May 2002

Briefs : Materials
Improved Conversion Coating for Protection of Metals

A simple, cost effective, environmentally friendly conversion-coating process has been developed for protecting a variety of metals against wear and corrosion and to increase adhesion of paints. This process results in the deposition of a thin, adherent coats of iron phosphate on treated metal...

Briefs : Materials
Composite-Material Structures for Absorbing Crash Energy

Improved lightweight composite-material structures have been invented to protect persons and equipment during aircraft and ground-vehicle crashes. These structures are designed to hold their initial shapes and sustain rated loads under normal operating conditions and, during crashes, to...

Briefs : Materials
Chevrel Phases as Potential Thermoelectric Materials

Crystalline phases of compounds of general composition (Cuw, CuxFey, or Tiz)Mo6Se8 [where w<4, x<2, y<1, and z<1] have been investigated for potential utility as thermoelectric materials for generation of electric...

Briefs : Materials
Alkyl Pyrocarbonate Electrolyte Additives for Li-Ion Cells

Alkyl pyrocarbonates have been found to be useful as electrolyte additives for improving the low-temperature performances of rechargeable lithium-ion electrochemical cells. The beneficial effects of these and other additives have been investigated, along with various electrolyte...

Briefs : Materials
Fluorinated Alkyl Carbonates as Cosolvents in Li-Ion Cells

Partially fluorinated alkyl carbonate liquid compounds have been found to be excellent electrolyte cosolvents for rechargeable lithium-ion electrochemical cells. The benefits afforded by these and other ingredients of electrolyte solutions in rechargeable Li-ion cells have been...

Briefs : Materials
Diaminobenzoquinones as Corrosion-Inhibiting Additives

Non-polymeric N,N´-di-N-hydrocarbyl- 2,5-diamino-1,4-benzoquinones (where the hydrocarbyl substituents are alkyl or aryl) have been found to be useful as corrosion-inhibiting additives for paints and other conventional coating materials that are applied to steel and other metals. Prior...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Multiple-Cavity Masers as 32-GHz LNAs

Improved multiple-cavity ruby masers are under development for use as lownoise amplifiers (LNAs) for receiving very weak radio signals in frequency bands up to and including one centered approximately at 32 GHz. These masers were designed specifically to be incorporated into receivers in ground stations of...

Briefs : Software
Program for Tracking Air-Purification Cartridges

The Cartridge Automated Reliance Tracking (CART) computer program enables authorized requesters associated with NASA to gain access to the most recent tracking data on LiOH-based airpurification cartridges used during space-shuttle flights. CART could also be adapted to suit the needs of other...

Briefs : Software
Software for Implementing Fuzzy Logic on Microcontrollers

Fuzzy Inference System Translator (FIST) is a computer program that facilitates the implementation of fuzzy-logic software on commercial or other viable microcontrollers. In the original application for which FIST was developed, there was a need to implement plantgrowth- chamber (PGC)...

Briefs : Software
Software for Constructing a Facility-Management Database

Facility Management Tracking System (FMTS) is a computer program for constructing an integrated database that defines any event in a managed facility. FMTS provides a simple user interface for entering all relevant data connected to the event. The entered data, as displayed and processed...

Briefs : Software
Software Implements Telemetry Protocols

The CCSDS Telemetry and Telecom Software Library provides a reference implementation of the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) international protocol standard for the transmission and reception of telemetry and telecommand data in radio communications with spacecraft. The library...

Briefs : Software
Software for Parallel Processing of Telemetry

Parallel Telemetry Processor (PTEP) is a high-speed, robust, extensible, Javalanguage computer program that (1) enables the parallel processing of a serial stream of telemetric data and (2) generates a graphical display for monitoring the processing. Originally intended for application to spacecraft...

Briefs : Software
Software for Global Forecasting of Winds and Waves

The WorldWinds™ software system generates high-resolution global weather forecasts, with emphasis on wind and ocean-wave vectors, in nearly real time. WorldWinds™ was developed primarily to serve organizations and individuals needing accurate forecasts for scientific, safety, or economic...

Briefs : Software
Software for Modeling Spacecraft Electric Power

Multi-Mission Power Analysis Tool (MMPAT) is a computer program for constructing computational models of the generation, storage, consumption, and flow of electric power in a spacecraft. Heretofore, such modeling has been accomplished by means of unique software for each application. In contrast,...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Pressure-Balanced, Low-Hysteresis Finger Seal

A second-generation design for a finger seal has been proposed to reduce a hysteretic effect that gives rise to increased leakage in a first-generation finger seal. As explained below, the second-generation design provides for balancing of pressure drops along the flow paths within the seal in such a...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Instrument for Measuring Extreme Winds

An instrument is undergoing development for use in measuring both the horizontal direction and the horizontal speed of wind in the speed range from 60 to 300 mph (about 27 to 134 m/s) at a rate of at least 50 samples per second. The speed range of this instrument greatly exceeds that of conventional...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Mechanized Harvesting of Plants in a Controlled Environment

The proposed Plant Harvesting Mechanization System (PHARMS) would comprise machinery and controls for semiautomated harvesting of plants grown in a controlled environment. The PHARMS was conceived as a prototype of harvesters to be incorporated into life-support systems of spacecraft...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Emergency Landing Using Thrust Control and Shift of Weight

Normally, the damage that results in a total loss of the primary flight control of a transport airplane, including all the engines on one side, would be catastrophic. Dryden Flight Research Center has conceived of a method of responding to a total loss of hydraulic pressure and failure...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
High-Velocity, Pulsed Wire Arc Spray

