December 2003

Briefs : Medical
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...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Techniques for Characterizing Microwave Printed Antennas

The combination of a de-embedding technique and a direct on-substrate measurement technique has been devised to enable measurement of the electrical characteristics (impedances, scattering parameters, and gains) of microwave printed antennas that may be formed integrally with feed networks...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Cylindrical Antenna With Partly Adaptive Phased-Array Feed

A proposed design for a phased array fed cylindrical reflector microwave antenna would enable enhancement of the radiation pattern through partially adaptive amplitude and phase control of its edge radiating feed elements. Antennas based on this design concept would be attractive for use...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Command Interface ASIC - Analog Interface ASIC Chip Set

A command interface application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and an analog interface ASIC have been developed as a chip set for remote actuation and monitoring of a collection of switches, which can be used to control generic loads, pyrotechnic devices, and valves in a high-radiation...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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...

Briefs : Software
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...

Briefs : Information Technology
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...

Briefs : Information Technology
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...

Briefs : Information Technology
Remote Sensing and Information Technology for Large Farms

A method of applying remote sensing (RS) and information- management technology to help large farms produce at maximum efficiency is undergoing development. The novelty of the method does not lie in the concept of "precision agriculture," which involves variation of seeding, of...

Briefs : Information Technology
Vector-Ordering Filter Procedure for Data Reduction

The vector-ordering filter (VOF) technique involves a procedure for sampling a large population of data vectors to select a subset of data vectors that fully characterize the state space of the large population. The VOF technique enables a large reduction of the volume of data that must be...

Briefs : Information Technology
Automated Monitoring With a BCP Fault-Decision Test

The Bayesian conditional probability (BCP) technique is a statistical fault-decision technique that is suitable as the mathematical basis of the fault-manager module in the automated-monitoring system and method described in the immediately preceding article. Within the automated-monitoring...

Briefs : Information Technology
Automated Monitoring With a BSP Fault-Detection Test

The figure schematically illustrates a method and procedure for automated monitoring of an asset, as well as a hardware-and- software system that implements the method and procedure. As used here, "asset" could signify an industrial process, power plant, medical instrument, aircraft,...

Briefs : Software
High-Speed Recording of Test Data on Hard Disks

Disk Recording System (DRS) is a systems- integration computer program for a direct-to-disk (DTD) high-speed data-acquisition system (HDAS) that records rocket-engine test data. The HDAS consists partly of equipment originally designed for recording the data on tapes. The tape recorders were...

Briefs : Information Technology
Expert Seeker

Expert Seeker is a computer program of the knowledge- management-system (KMS) type that falls within the category of expertise-locator systems. The main goal of the KMS system implemented by Expert Seeker is to organize and distribute knowledge of who are the domain experts within and without a given institution, company, or other...

Briefs : Information Technology
Software for Allocating Resources in the Deep Space Network

TIGRAS 2.0 is a computer program designed to satisfy a need for improved means for analyzing the tracking demands of interplanetary space-flight missions upon the set of ground antenna resources of the Deep Space Network (DSN) and for allocating those resources. Written in Microsoft...

Briefs : Materials
Rod/Coil Block Copolyimides for Ion-Conducting Membranes

Rod/coil block copolyimides that exhibit high levels of ionic conduction can be made into diverse products, including dimensionally stable solid electrolyte membranes that function well over wide temperature ranges in fuel cells and in lithium-ion electrochemical cells. These rod/coil...

Briefs : Materials
Processable Polyimides Containing APB and Reactive End Caps

Imide copolymers that contain 1,3-bis (3- aminophenoxy) benzene (APB) and other diamines and dianhydrides and that are terminated with appropriate amounts of reactive end caps have been invented. The reactive end caps investigated thus far include 4-phenylethynyl phthalic anhydride...

Briefs : Materials
Liquid Coatings for Reducing Corrosion of Steel in Concrete

Inorganic coating materials are being developed to slow or stop corrosion of reinforcing steel members inside concrete structures. It is much simpler and easier to use these coating materials than it is to use conventional corrosion-inhibiting systems based on impressed electric...

