traversing off-road terrain. The methods involve processing of digitized outputs of optoelectronic sensors aboard the vehicles. It is...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Few-Mode Whispering-Gallery-Mode Resonators

Whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) optical resonators of a type now under development are designed to support few welldefined waveguide modes. In the simplest case, a resonator of this type would support one equatorial family of WGMs; in a more complex case, such a resonator would be made to support two,...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Electrically Tunable Terahertz Quantum-Cascade Lasers

Improved quantum-cascade lasers (QCLs) are being developed as electrically tunable sources of radiation in the far infrared spectral region, especially in the frequency range of 2 to 5 THz. (Heretofore, the wavelengths of QCLs have been adjusted by changing temperatures, but not by changing...

Briefs : Information Technology
Real-Time Diagnosis of Faults Using a Bank of Kalman Filters

A new robust method of automated real-time diagnosis of faults in an aircraft engine or a similar complex system involves the use of a bank of Kalman filters. In order to be highly reliable, a diagnostic system must be designed to account for the numerous failure conditions that an...

Briefs : Information Technology
Conflict-Aware Scheduling Algorithm

A conflict-aware scheduling algorithm is being developed to help automate the allocation of NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) antennas and equipment that are used to communicate with interplanetary scientific spacecraft. The current approach for scheduling DSN ground resources seeks to provide an equitable...

Briefs : Materials
Ion-Exclusion Chromatography for Analyzing Organics in Water

A liquid-chromatography technique has been developed for use in the quantitative analysis of urea (and of other nonvolatile organic compounds typically found with urea) dissolved in water. The technique involves the use of a column that contains an ion- exclusion resin; heretofore,...

Briefs : Materials
Selective Plasma Deposition of Fluorocarbon Films on SAMs

A dry plasma process has been demonstrated to be useful for the selective modification of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of alkanethiolates. These SAMs are used, during the fabrication of semiconductor electronic devices, as etch masks on gold layers that are destined to be patterned...

Briefs : Materials
Water-Based Pressure-Sensitive Paints

Water-based pressure-sensitive paints (PSPs) have been invented as alternatives conventional organic- solvent-based pressure-sensitive paints, which are used primarily for indicating distributions of air pressure on wind-tunnel models. Typically, PSPs are sprayed onto aerodynamic models after they have been...

Briefs : Software
Computing Isentropic Flow Properties of Air/ R-134a Mixtures

MACHRK is a computer program that calculates isentropic flow properties of mixtures of air and refrigerant R-134a (tetrafluoroethane), which are used in transonic aerodynamic testing in a wind tunnel at Langley Research Center. Given the total temperature, total pressure, static...

Briefs : Software
Java Mission Evaluation Workstation System

The Java Mission Evaluation Workstation System (JMEWS) is a collection of applications designed to retrieve, display, and analyze both real-time and recorded telemetry data. This software is currently being used by both the Space Shuttle Program (SSP) and the International Space Station (ISS) program....

Briefs : Software
Software for Automated Generation of Cartesian Meshes

Cart3D is a collection of computer programs for generating Cartesian meshes [for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and other applications] in volumes bounded by solid objects. Aspects of Cart3D at earlier stages of development were reported in "Robust and Efficient Generation of Cartesian...

Briefs : Software
Optics Program Modified for Multithreaded Parallel Computing

A powerful high-performance computer program for simulating and analyzing adaptive and controlled optical systems has been developed by modifying the serial version of the Modeling and Analysis for Controlled Optical Systems (MACOS) program to impart capabilities for multithreaded...

Briefs : Software
Using a Quadtree Algorithm To Assess Line of Sight

A matched pair of computer algorithms determines whether line of sight (LOS) is obstructed by terrain. These algorithms were originally designed for use in conjunction with combat-simulation software in military training exercises, but could also be used for such commercial purposes as...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Predicting Tail Buffet Loads of a Fighter Airplane

Buffet loads on aft aerodynamic surfaces pose a recurring problem on most twin-tailed fighter airplanes: During maneuvers at high angles of attack, vortices emanating from various surfaces on the forward parts of such an airplane engine inlets, wings, or other fuselage appendages) often burst,...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
System Finds Horizontal Location of Center of Gravity

