December 2005

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Data-Analysis System for Entry, Descent, and Landing

A report describes the Entry Descent Landing Data Analysis (EDA), which is a system of signal-processing software and computer hardware for acquiring status data conveyed by multiple-frequency-shiftkeying tone signals transmitted by a spacecraft during descent to the surface of a remote...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Hybrid Power Management

An engineering discipline denoted as hybrid power management (HPM) has emerged from continuing efforts to increase energy efficiency and reliability of hybrid power systems. HPM is oriented toward integration of diverse electric energy-generating, energy-storing, and energy-consuming devices in optimal configurations for...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Hybrid UV Imager Containing Face-Up AlGaN/GaN Photodiodes

A proposed hybrid ultraviolet (UV) image sensor would comprise a planar membrane array of face-up AlGaN/GaN photodiodes integrated with a complementary metal oxide/semiconductor (CMOS) readout-circuit chip. Each pixel in the hybrid image sensor would contain a UV photodiode on the...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Magnetometer Based on Optoelectronic Microwave Oscillator

A proposed instrument, intended mainly for use as a magnetometer, would include an optoelectronic oscillator (OEO) stabilized by an atomic cell that could play the role of a magnetically tunable microwave filter. The microwave frequency would vary with the magnetic field in the cell,...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Multiple Embedded Processors for Fault-Tolerant Computing

A fault-tolerant computer architecture has been conceived in an effort to reduce vulnerability to single-event upsets (spurious bit flips caused by impingement of energetic ionizing particles or photons). As in some prior fault-tolerant architectures, the redundancy needed for fault...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Apparatus for Precise Indium-Bump Bonding of Microchips

An improved apparatus has been designed and built for use in precise positioning and pressing of a microchip onto a substrate (which could, optionally, be another microchip) for the purpose of indium-bump bonding. The apparatus (see figure) includes the following:

Briefs : Medical
Multichannel Brain-Signal-Amplifying and Digitizing System

EEG apparatuses with many channels in use heretofore have been too heavy and bulky to be worn, and have been limited in dynamic range to no more than 18 bits. The present apparatus is small and light enough to be worn by the subject. It is capable of amplifying EEG signals and digitizing...

Briefs : Medical
Multistage Magnetic Separator of Cells and Proteins

The multistage electromagnetic separator for purifying cells and magnetic particles (MAGSEP) is a laboratory apparatus for separating and/or purifying particles (especially biological cells) on the basis of their magnetic susceptibility and magnetophoretic mobility. Whereas a typical prior...

Briefs : Medical
Radiation Dosimetry via Automated Fluorescence Microscopy

A developmental instrument for assessment of radiation-induced damage in human lymphocytes includes an automated fluorescence microscope equipped with a one or more charge coupled device (CCD) video camera(s) and circuitry to digitize the video output. The microscope is also equipped with...

Briefs : Software
Task Description Language

Task Description Language (TDL) is an extension of the C++ programming language that enables programmers to quickly and easily write complex, concurrent computer programs for controlling real-time autonomous systems, including robots and spacecraft. TDL is based on earlier work (circa 1984 through 1989) on the Task...

Briefs : Software
Close-Call Action Log Form

“Close Call Action Log Form” (“CCALF”) is the name of both a computer program and a Web-based service provided by the program for creating an enhanced database of close calls (in the colloquial sense of mishaps that were avoided by small margins) assigned to the Center Operations Directorate (COD) at Johnson...

Briefs : Software
Enhanced, Partially Redundant Emergency Notification System

The Johnson Space Center Emergency Notification System (JENS) software utilizes pre-existing computation and communication infrastructure to augment a prior variable-tone, siren-based, outdoor alarm system, in order to enhance the ability to give notice of emergencies to employees...

Briefs : Software
Architecture for Verifiable Software
Verifiable MDS Architecture (VMA) is a software architecture that facilitates the construction of highly verifiable flight software for NASA's Mission Data System (MDS), especially for smaller missions subject to cost constraints. More specifically, the purpose served by VMA is to facilitate aggressive...
Briefs : Software
Java Radar Analysis Tool

Java Radar Analysis Tool (JRAT) is a computer program for analyzing two dimensional (2D) scatter plots derived from radar returns showing pieces of the disintegrating Space Shuttle Columbia. JRAT can also be applied to similar plots representing radar returns showing aviation accidents, and to scatter plots in general....

