March 2009

Articles : Medical
Life-Saving CPR Device Wins Create The Future Design Contest

LifeBelt® CPR, a new device that makes it easy for anyone to perform high-quality CPR compressions in the event of cardiac arrest, has won the $20,000 grand prize in the 2008 Create the Future Design Contest sponsored by Tech Briefs Media Group and Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp....

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Improved Instrument for Detecting Water and Ice in Soil

An instrument measures electrical properties of relatively dry soils to determine their liquid water and/or ice contents. Designed as a prototype of instruments for measuring the liquid-water and ice contents of lunar and planetary soils, the apparatus could also be utilized for similar...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Lithium-Ion Batteries Fuel the Future of Automotive Design

In 1924, General Motors president Alfred P. Sloan Jr. devised annual model-year design changes in order to maintain unit sales. Body shapes faced cosmetic changes every year, whether or not the underlying automobile had changed. This breakthrough strategy had widespread effects on the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Determining Surface Roughness in Urban Areas Using Lidar Data

An automated procedure has been developed to derive relevant factors, which can increase the ability to produce objective, repeatable methods for determining aerodynamic surface roughness. Aerodynamic surface roughness is used for many applications, like atmospheric dispersive models...

Briefs : Software
DSN Data Visualization Suite

The DSN Data Visualization Suite is a set of computer programs and reusable Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that assist in the visualization and analysis of Deep Space Network (DSN) spacecraft-tracking data, which can include predicted and actual values of downlink frequencies, uplink frequencies, and...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Real-Time Detection of Dust Devils From Pressure Readings

A method for real-time detection of dust devils at a given location is based on identifying the abrupt, temporary decreases in atmospheric pressure that are characteristic of dust devils as they travel through that location. The method was conceived for use in a study of dust devils on...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Hamming and Accumulator Codes Concatenated With MPSK or QAM

In a proposed coding-and-modulation scheme, a high-rate binary data stream would be processed as follows:

Products
Gold Series Panel PCs

Maple Systems, Everett, WA, has released three Gold Series panel PCs in contoured 10", 15", and 17" fanless models. All models feature Intel processors and are preloaded with Windows XP Pro. The fully functional PCs run most Windows-compatible industrial software applications, and are designed for tightly sealed...

Who's Who
Dr. Drake Deming, Senior Scientist, Solar System Exploration Division, Goddard Space Flight Center

Dr. Drake Deming, former Chief of Goddard Space Flight Center’s Planetary Systems Laboratory, currently serves as Senior Scientist with NASA’s Solar System Exploration Division where he specializes in detecting and characterizing hot Jupiter...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Hardware Implementation of Serially Concatenated PPM Decoder

A prototype decoder for a serially concatenated pulse position modulation (SCPPM) code has been implemented in a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). At the time of this reporting, this is the first known hardware SCPPM decoder. The SCPPM coding scheme, conceived for free-space...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Biasable Subharmonic Membrane Mixer for 520 to 600 GHz

The figure shows a biasable subharmonic mixer designed to operate in the frequency range from 520 to 600 GHz. This mixer is a prototype of low-power mixers needed for development of wide-band, high-resolution spectrometers for measuring spectra of molecules in the atmospheres of Earth, other...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Wide-Angle-Scanning Reflectarray Antennas Actuated by MEMS

An effort to develop large-aperture, wide-angle-scanning reflectarray antennas for microwave radar and communication systems is underway. In an antenna of this type as envisioned, scanning of the radiated or incident microwave beam would be effected through mechanical rotation of the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Presentation Extensions of the SOAP

A set of extensions of the Satellite Orbit Analysis Program (SOAP) enables simultaneous and/or sequential presentation of information from multiple sources. SOAP is used in the aerospace community as a means of collaborative visualization and analysis of data on planned spacecraft missions. The following...

Application Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Supercomputer Aids NASA’s Journey to the Moon and Mars
SGI® Altix® ICE system
Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI)
Sunnyvale, CA
800-800-7441
www.sgi.com

SGI has supplied NASA's Advanced Supercomputing facility at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA with Pleiades, the world’s third-fastest supercomputer. The...

Application Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Radiation Detection Hardware Part of Living With a Star Experiment
Space dosimeter card
Space Micro Inc.
San Diego, CA
858-332-0700
www.spacemicro.com

Space Micro’s space dosimeter card has been successfully integrated at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (Greenbelt, MD) into the Living with a Star (LWS), Space...