An instrumentation system rapidly and repeatedly determines the horizontal location of the center of gravity of a laboratory vehicle that slides horizontally on three air bearings (see Figure 1). Typically, knowledge of the horizontal center-of- mass location of such a vehicle is needed in...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Water Containment Systems for Testing High-Speed Flywheels

Water-filled containers are used as building blocks in a new generation of containment systems for testing high-speed flywheels. Such containment systems are needed to ensure safety by trapping high-speed debris in the event of centrifugal breakup or bearing failure. Traditional...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Enhanced-Contrast Viewing of White-Hot Objects in Furnaces

An apparatus denoted a laser image contrast enhancement system (LICES) increases the contrast with which one can view a target glowing with blackbody radiation (a white-hot object) against a background of blackbody radiation in a furnace at a temperature as high as ≈1,500 °C. The...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Dual-Laser-Pulse Ignition

A dual-pulse laser (DPL) technique has been demonstrated for generating laser-induced sparks (LIS) to ignite fuels. The technique was originally intended to be applied to the ignition of rocket propellants, but may also be applicable to ignition in terrestrial settings in which electric igniters may not be suitable....

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Tapered Waveguides Improve Fiber Light Coupling Efficiency

Silicon waveguides have strong light confinement properties due to a very high index core (silicon, refractive index ~3.5) material surrounded by a much lower index glass (silica, refractive index ~1.5) cladding. Due to this property, silicon waveguides can turn light paths through sharp...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Seeing (infra)Red: InGaAs Conquers Imaging, Sensing, Telecom

Indium gallium arsenide, or InGaAs, is an alloy of gallium arsenide and indium arsenide. In a more general sense, it belongs to the InGaAsP quaternary system that consists of alloys of indium arsenide (InAs), gallium arsenide (GaAs), indium phosphide (InP), and gallium phosphide (GaP)....

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Spectral vs. Coherent Beam Combining: How Do They Compare?

Partial reflectors in interferometers and polarization-sensitive devices (beam splitters used in reverse) such as beam-splitting cubes are common examples of systems that combine two beams (adding beams so that they are co-linear). While these components perform beam combining, they...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Optics Program Modified for Multithreaded Parallel Computing

A powerful high-performance computer program for simulating and analyzing adaptive and controlled optical systems has been developed by modifying the serial version of the Modeling and Analysis for Controlled Optical Systems (MACOS) program to impart capabilities for multithreaded...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Enhanced-Contrast Viewing of White-Hot Objects in Furnaces

An apparatus denoted a laser image contrast enhancement system (LICES) increases the contrast with which one can view a target glowing with blackbody radiation (a white-hot object) against a background of blackbody radiation in a furnace at a temperature as high as ≈1,500 °C. The...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Dual-Laser-Pulse Ignition

A dual-pulse laser (DPL) technique has been demonstrated for generating laser-induced sparks (LIS) to ignite fuels. The technique was originally intended to be applied to the ignition of rocket propellants, but may also be applicable to ignition in terrestrial settings in which electric igniters may not be suitable....

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Few-Mode Whispering-Gallery-Mode Resonators

Whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) optical resonators of a type now under development are designed to support few well-defined waveguide modes. In the simplest case, a resonator of this type would support one equatorial family of WGMs; in a more complex case, such a resonator would be made to support two,...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Tapered Waveguides Improve Fiber Light Coupling Efficiency
Molex Inc., Downers Grove, Illinois and KiloLambda Technologies Ltd., Tel Aviv, Israel

Silicon waveguides have strong light confinement properties due to a very high index core (silicon, refractive index ~3.5) material surrounded by a much lower index glass (silica, refractive...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Electrically Tunable Terahertz Quantum-Cascade Lasers

Improved quantum-cascade lasers (QCLs) are being developed as electrically tunable sources of radiation in the far infrared spectral region, especially in the frequency range of 2 to 5 THz. (Heretofore, the wavelengths of QCLs have been adjusted by changing temperatures, but not by changing...

Products
Product of the Month: Broadband Mirror

Semrock (Rochester, NY) offers the ultra-broadband MaxMirror in a 2-in. (50.4 mm) diameter version. According to the manufacturers, the 2-in. mirror is designed for use in imaging systems or for the delivery of large optical beams, and has greater than 99% reflectivity for all wavelengths from 350 nm to...