Briefs : Software
Control Software for a High-Performance Telerobot

A computer program for controlling a high-performance, force-reflecting telerobot has been developed. The goal in designing a telerobot-control system is to make the velocity of the slave match the master velocity, and the environmental force on the master match the force on the slave....

Briefs : Software
Tool for Sizing Analysis of the Advanced Life Support System

Advanced Life Support Sizing Analysis Tool (ALSSAT) is a computer model for sizing and analyzing designs of environmental- control and life support systems (ECLSS) for spacecraft and surface habitats involved in the exploration of Mars and Moon. It performs conceptual designs of...

Briefs : Software
Self-Organizing-Map Program for Analyzing Multivariate Data

SOM_VIS is a computer program for analysis and display of multidimensional sets of Earth-image data typified by the data acquired by the Multi-angle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer [MISR (a spaceborne instrument)]. In SOM_VIS, an enhanced self-organizing-map (SOM) algorithm is first used to...

Briefs : Software
Solving Nonlinear Euler Equations With Arbitrary Accuracy
A computer program that efficiently solves the time-dependent, nonlinear Euler equations in two dimensions to an arbitrarily high order of accuracy has been developed. The program implements a modified form of a prior arbitrary- accuracy simulation algorithm that is a member of the class of...
Briefs : Software
Automated Synthesis of Long Communication Delays for Testing
Planetary-Ohio Network Emulator (p- ONE) is a computer program for local laboratory testing of high bandwidth data communication systems subject to long delays in propagation over interplanetary distances. p-ONE is installed on a personal computer connected to two bidirectional Ethernet...
Briefs : Software
Tool for Viewing Faults Under Terrain
Multi Surface Light Table (MSLT) is an interactive software tool that was developed in support of the QuakeSim project, which has created an earthquake fault database and a set of earthquake simulation software tools. MSLT visualizes the three-dimensional geometries of faults embedded below the terrain and...
Briefs : Software
Fitting Nonlinear Curves by Use of Optimization Techniques

MULTIVAR is a FORTRAN 77 computer program that fits one of the members of a set of six multivariable mathematical models (five of which are nonlinear) to a multivariable set of data. The inputs to MULTIVAR include the data for the independent and dependent variables plus the user’s...

Briefs : Software
Conservative Patch Algorithm and Mesh Sequencing for PAB3D

A mesh-sequencing algorithm and a conservative patched-grid-interface algorithm (hereafter “Patch Algorithm”) have been incorporated into the PAB3D code, which is a computer program that solves the Navier-Stokes equations for the simulation of subsonic, transonic, or supersonic flows...

Briefs : Software
Astronomer's Proposal Tool

Astronomer’s Proposal Tool (APT) is a computer program that assists astronomers in preparing their Phase 1 and Phase 2 Hubble Space Telescope science programs. APT is a successor to the Remote Proposal Submission System 2 (RPS2) program, which has been rendered obsolete by more recent advances in computer software...

Briefs : Software
Chimera Grid Tools

Chimera Grid Tools (CGT) is a software package for performing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis utilizing the Chimera-overset-grid method. For modeling flows with viscosity about geometrically complex bodies in relative motion, the Chimera-overset-grid method is among the most computationally cost-effective methods...

Briefs : Software
Program Predicts Time Courses of Human/Computer Interactions

CPM X is a computer program that predicts sequences of, and amounts of time taken by, routine actions performed by a skilled person performing a task. Unlike programs that simulate the interaction of the person with the task environment, CPM X predicts the time course of events as...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Mechanically Biased, Hinged Pairs of Piezoelectric Benders

The upper part of the figure depicts an actuator that comprises two mechanically biased piezoelectric benders hinged together at their ends and equipped with tabs at their mid-length points for attachment to the relatively moving objects that are to be actuated. In the example of the...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Oscillating-Linear-Drive Vacuum Compressor for CO2

A vacuum compressor has been designed to compress CO2 from ˜1 psia (˜6.9 kPa absolute pressure) to ˜75 psia (˜0.52 MPa), to be insensitive to moisture, to have a long operational life, and to be lightweight, compact, and efficient. The compressor consists...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Rotating Vessels for Growing Protein Crystals

Rotating vessels have been proposed as means of growing larger, more nearly uniform protein crystals than would otherwise be possible in the presence of normal Earth gravitation. Heretofore, nonrotating vessels have been used.