Briefs : Software
Symbolic Processing Combined With Model-Based Reasoning

A computer program for the detection of present and prediction of future discrete states of a complex, real-time engineering system utilizes a combination of symbolic processing and numerical model-based reasoning. One of the biggest weaknesses of a purely symbolic approach is that it...

NASA Tech Needs
Highly Power-Aware Digital Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Radio

As NASA embarks upon deep-space human exploration, the next-generation extravehicular activity (EVA) radio will be a pivotal technology and an integral part of lunar surface systems success. It facilitates surface operations, enables crew mobility, and supports point to multi-point...

Briefs : Software
Spreadsheets for Analyzing and Optimizing Space Missions

XCALIBR (XML Capability Analysis LIBRary) is a set of Extensible Markup Language (XML) database and spreadsheet-based analysis software tools designed to assist in technology-return-on-investment analysis and optimization of technology portfolios pertaining to outer- space missions....

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Alternative Packaging for Back-Illuminated Imagers

An alternative scheme has been conceived for packaging of silicon- based back-illuminated, back- side-thinned complementary metal oxide/semiconductor (CMOS) and charge-coupled-device image-detector integrated circuits, including an associated fabrication process. This scheme and process are...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Diamond Machining of an Off-Axis Biconic Aspherical Mirror

Two diamond-machining methods have been developed as part of an effort to design and fabricate an off-axis, biconic ellipsoidal, concave aluminum mirror for an infrared spectrometer at the Kitt Peak National Observatory. Beyond this initial application, the methods can be expected to...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Laser Ablation Increases PEM/Catalyst Interfacial Area

An investigational method of improving the performance of a fuel cell that contains a polymer-electrolyte membrane (PEM) is based on the concept of roughening the surface of the PEM, prior to deposition of a thin layer of catalyst, in order to increase the PEM/catalyst interfacial area and...

Briefs : Materials
Polyimide/Glass Composite High-Temperature Insulation

Lightweight composites of RP46 polyimide and glass fibers have been found to be useful as extraordinarily fire-resistant electrical-insulation materials. RP46 is a polyimide of the polymerization of monomeric reactants (PMR) type, developed by NASA Langley Research Center. RP46 has properties...

Briefs : Materials
Damage Detection and Self-Repair in Inflatable/Deployable Structures

Inflatable/deployable structures are under consideration for applications as varied as expansion modules for the International Space Station to destinations for space tourism to habitats for the lunar surface. Monitoring and maintaining the integrity of the physical structure...

Briefs : Materials
Nanocomposite Strain Gauges Having Small TCRs

Ceramic strain gauges in which the strain-sensitive electrically conductive strips made from nanocomposites of noble metal and indium tin oxide (ITO) are being developed for use in gas turbine engines and other power-generation systems in which gas temperatures can exceed 1,500°F (about 816°C). In...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Quick-Connect Windowed Non-Stick Penetrator Tips for Rapid Sampling

Standard penetrator sampling systems were designed in order to allow for sampling via penetrators to produce a full set of sample acquisitions including volatile liquids, fine powders, and solid fragments. A gravity harpoon sampler has been designed with a removable tip and a...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Prediction of B-Pillar Failure in Automobile Bodies

The B-pillar is an important load-carrying component of any automobile body. It is a primary support structure for the roof, and is typically a thin-walled, spot-welded, closed-section structure made from high-strength steels. As part of the validation process, the B-pillar can be...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Modeling Unsteady Cavitation and Dynamic Loads in Turbopumps

A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model that includes representations of effects of unsteady cavitation and associated dynamic loads has been developed to increase the accuracy of simulations of the performances of turbopumps. Although the model was originally intended to serve as a...

Briefs : Medical
Continuous-Flow System Produces Medical-Grade Water

A continuous-flow system utilizes microwave heating to sterilize water and to thermally inactivate endotoxins produced in the sterilization process. The system is designed for use in converting potable water to medical-grade water. Systems like this one could be used for efficient, small-scale...

