May 2006

Products
EZ-ZONE™ ST

Watlow, St. Louis, MO, has introduced the EZ-ZONE™ ST integrated control loop that integrates temperature control, power control, safety shutdown, and power disconnect in a single package. The system features a PID temperature controller already connected to a high-amperage solid-state relay with the option of adding a properly...

Who's Who
Dr. Marco Giardino, Chief Technologist, Engineering & Science Directorate

Using high-tech remote sensing methods, a collection of artifacts has been unearthed at Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, MS. The objects uncovered during archeological excavations conducted over the past 11 years were found at the site of the 19th century Hancock...

Application Briefs : Physical Sciences
Human Physiological Model Helps Evaluate NASA's Liquid Cooling Garments
Advanced Automotive Manikin
(ADAM) human physiological model
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Golden, CO
303-275-3000
www.nrel.gov
Application Briefs : Imaging
Deformable Mirror to be Used in Space
Micromachined deformable mirror (DM)
Boston Micromachines Corp.
Watertown, MA
617-926-4178
www.bostonmicromachines.com
Articles
Reduce Your Product Launch Time With "Lean" Principles

The Business Briefs series of articles takes you through the basics of developing and presenting a design idea, obtaining funding, protecting and licensing your intellectual property, and getting your ideas to market. This month, learn how Lean Product Development and Marketing can help...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Lightweight Electronic Camera for Research on Clouds

"Micro-CPI" (wherein "CPI" signifies "cloud-particle imager") is the name of a small, lightweight electronic camera that has been proposed for use in research on clouds. The Micro-CPI would be incorporated into a small autonomous or remotely piloted airplane of a type that is now used in...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Optical Profilometers Using Adaptive Signal Processing

A method of adaptive signal processing has been proposed as the basis of a new generation of interferometric optical profilometers for measuring surfaces. Many current optical surface-measuring profilometers utilize white-light-interferometry and, because of optical and mechanical components...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Rigorous Estimation of SNR of a PSK Communication Link

An improved method of estimating the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of a phase-shift keying (PSK) communication link is founded on a rigorous statistical analysis of the input to, and the output from, the PSK demodulator in the receiver. Many methods to estimate SNR ratios of PSK communication...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Pilot Weather Advisor System Nears Realtime

The Pilot Weather Advisor (PWA) system is an automated satellite radio-broadcasting system that provides nearly realtime weather data to pilots of aircraft in flight anywhere in the continental United States. The system was designed to enhance safety in two distinct ways: First, the automated receipt...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
T-Shaped Emitter Metal Structures for HBTs

Metal emitter structures in a class of developmental InP-based high-speed heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs) have been redesigned to have Tshaped cross sections. More precisely, the modified cross sections can be characterized as having highly stylized T-shapes that are modified versions of prior...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
EMI Filters for Low-Temperature Applications

Filters that suppress electromagnetic interference (EMI) on signal cables connected to cryogenic electronic equipment can be made from cores consisting of high-permeability materials. The basic principle of operation of these filters is the same as that of the ferrite-core common-mode EMI filters now...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Advanced Ka-Band Transceiver With Monopulse Tracking

A proposed Ka-band transmitting/ receiving system would embody a unique combination of established and semi-proven design features. Although this system is intended primarily for telecommunication use aboard a spacecraft, its design could be adapted to terrestrial military and commercial radar...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Improved Photon-Emission-Microscope System

An improved photon-emission-microscope (PEM) instrumentation system has been developed for use in diagnosing failure conditions in semiconductor devices, including complex integrated circuits. This system is designed primarily to image areas that emit photons, at wavelengths from 400 to 1,100 nm,...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Repairing Chipped Silicide Coatings on Refractory Metal Substrates

The space shuttle orbiter's reaction control system (RCS) is a series of small thrusters that use hypergolic fuels to orient the orbiter in space. The RCS thrusters are constructed from a special niobium-based alloy — the C-103. This alloy retains excellent mechanical...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Simplified Fabrication of Helical Copper Antennas

A simplified technique has been devised for fabricating helical antennas for use in experiments on radio-frequency generation and acceleration of plasmas. These antennas are typically made of copper (for electrical conductivity) and must have a specific helical shape and precise diameter.

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Waveguide Power-Amplifier Module for 80 to 150 GHz

A waveguide power-amplifier module capable of operating over the frequency range from 80 to 150 GHz has been constructed. The module comprises a previously reported power amplifier packaged in a waveguide housing that is compatible with WR-8 waveguides. (WR-8 is a standard waveguide size for the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Manufacture of Sparse-Spectrum Optical Microresonators

An alternative design for dielectric optical microresonators and a relatively simple process to fabricate them have been proposed. The proposed microresonators would exploit the same basic physical phenomena as those of microtorus optical resonators and of the microsphere optical resonators...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Exact Tuning of High-Q Optical Microresonators by Use of UV

In one of several alternative approaches to the design and fabrication of a "whispering-gallery" optical microresonator of high resonance quality (high Q), the index of refraction of the resonator material and, hence, the resonance frequencies (which depend on the index of...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Graded-Index “Whispering-Gallery” Optical Microresonators

Graded-index-of- refraction dielectric optical microresonators have been proposed as a superior alternative to prior dielectric optical microresonators, which include microspheres (described in several prior NASA Tech Briefs articles) and microtori wherein electromagnetic waves...

