March 2005

Briefs : Medical
Articulating Support for Horizontal Resistive Exercise

A versatile mechanical device provides support for a user engaged in any of a variety of resistive exercises in a substantially horizontal orientation. The unique features and versatility of the device promise to be useful in bed-rest studies, rehabilitation, and specialized strength...

Briefs : Medical
Stroboscopic Goggles for Reduction of Motion Sickness

A device built around a pair of electronic shutters has been demonstrated to be effective as a prototype of stroboscopic goggles or eyeglasses for preventing or reducing motion sickness. The momentary opening of the shutters helps to suppress a phenomenon that is known in the art as retinal...

Briefs : Medical
Ex Vivo Growth of Bioengineered Ligaments and Other Tissues

A method of growing bioengineered tissues for use in surgical replacement of damaged anterior cruciate ligaments has been invented. An anterior cruciate ligament is one of two ligaments (the other being the posterior cruciate ligament) that cross in the middle of a knee joint and act to...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Simulations of Evaporating Multicomponent Fuel Drops

A paper presents additional information on the subject matter of “Model of Mixing Layer With Multicomponent Evaporating Drops” (NPO-30505), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 3 (March 2004), page 55. To recapitulate: A mathematical model of a three-dimensional mixing layer laden with...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Tumbleweed Rovers

Tumbleweed rovers, now undergoing development, are lightweight, inflatable, approximately spherical exploratory robotic vehicles designed to roll across terrain, using only wind for propulsion. Tumbleweed rovers share many features with "beach-ball" rovers, which were discussed in several prior NASA Tech Briefs articles....

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Modified Penning-Malmberg Trap for Storing Antiprotons

A modified Penning-Malmberg trap that could store a small cloud of antiprotons for a relatively long time (weeks) has been developed. This trap is intended for use in research on the feasibility of contemplated future matter/antimatter-annihilation systems as propulsion sources for...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Simulating a Direction-Finder Search for an ELT
A computer program simulates the operation of direction-finding equipment engaged in a search for an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) aboard an aircraft that has crashed.
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Adaptive Thresholding and Parameter Estimation for PPM

A method of adaptive setting of a threshold level for the detection of pulses in a pulse-position modulation (PPM) free-space optical communication system has been developed. In simplified terms, it is desirable to set a threshold value high enough to greatly reduce the probability...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Displacing Unpredictable Nulls in Antenna Radiation Patterns

A method of maintaining radio communication despite the emergence of unpredictable fades and nulls in the radiation pattern of an antenna has been proposed. The method was originally intended to be applied in the design and operation of a radio antenna aboard a robotic exploratory...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Coupled Receiver/Decoders for Low-Rate Turbo Codes

Coupled receiver/decoders have been proposed for receiving weak single-channel phase-modulated radio signals bearing low-rate-turbo-coded binary data. Originally intended for use in receiving telemetry signals from distant spacecraft, the proposed receiver/decoders may also provide enhanced...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Integrated Pointing and Signal Detector for Optical Receiver

A design concept for the receiver portion of a proposed free-space optical communication terminal calls for integration of its communication and pointing detectors. As explained below, this would entail a departure from prior designs, in which pointing and communication detectors have...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Making a Metal-Lined Composite-Overwrapped Pressure Vessel

A process has been devised for the fabrication of a pressure vessel that comprises a composite-material (matrix/fiber) shell with a metal liner on its inner surface. The use of the composite material makes it possible for the tank to be strong enough to withstand the anticipated...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Shipbuilders Design Pipeline Dredging Barge With FEA Software

A South American pipeline project that traverses the Amazon jungle and the Andes Mountains to the Pacific coast originates in the Camisea fields of eastern Peru, which are among the world's largest natural gas (NG) reserves, holding approximately 11 trillion cubic feet of NG and 600...

Briefs : Information Technology
Two Methods for Efficient Solution of the Hitting-Set Problem
A paper addresses much of the same subject matter as that of "Fast Algorithms for Model-Based Diagnosis" (NPO-30582), which appears elsewhere in this issue of NASA Tech Briefs.
Briefs : Information Technology
Biased Randomized Algorithm for Fast Model-Based Diagnosis

A biased randomized algorithm has been developed to enable the rapid computational solution of a propositional-satisfiability (SAT) problem equivalent to a diagnosis problem. The closest competing methods of automated diagnosis are described in the preceding article "Fast Algorithms for...

Briefs : Information Technology
Fast Algorithms for Model-Based Diagnosis

Two improved new methods for automated diagnosis of complex engineering systems involve the use of novel algorithms that are more efficient than prior algorithms used for the same purpose. Both the recently developed algorithms and the prior algorithms in question are instances of model-based diagnosis,...

Briefs : Information Technology
Calculation Management Captures and Tracks Engineering Design Information

Virtually every design decision, from a simple sketch to complex system drawings, is informed by calculations. Yet, in the race to get projects completed and products and services to market, engineering and product development organizations often neglect to systematically...

Briefs : Information Technology
Telephone-Directory Program

eDirectory is a computer program that makes it possible to view entries in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) telephone directory by use of PalmPilot™ (or equivalent) personal digital assistants.