A high-velocity, pulsed wire arc spraying apparatus has been proposed and partly developed in an effort to improve the quality of coatings deposited by thermal spray techniques. In this apparatus, material from a wire arc is atomized and propelled toward a deposition substrate by a repetitively pulsed plasma...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Software for Electromagnetic Detection of Buried Explosives

U-HUNTER (also called “UXOHUNTER”) is a computer program that affords knowledge-based real-time sensor- fusion and display capabilities for detecting buried objects and materials of interest. U-HUNTER is intended especially for inferring the presence of buried unexploded ordnance...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Aircraft Anti-Icing Systems Utilizing Induced Hydrophobicity

Aircraft anti-icing systems of a proposed type would utilize static electric fields to reduce or eliminate the electrostatic forces that bond ice and water to metal surfaces. These would be lightweight, low-power-consumption, inexpensive systems that would be installed on the surfaces...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Characterization of Heat-Flux-Gauge Calibration System

A project is underway in the Flight Loads Laboratory (FLL) at Dryden Flight Research Center to reduce the uncertainties in heat-flux measurements. The impetus for this project is provided, in part, by the observation that uncertainties in heat-flux measurements are large — often 10 to 20...

Briefs : Information Technology
Massively Parallel Computation of Electromagnetic Fields

A method of massively parallel computation on supercomputers has been developed to facilitate numerical simulation of electromagnetic fields in the vicinities of electrically large and complex radiating and scattering objects. In this method as in methods developed previously for the same...

Briefs : Information Technology
Physical Model of Immune-Inspired Computing

A mathematical model that represents several physical and mental behaviors has been developed to enable the phenomenological description of basic functions of immune systems. This development is part of a continuing effort to improve the autonomy of robots and spacecraft by use of computational methods...

Briefs : Information Technology
Mathematical Model of a Quantum Decision Maker

A mathematical model of a quantum analog-computing device that would simulate the human decision-making process has been developed. Like the immune-inspired- computing model described in the preceding article, this model is intended to contribute to improvement in the autonomy of robots and...

Briefs : Information Technology
IIR Filters for Postprocessing Noisy Test Data

A little-known parametric form of an infinite impulse response (IIR) filter has been found to be useful in digital postprocessing of noisy test signals. The filter equation is:

y(n) = α[x(n) + x(n – 1)] + γy(n – 1),

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Tests of Finger Seals

A report discusses tests of finger seals, which were described in “Pressure- Balanced, Low-Hysteresis Finger Seal” (LEW-16840), which appears on page 52 in this issue. Like a labyrinth or brush seal, a finger seal is used (typically in a gas turbine) to minimize a leakage flow along a rotating shaft. The report...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Low-Power, Zero-Vibration Sorption Coolers

A report discusses three designs of proposed low-power, zero-vibration coolers for infrared instruments planned to be flown aboard spacecraft to perform astrophysical observations far from Earth. The designs take advantage of the radiative precooling available in the projected deep-space operational...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Inhibited Carrier Transfer in Ensembles of Quantum Dots

A report presents an experimental study of time-resolved, temperature-dependent photoluminescence in InxGa1–x As/GaAs specimens containing In0.6Ga0.4As quantum dots (QDs) distributed at several different areal densities on a GaAs surface and...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Study of Amplification in Optocoupler-Equivalent Circuits

A report presents a theoretical and experimental study of amplification in electronic circuits that include combinations of discrete light sources (e.g., lightemitting diodes) and photodetectors (e.g., reverse-biased photodiodes), which combinations perform essentially the same functions...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Area Production in Supercritical, Transitional Mixing Layers

This paper presents a study of area production in mixing layers undergoing transition to turbulence. These layers evolve from the mixing of two initially segregated counterflowing streams under supercritical conditions. The study may contribute to development of means to control area...

Briefs : Materials
Nanolaminate Mirrors With Integral Figure-Control Actuators

A report discusses the development of thin-shell curved mirrors comprised of metallic multilayer nanolaminate substrates that contain integral inplane actuators for controlling surface figure with micron-level precision. These mirrors, intended for incorporation into scientific imaging...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Paraffin-Actuated Heat Switch for Mars Surface Applications

Missions to the surface of Mars pose unique thermal-control challenges to rover and lander systems. With diurnal temperature changes greater than 100 °C, the presence of a Mars atmosphere, and limited power for night-time heating, the thermal-control engineer is faced with a...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Loss-Tolerant Speech Codec

A coder/decoder system (codec) is being developed for use in a digital voice communication system in which speech is encoded as a series of frames of data and transmitted over a noisy or lossy channel. Called a “loss-tolerant speech codec” (LTSC), the system is designed to maintain the quality of reconstructed...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Circuits Control Test Power-Turn-On and -Turn-Off Transients

Two electronic circuits that generate controlled power-turn-on and power-turn-off transients have been developed. These circuits are parts of a suite of test equipment used to measure the responses, to power-bus transients, of power supplies and power-consuming electronic circuitry...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Stabilization and Registration of Sequential Video Images

A computational process converts a sequence of digitized video images of the same scene into stabilized, coregistered images of an area of interest within the scene. The process corrects for motion of the area of interest or of the camera (as manifested by rotation, translation, and/or...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Arrays of QWIPs With Spatial Separation of Multiple Colors

Focal-plane arrays of quantum-well infrared photodetectors (QWIPs) featuring adjacent pixels sensitive to different colors have been proposed. An array of this type would make it possible to image the same scene in multiple wavelength bands simultaneously on the same focal plane,...