Briefs : Medical
Discrimination of Spore-Forming Bacilli Using spoIVA

A method of discriminating between spore-forming and non-spore-forming bacteria is based on a combination of simultaneous sporulation-specific and non-sporulation-specific quantitative polymerase chain reactions (Q-PCRs). The method was invented partly in response to the observation that for...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
nBn Infrared Detector Containing Graded Absorption Layer

It has been proposed to modify the basic structure of an nBn infrared photodetector so that a plain electron-donor-type (n-type) semiconductor contact layer would be replaced by a graded n-type III–V alloy semiconductor layer (i.e., ternary or quarternary) with appropriate doping...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Ultra-Broad-Band Optical Parametric Amplifier or Oscillator

A concept for an ultra-broad-band optical parametric amplifier or oscillator has emerged as a by-product of a theoretical study in fundamental quantum optics. The study was originally intended to address the question of whether the two-photon temporal correlation function of light [in...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Atomic References for Measuring Small Accelerations

Accelerometer systems that would combine the best features of both conventional (e.g., mechanical) accelerometers and atom interferometer accelerometers (AIAs) have been proposed. These systems are intended mainly for use in scientific research aboard spacecraft but may also be useful on Earth...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Enhancing SERS by Means of Supramolecular Charge Transfer

In a proposed method of sensing small quantities of molecules of interest, surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy would be further enhanced by means of intermolecular or supramolecular charge transfer. There is a very large potential market for sensors based on this method...

Briefs : Information Technology
Error-Rate Bounds for Coded PPM on a Poisson Channel

Equations for computing tight bounds on error rates for coded pulse-position modulation (PPM) on a Poisson channel at high signal-to-noise ratio have been derived. These equations and elements of the underlying theory are expected to be especially useful in designing codes for PPM optical...

Briefs : Information Technology
Biomorphic Multi-Agent Architecture for Persistent Computing

A multi-agent software/hardware architecture, inspired by the multicellular nature of living organisms, has been proposed as the basis of design of a robust, reliable, persistent computing system. Just as a multicellular organism can adapt to changing environmental conditions and can...

Briefs : Information Technology
Using Covariance Analysis To Assess Pointing Performance

A Pointing Covariance Analysis Tool (PCAT) has been developed for evaluating the expected performance of the pointing control system for NASA’s Space Interferometry Mission (SIM). The SIM pointing control system is very complex, consisting of multiple feedback and feedforward loops, and...

Techs for License
Innovative Cooling Technology for Circuit Boards with LED Lights

Advanced Solid State Lighting (SSL) is a technology that enables the use of LED lights in cost-sensitive applications where cooling of the LED is needed. One limitation that has hindered LED light designs in commercial applications is the cooling of the LEDs when used in the...

Techs for License
Through-Metal RFID Tags Resist Harsh Environments and Deter Counterfeiting

These patented 125-kHz RFID tags and readers enable tag information to be read and written through metal so that tags can be hermetically sealed inside metal parts such as surgical instruments, construction forms, weapons, and similar devices that must withstand harsh...

Tech Needs
Topical Products to Suppress Pain During Epilation

A company is seeking topically applied products and/or chemical technologies to eliminate or suppress pain sensation associated with epilation of undesired hair from skin. Pain elimination or suppression should be quick (<5 minutes) upon application on skin, and the effect should be temporary...

NASA Tech Needs
Crush/Cut-Resistant Safety Glove

A company seeks existing materials that can be utilized in applications for a safety glove. This material must be cutresistant, flexible, and withstand oily, wet, muddy conditions. The material covering the top of the hand and fingers must be extremely flexible and designed to protect the hand and digits from...

Podcasts
Dr. Drake Deming, Senior Scientist, Solar System Exploration Division, Goddard Space Flight Center

Dr. Drake Deming, former Chief of Goddard Space Flight Center’s Planetary Systems Laboratory, currently serves as Senior Scientist with NASA’s Solar System Exploration Division where he specializes in detecting and characterizing hot...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Increasing System Flexibility Using FPGAs

The proliferation of FPGAs into the embedded computing industry has opened up many new pathways for designers to design cost-effective systems that will withstand technology upgrades, changes in application requirements, and requests for low volumes for system components. Because it allows a user to...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
StackableUSB™ Adapting PC Technology to the Embedded Market

Embedded systems and desktop PC's have had a love hate relationship over the years. The PC has been the source of significant technological advances that have enabled embedded systems to evolve to their current levels of sophistication, using the faster processors and...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Using Virtualization to Secure Mobile Device Designs

Mobile devices are increasingly coming under attack from malicious applications. As more complex operating systems (OS), such as Symbian, Windows Mobile, and Linux are used in handsets, providing security updates and identifying new vulnerabilities has become more complicated. Addition ally,...