Briefs : Information Technology
Fuzzy Logic Engine
The Fuzzy Logic Engine is a software package that enables users to embed fuzzy-logic modules into their application programs.
Briefs : Information Technology
Encryption for Remote Control via Internet or Intranet

A data-communication protocol has been devised to enable secure, reliable remote control of processes and equipment via a collision-based network, while using minimal bandwidth and computation. The network could be the Internet or an intranet. Control is made secure by use of both a password...

Briefs : Information Technology
Scheme for Entering Binary Data Into a Quantum Computer

A quantum algorithm provides for the encoding of an exponentially large number of classical data bits by use of a smaller (polynomially large) number of quantum bits (qubits). The development of this algorithm was prompted by the need, heretofore not satisfied, for a means of entering...

Briefs : Materials
Making Macroscopic Assemblies of Aligned Carbon Nanotubes

A method of aligning and assembling single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) to fabricate macroscopic structures has been invented. The method entails suspending SWNTs in a fluid, orienting the SWNTs by use of a magnetic and/or electric field, and then removing the aligned SWNTs from...

Briefs : Materials
Formulating Precursors for Coating Metals and Ceramics

A protocol has been devised for formulating low-vapor-pressure precursors for protective and conversion coatings on metallic and ceramic substrates.

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Synthetic Bursae for Robots

Synthetic bursae are under development for incorporation into robot joints that are actuated by motor-driven cables in a manner similar to that of arthropod joints actuated by muscle-driven tendons. Like natural bursae, the synthetic bursae would serve as cushions and friction reducers.

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Robot Forearm and Dexterous Hand

An electromechanical hand-and-forearm assembly has been developed for incorporation into an anthropomorphic robot that would be used in outer space. The assembly is designed to offer manual dexterity comparable to that of a hand inside an astronaut's suit; thus, the assembly may also be useful as a prosthesis or...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Formation Flying of Tethered and Nontethered Spacecraft
A paper discusses the effect of the dynamic interaction taking place within a formation composed of a rigid and a deformable vehicle, and presents the concept of two or more tethered spacecraft flying in formation with one or more separated freeflying spacecraft.
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Ball Bearings Equipped for In Situ Lubrication on Demand

In situ systems that provide fresh lubricants to ball/race contacts on demand have been developed to prolong the operational lives of ball bearings. These systems were originally intended to be incorporated into ball bearings in mechanisms that are required to operate in outer space for...

Briefs : Software
Simulating a Direction-Finder Search for an ELT
A computer program simulates the operation of direction-finding equipment engaged in a search for an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) aboard an aircraft that has crashed. The simulated equipment is patterned after the equipment used by the Civil Air Patrol to search for missing aircraft. The...
Briefs : Software
Telephone-Directory Program
eDirectory is a computer program that makes it possible to view entries in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) telephone directory by use of PalmPilot ™ (or equivalent) personal digital assistants. When one uses eDirectory, a single click causes the downloading of a current copy of the directory (which is updated...
Briefs : Software
Processing GPS Occultation Data To Characterize Atmosphere
GOAS [Global Positioning System (GPS) Occultation Analysis System] is a computer program that accepts signaloccultation data from GPS receivers aboard low-Earth-orbiting satellites and processes the data to characterize the terrestrial atmosphere and, in somewhat less comprehensive fashion,...
Briefs : Software
Fuzzy Logic Engine
The Fuzzy Logic Engine is a software package that enables users to embed fuzzy-logic modules into their application programs. Fuzzy logic is useful as a means of formulating human expert knowledge and translating it into software to solve problems. Fuzzy logic provides flexibility for modeling relationships between input and...
Briefs : Software
Software for Secondary-School Learning About Robotics
The ROVer Ranch is an interactive computer program designed to help secondary-school students learn about space-program robotics and related basic scientific concepts by involving the students in simplified design and programming tasks that exercise skills in mathematics and science. The tasks...
Briefs : Software
Data-Driven Software Framework for Web-Based ISS Telescience
Software that enables authorized users to monitor and control scientific payloads aboard the International Space Station (ISS) from diverse terrestrial locations equipped with Internet connections is undergoing development. This software reflects a data-driven approach to distributed...
Briefs : Physical Sciences
Bare Fiber Holder Eases Positioning for Optical Measurements

Bare fiber measurements are common in optical component manufacturing before the device under test (DUT) is connectorized and final tested. Insertion loss and polarization dependent loss are typical measurements on passive components before they are connectorized. The precision of...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Miniature Dual-Wavelength Camera Using InGaAs Focal Plane Arrays

The recent development of indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) focal plane arrays (FPAs) capable of imaging visible and shortwave infrared (SWIR) wavelengths has yielded a miniature dual-wavelength camera with no moving parts that weighs only 11 ounces, consumes less than 1.6 W of...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Two-Photon Fluorescence Microscope for Microgravity Research

A two-photon fluorescence microscope has been developed for the study of biophysical phenomena. Two-photon microscopy is a novel form of laser-based scanning microscopy that enables threedimensional imaging without many of the problems inherent in confocal microscopy. Unlike one-photon...

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