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Radio-Frequency Plasma Cleaning of a Penning Malmberg Trap

Radio-frequency-generated plasma has been demonstrated to be a promising means of cleaning the interior surfaces of a Penning-Malmberg trap that is used in experiments on the confinement of antimatter. {Such a trap was reported in “Modified Penning-Malmberg Trap for Storing...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Hygrometer for Detecting Water in Partially Enclosed Volumes

A portable hygrometer has been devised to implement a pre-existing technique for detecting water trapped in partially enclosed volumes that may be difficult to reach and cannot be examined directly. The technique is based on the fact that eventually the air in such a volume becomes...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Ester-Based Electrolytes for Low- Temperature Li-Ion Cells
Electrolytes comprising LiPF6 dissolved at a concentration of 1.0 M in five different solvent mixtures of alkyl carbonates have been found to afford improved performance in rechargeable lithium-ion electrochemical cells at temperatures as low as -70° C. These and other electrolytes have...
Briefs : Medical
Elastic-Tether Suits for Artificial Gravity and Exercise

Body suits harnessed to systems of elastic tethers have been proposed as means of approximating the effects of normal Earth gravitation on crewmembers of spacecraft in flight to help preserve the crewmembers’ physical fitness. The suits could also be used on Earth to increase effective...

Briefs : Software
Tool for Ranking Research Options

Tool for Research Enhancement Decision Support (TREDS) is a computer program developed to assist managers in ranking options for research aboard the International Space Station (ISS). It could likely also be adapted to perform similar decision support functions in industrial and academic settings. TREDS provides...

Briefs : Materials
Bonding-Compatible Corrosion Inhibitor for Rinsing Metals

A corrosion-inhibiting mixture of compounds has been developed for addition to the water used to rinse metal parts that have been cleaned with aqueous solutions in preparation for adhesive bonding of the metals to rubber and rubberlike materials. Prior to the development of this corrosion...

Briefs : Materials
Advanced Metal Foam Structures for Outer Space

A document discusses a proposal to use advanced materials — especially bulk metallic glass (BMG) foams — in structural components of spacecraft, lunar habitats, and the like. BMG foams, which are already used on Earth in some consumer products, are superior to conventional metal foams:...

Briefs : Materials
Improved Small-Particle Powders for Plasma Spraying

Improved small-particle powders and powder-processing conditions have been developed for use in plasma spray deposition of thermal-barrier and environmentalbarrier coatings. Heretofore, plasmasprayed coatings have typically ranged in thickness from 125 to 1,800 µm. As explained below, the...

Briefs : Materials
Wipes, Coatings, and Patches for Detecting Hydrazines

Three color-indicating devices have been conceived as simple, rapid, inexpensive means of detecting hazardous liquid and gaseous substances in settings in which safety is of paramount concern and it would be too time-consuming or otherwise impractical to perform detection by use of such...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Video Mosaicking for Inspection of Gas Pipelines

A vision system that includes a specially designed video camera and an image-data-processing computer is under development as a prototype of robotic systems for visual inspection of the interior surfaces of pipes and especially of gas pipelines. The system is capable of providing both forward...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Highly Reliable, High-Speed, Unidirectional Serial Data Links

Highly reliable, high-speed, unidirectional serial data-communication subsystems have been proposed to be installed in an upgrade of the computing systems aboard the space shuttles. The basic design concept of these serial data links is also adaptable to terrestrial use in...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Shuttle-Data-Tape XML Translator

JSDTImport is a computer program for translating native Shuttle Data Tape (SDT) files from American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) format into databases in other formats. JSDTImport solves the problem of organizing the SDT content, affording flexibility to enable users to choose how to store...

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