Application Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Real-Time Data Distribution for Industrial Automation Systems

The quest to bring lockstep efficiency to labor intensive factory production at first relied on mechanical ingenuity. Over time, as reliable and cost-effective microprocessor technology became available, assembly lines were retooled to use the new electronics to achieve greater...

Products : Electronics & Computers
3D Stacked IC Technology (Esc Booth # 1535)

IMEC (Leuven, Belgium) has announced significant progress with its 3D-SIC (3D stacked IC) technology. IMEC recently demonstrated the first functional 3D integrated circuits obtained by die-to-die stacking using 5μm Cu through-silicon vias (TSV). The 3D stacked integrated circuits will be further...

Products : Electronics & Computers
On-Chip Debug Solutions (Esc Booth #1840)

Macraigor Systems (Brookline Village, MA) has ported their proprietary OCDemon On-Chip Debug Technology to ARM Cortex-M3 processors and is offering full GNU toolsets to be used with these processors. Engineers developing applications for these new processors can control and debug their hardware designs...

Products : Electronics & Computers
SMP Virtual Machine (Esc Booth #1610)

Aonix® (San Diego, CA) now offers the PERC Ultra SMP with support for multicore hardware. PERC Ultra SMP is a multiprocessor and multicore solution for complex mission-critical embedded and real-time Java applications. When the Java language, initially designed for multithreaded programming environments,...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Touchscreen Controller ICs (Esc Booth # 316)

Atmel® Corporation (San Jose, CA) has introduced charge-transfer, capacitive touchscreen controller ICs that are suitable for mobile phones and other personal electronics. Highly reliable standard Two Touch™ and Single Touch touchscreen controllers are available. Two Touch controller ICs can...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Bluetooth Modules (ESC Booth #1809)

Laird Technologies (St. Louis, MO) has introduced a range of Bluetooth® modules designed to support the demands of medical equipment manufacturers. Designed for data applications, the BTM411 is a fully integrated, sub-miniature Bluetooth data-oriented module based on Cambridge Silicon Radio's BC04 chipset....

Products : Electronics & Computers
Reference Design Platform (ESC Booth #626)

Express Logic, Inc. (San Diego, CA) and Renesas Technology America, Inc. (San Jose, CA) have teamed up to offer a comprehensive reference design platform for powerful, inexpensive media players. The media player platform is based on Renesas' 200-MHz SuperH SH-2A microcontroller architecture and Express...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Micro-ATX Motherboard (ESC Booth #1940)

The EL330-DR micro-ATX form factor motherboard from ITOX (East Brunswick, NJ) utilizes the Intel® Q45 Express chipset with Intel® I/O Controller Hub 10DO. The embedded board supports the 45nm Intel® Core™2 Quad processor Q9400 with up to 6MB of shared L2 cache and up to 1333 MHz Front...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Qseven Computer Module (ESC Booth #1223)

Congatec AG (Deggendorf, Germany) now offers conga-QA, a computer module based on the Qseven form factor. The conga-QA is fitted with the Intel® Atom™ Z5xx range of processors and the Intel® US15W system controller hub. The module provides fast, serial differential interfaces such as PCI...

Products : Electronics & Computers
STD Bus x86-Based SBC (ESC Booth #435)

The LPM-LX800-G from WinSystems (Arlington,TX) is a high-integration STD Bus single board computer (SBC) that incorporates the low power, AMD Geode™ LX800MHz 0.9W CPU. The LPMLX800- G can be populated with up to 1 GByte of system DRAM and up to 16 GBytes of CompactFlash. A high-performance video...

Products : Electronics & Computers
AC/DC Switching Power Supply (ESC Booth #1028 )

Kontron (Poway, CA) introduces the CP3210 rugged conduction-cooled 3U CompactPCI® CPU board. The CPU board offers a clock rate of 733 MHz and DDR SDRAM of 226 MHz. The CP3210 incorporates a thermal sensor for health monitoring and thermal management. The 3U CompactPCI® CPU board is designed...

Articles : Imaging
Making the Move to Digital in Machine Vision

Analog cameras dominated the early years of machine vision systems, offering adequate performance, a simple interface, and a moderate price. Technology advances, however, are now tipping the scales in favor of digital cameras for most new and many legacy applications. Dropping prices, standardized...