Briefs : Materials
Thermally Stable Piezoelectric and Pyroelectric Polymers

A class of thermally stable piezoelectric and pyroelectric polymers, and an improved method of making them, have been invented. These polymers can be used as substrates for a wide variety of electro- mechanical transducers, sensors, and actuators.

Briefs : Materials
Combustion Synthesis of Ca₃(PO₄)₂ Net-Shape Surgical Implants

ASelf-propagating high-temperature combustion synthesis (SHS) is the basis of a method of making components of porous tricalcium phosphate [Ca3(PO4)2] and related compounds in net sizes and shapes for use as surgical implants that are compatible...

Briefs : Software
Robust Control for the Mercury Laser Altimeter

Mercury Laser Altimeter Science Algorithms is a software system for controlling the laser altimeter aboard the Messenger spacecraft, which is to enter into orbit about Mercury in 2011. The software will control the altimeter by dynamically modifying hardware inputs for gain, threshold, channel-...

Briefs : Software
DAVE-ML Utility Programs

DAVEtools is a set of Java archives (*.jar files) that embodies tools for manipulating flight-dynamics models that have been encoded in dynamic aerospace vehicle exchange markup language (DAVE-ML). [DAVE-ML is an application program, written in Extensible Markup Language (XML), for encoding complete computational models...

Briefs : Software
Software for Alignment of Segments of a Telescope Mirror

The Segment Alignment Maintenance System (SAMS) software is designed to maintain the overall focus and figure of the large segmented primary mirror of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope. This software reads measurements made by sensors attached to the segments of the primary mirror and from these...

Briefs : Software
Simulation of Dropping of Cargo With Parachutes

Decelerator System Simulation (DSS) is a computer program for predicting and analyzing the dynamics of a load of cargo dropped with parachutes from an aircraft. A DSS simulation runs from the first motion in the aircraft until the payload reaches the ground. Intended for use in support of airdrop...

Briefs : Software
Aspect-Oriented Subprogram Synthesizes UML Sequence Diagrams

The Rational Sequence computer program described in the immediately preceding article includes a subprogram that utilizes the capability for aspect-oriented programming when that capability is present. This subprogram is denoted the Rational Sequence (AspectJ) component because it uses...

Briefs : Software
Program Synthesizes UML Sequence Diagrams

A computer program called "Rational Sequence" generates Universal Modeling Language (UML) sequence diagrams of a target Java program running on a Java virtual machine (JVM). Rational Sequence thereby performs a reverse engineering function that aids in the design documentation of the target Java program....

Briefs : Software
Updated Computational Model of Cosmic Rays Near Earth

An updated computational model of the galactic-cosmic-ray (GCR) environment in the vicinity of the Earth, Earth's Moon, and Mars has been developed, and updated software has been developed to implement the updated model. The GCR model and software in their original forms, developed during the...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Two High-Temperature Foil Journal Bearings

An enlarged, high-temperature -compliant foil bearing has been built and tested to demonstrate the feasibility of such bearings for use in aircraft gas turbine engines. At 150 mm in diameter, this is the largest foil bearing known to date. This bearing is a scaled-up version of a patented...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Using Plates To Represent Fillets in Finite-Element Modeling

A method that involves the use of fictitious plate elements denoted bridge plates has been developed for representing the stiffnesses of fillets in finiteelement calculations of deflections, stresses, and strains in structures. In the absence of this method, it would be necessary to...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Stochastic Representation of Chaos Using Terminal Attractors

A nonlinear version of the Liouville equation based on terminal attractors is part of a mathematical formalism for describing postinstability motions of dynamical systems characterized by exponential divergences of trajectories leading to chaos (including turbulence as a form of...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Lunar Constellation of Frozen Elliptical Inclined Orbits

A document discusses the design of orbits of spacecraft for relaying communications between Earth stations and robotic and human explorers in craters in one of the polar regions on the Moon. In simplest terms, the basic problem is to design a constellation of orbits to provide continuous...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Tunable, Highly Stable Lasers for Coherent Lidar

Practical space-based coherent laser radar systems envisioned for global winds measurement must be very efficient and must contend with unique problems associated with the large platform velocities that the instruments experience in orbit. To compensate for these large platform-induced Doppler...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Optical Systems Improve Nerve Stimulation

The stimulation of nerve tissue is a technique that is used in both research and clinical applications. Neuroscientists use nerve stimulation to study the fundamental principles of the nervous system and to research Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and nerve regeneration, among others....