Products
Field Spectroradiometer

The FieldSpec 3 field spectroradiometer from Analytical Spectral Devices (Boulder, CO) offers Ethernet and wireless connectivity for remote data collection of up to 150 feet away in addition to built-in diagnostics, including the all new ASD FiberChecker and detector stability indicators. FieldSpec 3 covers the 350-2500...

Products
Ti:Sapphire Laser

Spectra-Physics’

(Mountain View, CA) newest addition to the Mai Tai Ti:Sapphire laser product line delivers more than 2.5 W of average power and is now available with a 700-1020 nm tuning range. The laser is fully computer controlled and produces 100 femtosecond pulses. With a broader tuning range, the laser enables...
Products
Medical CCD Camera

Designed for medical applications, the TrueFrame FT50M CCD image sensor from DALSA (Waterloo, ON, Canada) comes in a 1k × 1k-pixel array with 5.6 × 5.6-μm square pixels. Combined with high linear dynamic range of 67 dB, high sensitivity, and vertical anti-blooming, the camera has high-contrast and greater detail retention...

Products
Refractive Index Elastomer
(Carpinteria, CA) offers Lightspan LSR-9562-30, a two-part, high-viscosity elastomer designed for injection molding of clear silicone parts, or as a potting and encapsulating compound because of its glob-top-like consistency. LSR-9562-30 is designed to protect electronic components and assemblies against shock, vibration,...
Products
Optical Modeling Software

Optiwave Systems’

(Ottawa, ON, Canada) OptiFDTD 6.0 optical design software for passive and nonlinear photonic components brings Finite-Difference Time-Domain modeling and simulation to photonics and bio-photonics engineers. The software provides a simulation environment for designing photonic crystals,...
Products
Material-Testing Tribometers

Micro Photonics

(Irvine, CA) has introduced the Standard Pin-On-Disk and High Load Tribometers. Developed for high-temperature operations, high loads, and high rotational speeds up to 6000 rpm, the tribometer is equipped with a Plexiglas enclosure for testing under varying degrees of humidity and compositions....
Products
Infrared Camera

The fourth generation of Cedip Infrared Systems’ (Croissy, Beaubourg, France) JADE IR cameras includes enhanced sensitivity (< 20 mK), faster frame rate, and a new windowing mode. The frame rate can be changed with a step resolution of 1 Hz up to 250 Hz at full frame, and up to 25,000 Hz in sub arrays windowing mode. Using...

Products
Solid State Laser

The Kyma line of solid state lasers from Melles Griot (Carlsbad, CA) offers improved stability and performance by requiring fewer parts than diode pumped solid state (DPSS) lasers. Kyma technology supports wavelengths from the deep blue to the red. The first product in the Kyma line is the Kyma 488, which is available with 10...

Products
Fiber Pump Laser

Bookham

(San Jose, CA) has introduced a high-power, uncooled multimode pump laser module for fiber laser pumping that combines high power with high reliability and stable performance. The new multimode pump laser module offers increased brightness and higher reliability than previous modules. The uncooled module,...
Products
LED Chips
(Durham, NC) has released two new LED chips: the MegaBright 290 Gen 2 and the RazerThin 230. The MegaBright 290 Gen 2, a high-brightness chip, is 30 percent brighter and uses 8 percent less power than the chip it replaces. This new chip is targeted for digital camera, camera phone flash, and LCD backlighting applications, where brightness...
Products
Fiber Laser Design Software

Liekki Application Designer v3.0 from Liekki (Way Gambrills, MD) is a simulation and design software environment for fiber lasers and amplifiers with new transient analysis capability. Liekki’s v3.0 provide the ability to simulate the dynamic regime and transients of active components, as well as new components such...

Products
Progressive Scan Camera

JAI’s (San Jose, CA) CV-A436 machine vision camera uses the latest generation of VGA resolution progressive scan 1⁄3-in. imager that allows the compact head size of 17 mm (diameter) and 46 mm (length). The head is connected to the controller via a detachable robotics-grade 2-m cable. The controller box measures 29 ×...