Application Briefs : Imaging
Imaging Technique Improves Quality Control of Pharmaceuticals

A focal plane array designed for the Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle has helped a scientist see farther into the infrared spectrum.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) researcher E. Neil Lewis picked up a mercury-cadmium telluride (MCT) array from...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
SOI CMOS Imager With Suppression of Cross-Talk

A monolithic silicon-on-insulator (SOI) complementary metal oxide/ semiconductor (CMOS) image-detecting integrated circuit of the active-pixel-sensor type, now undergoing development, is designed to operate at visible and near-infrared wavelengths and to offer a combination of high quantum...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Particle-Image Velocimeter Having Large Depth of Field

An instrument that functions mainly as a particle-image velocimeter provides data on the sizes and velocities of flying opaque particles. The instrument is being developed as a means of characterizing fluxes of wind-borne dust particles in the Martian atmosphere. The instrument could also...

Briefs : Software
Processing Ocean Images To Detect Large Drift Nets

A computer program processes the digitized outputs of a set of downward-looking video cameras aboard an aircraft flying over the ocean. The purpose served by this software is to facilitate the detection of large drift nets that have been lost, abandoned, or jettisoned. The development of this...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Improved Signal Chains for Readout of CMOS Imagers

An improved generic design has been devised for implementing signal chains involved in readout from complementary metal oxide/semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors and for other readout integrated circuits (ICs) that perform equivalent functions. The design applies to any such IC in which output...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Improving 3D Wavelet-Based Compression of Hyperspectral Images

Two methods of increasing the effectiveness of three-dimensional (3D) wavelet-based compression of hyperspectral images have been developed. (As used here, “images” signifies both images and digital data representing images.) The methods are oriented toward reducing or...

Products : Imaging
Video Recording Server

Videology Imaging Solutions, Greenville, RI, offers the 60SV12VA-B single-channel server that enables users to upgrade existing analog cameras to be IP-addressable and record remotely onto an SD card. The server incorporates the Extended-Recording System (ERS) firmware to allow for continuous or triggered video recording...

Products : Imaging
HDTV Network Security Camera

The AXIS Q1755 network camera from Axis Communications, Chelmsford, MA, features HDTV performance in compliance with the SMPTE standard in resolution, color representation, and frame rate. It is designed for securing areas where greater image detail is required, such as airports and passport control areas. It...

Products : Imaging
Thermal Imaging Camera

Mikron Infrared, Oakland, NJ, offers the MCL320MF “smart” thermal imaging camera for use in process control applications where thermal data is needed to interface directly with process control systems, without the need for a PC or external software interface. It features 320 × 240 resolution, digital outputs, and...

Products : Imaging
CMOS Image Sensor

The MLX75307 CMOS image sensor from Melexis, Concord, NH, is designed for automotive front vision applications such as advanced driver assistance systems, high-beam assist, and night vision. It also can be used in medical and industrial applications. The sensor features a high-dynamic-range pixel matrix that extends the input...

Products : Imaging
Motorized Zoom Lens

Resolve Optics, Chesham, UK, offers the Model 304 motorized zoom lens that delivers high-definition images (720-line progressive and 1080-line interlaced) in a 10× zoom lens that measures 84 × 70 × 70 mm. A camera mount incorporates topside and back focus adjustment so the lens can be set up on any 1/3", 3-chip...

Products : Imaging
Open-Frame Monitors

AZ Displays, Mission Viejo, CA, has introduced the AOM080S, AOM121S, and AOM150X open-frame, rugged, color LCD monitors that feature built-in touch panels and plug-and-play capabilities. They support NTSC, PAL, and SECAM video systems; accept contents of different computer resolutions; and allow on-screen adjustment of...

Products : Imaging
CCD Image Sensors

Eastman Kodak, Rochester, NY, has introduced the KODAK KAI-02050 image sensor, a 2-megapixel CCD image sensor that provides 1600 × 1200 pixels at a readout speed of 60 frames per second. It is designed for applications such as machine vision, industrial inspection, and medical applications. Designed in the 2/3" optical format,...

Products : Imaging
Network IP Camera

LOREXTM Technology, Baltimore, MD, offers the LNE3003 network IP camera that lets users remotely monitor their business through a secure, password-protected connection. The camera can be connected to a router or to an active wall port on a local network. It is compatible with 3G mobile devices, and enables users to...

Products : Imaging
Gigabit Ethernet Cameras

Baumer, Southington, CT, has introduced the TXG series of Gigabit Ethernet cameras designed to provide Power over Gigabit Ethernet, eliminating the need for a separate power cable. The cameras are designed for vision systems such as robotic applications where additional cables can be problematic. An industrial dual-port...