Briefs : Materials
Less-Toxic Coatings for Inhibiting Corrosion of Aluminum

Two recently invented families of conversion- coating processes have been found to be effective in reducing or preventing corrosion of aluminum alloys. These processes offer less-toxic alternatives to prior conversion-coating processes that are highly effective but have fallen out of favor...

Briefs : Materials
Organic/Inorganic Hybrid Polymer/Clay Nanocomposites

A novel class of polymer/clay nanocomposites has been invented in an attempt to develop transparent, lightweight, durable materials for a variety of aerospace applications. As their name suggests, polymer/clay nanocomposites comprise organic/ inorganic hybrid polymer matrices containing...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Innovative, High-Pressure, Cryogenic Control Valve: Short Face-to-Face, Reduced Cost

A control valve that can throttle high-pressure cryogenic fluid embodies several design features that distinguish it over conventional valves designed for similar applications. Field and design engineers worked together to create a valve that would simplify...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Flight-Test Evaluation of Flutter-Prediction Methods

The flight-test community routinely spends considerable time and money to determine a range of flight conditions, called a flight envelope, within which an aircraft is safe to fly. The cost of determining a flight envelope could be greatly reduced if there were a method of safely and...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Aerostructures Test Wing

The Aerostructures Test Wing (ATW) was an apparatus used in a flight experiment during a program of research on aeroelastic instabilities. The ATW experiment was performed to study a specific instability known as flutter. Flutter is a destructive phenomenon caused by adverse coupling of structural dynamics and...

Briefs : Software
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...

Briefs : Medical
Improved Interactive Medical-Imaging System

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...

Briefs : Medical
Software Simulates Chewing Biomechanics for Anthropology Study

Fossils of primates and early humans exhibit great diversity in the size and shape of the jaw, teeth, and facial skeleton. Anthro- pologists theorize that these different skull forms were evolutionary adaptations to chewing different types of food. Dr. David S. Strait, anthropologist...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Scanning Microscopes Using X Rays and Microchannels

Scanning microscopes that would be based on microchannel filters and advanced electronic image sensors and that utilize x-ray illumination have been proposed. Because the finest resolution attainable in a microscope is determined by the wavelength of the illumination, the xray illumination in...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Slotting Fins of Heat Exchangers To Provide Thermal Breaks

Heat exchangers that include slotted fins (in contradistinction to continuous fins) have been invented. The slotting of the fins provides thermal breaks that reduce thermal conduction along flow paths (longitudinal thermal conduction), which reduces heat-transfer efficiency. By...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Methane Clathrate Hydrate Prospecting

A method of prospecting for methane has been devised. The impetus for this method lies in the abundance of CH4 and the growing shortages of other fuels. The method is intended especially to enable identification of subpermafrost locations where significant amounts of methane are trapped in the form of...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Piezoelectrically Actuated Microvalve for Liquid Effluents

Modifications have been proposed to effect further improvement of the device described in “Improved Piezo- electrically Actuated Microvalve” (NPO-30158), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 26, No. 1 (January 2002), page 29. To recapitulate: What is being developed is a prototype of valves for...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Larger-Stroke Piezoelectrically Actuated Microvalve

A proposed normally-closed microvalve would contain a piezoelectric bending actuator instead of a piezoelectric linear actuator like that of the microvalve described in the preceding article. Whereas the stroke of the linear actuator of the preceding article would be limited to ≈6 μm, the...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Bearing-Seal System for Safe Motion Transfer in Deep Submersible Pressure Vessels

Designers of deep submersibles are reluctant to use conventional shafts and seals to penetrate the hulls of deep sub- mersible, pressure vessels fearing seal failure under extreme pressures. The unique design of this patented system, designated LAMIFLEX®,...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Safer Roadside Crash Walls Would Limit Deceleration

The figure depicts the aspects of a proposed deceleration-limiting design for crash walls at the sides of racetracks and highways. The proposal is intended to overcome the dis- advantages of both rigid barriers and kinetic-energy-absorbing barriers of prior design. Rigid barriers can keep...

Technology Leaders