Briefs : Physical Sciences
DPSS UV Source Targets Gas Lasers and Life Sciences

Nitrogen lasers have been used for more than 15 years in life science and forensic applications and will continue to play a role in many scientific and industrial applications. But researchers, OEMs, and system integrators working on innovative, cutting-edge applications need higher-performance...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Optical Surface Analysis Advances Defect Inspection of Optoelectronics

Faced with increasing demand, manufacturers of power devices, microdisplays, and high-brightness light-emitting diodes (HB-LEDs) are focusing on tightening manufacturing process windows to reduce defects. The transparent nature of the substrates used to make many...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Middleware Bridges the Optical/Mechanical Design Gap

Mechanical CAD (computer-aided design) programs have become very sophisticated during the past few years. Unfortunately, there is still a portion of the engineering spectrum that cannot be handled well in a traditional CAD program: optical modeling. If you are creating a complicated optical...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Photonics Tech Briefs Presents 2005 Products of the Year

Photonics Tech Briefs (PTB) recently presented the 2005 Readers’ Choice Products of the Year at a special awards dinner held at The Water Club in New York City. The top three products chosen by the readers of PTB were honored at the event.

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Tunable, Highly Stable Lasers for Coherent Lidar

Practical space-based coherent laser radar systems envisioned for global winds measurement must be very efficient and must contend with unique problems associated with the large platform velocities that the instruments experience in orbit. To compensate for these large platform-induced Doppler...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Optical Systems Improve Nerve Stimulation

The stimulation of nerve tissue is a technique that is used in both research and clinical applications. Neuroscientists use nerve stimulation to study the fundamental principles of the nervous system and to research Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and nerve regeneration, among others....

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
DPSS UV Source Targets Gas Lasers and Life Sciences

Spectra-Physics Corp., Tucson, Arizona

Nitrogen lasers have been used for more than 15 years in life science and forensic applications and will continue to play a role in many scientific and industrial applications. But researchers, OEMs, and system integrators working on innovative,...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Optical Profilometers Using Adaptive Signal Processing

A method of adaptive signal processing has been proposed as the basis of a new generation of interferometric optical profilometers for measuring surfaces. Many current optical surface-measuring profilometers utilize white-light-interferometry and, because of optical and mechanical components...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Optical Surface Analysis Advances Defect Inspection of Optoelectronics

KLA-Tencor Corp., San Jose, California

Faced with increasing demand, manufacturers of power devices, microdisplays, and high-brightness light-emitting diodes (HB-LEDs) are focusing on tightening manufacturing process windows to reduce defects. The transparent nature of...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Improved Photon-Emission-Microscope System

An improved photon-emission-microscope (PEM) instrumentation system has been developed for use in diagnosing failure conditions in semiconductor devices, including complex integrated circuits. This system is designed primarily to image areas that emit photons, at wavelengths from 400 to 1,100 nm,...

Products
Product of the Month: Diode Pumped Solid-State Laser System

The MirusTM diode pumped solid-state laser system from Northrop Grumman Space Cutting Edge Optronics (St. Charles, MO) is available with 450 watts of output power. It features an RS 232/485 interface, an electronic shutter, linear PI curve, and an internal flow switch in the...

Products
Compact Laser Diode Modules

Photonic Products (Huntington Beach, CA) has launched 8-mm-diameter laser diode modules for use in prepress plate alignment and laser alignment for label and wrapper cutting machinery, and medical applications such as patient positioning. The modules consist of a brass housing, laser diode, drive circuit, and...

Products
Silicon Avalanche Photodiodes

The SAR500x silicon avalanche photodiodes (Si-APD) from Laser Components (Hudson, NH) feature a 500-μm detector chip with a “reach-through” structure. This structure is responsible for sensitivity in the spectral range of 400 nm to 1,100 nm and, simultaneously, for rise and fall times typically of 450 ps. It is...

Products
Laser Beam Expanders

Optical Surfaces Ltd. (Surrey, UK) offers laser beam expanders for high-power laser and Doppler shift LIDAR applications. Manufactured to better than lambda/10 surface accuracy, the off-axis design of the beam expanders produces no central obscuration. Alignment aids are supplied with each beam expander to ensure correct...

Products
Interferogram Analysis Software

IntelliWave 5.0 interferometry analysis software from Engineering Synthesis Design (Tucson, AZ) features a new scientific programming language. The automation/client server architecture allows bidirectional communication and data transfer between other programs for industrial systems automation. Wizards provide...

Products
Excimer Laser

Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) has introduced the LAMBDA SX 315C excimer laser designed for low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) crystallization used in the manufacture of flat-panel displays (FPD). The laser features pulse energy of up to 1,050 mJ and pulse stability of 0.5%. It offers an average power of 315W stabilized, and is...

Products
Handheld Photometer

Designed for measuring area illumination, projector output, screen brightness, architecture lighting, room lighting, and color uniformity, Photo Research (Chatsworth, CA) has developed the PR-524 LiteMate illuminance handheld photometer system. The PR-524 features a cosine corrected receptor and measures illuminance. The...

Products
Color Dome

The ESD-380DR high-speed color dome from ELMO USA Corp. (Plainview, NY) provides 360° continuous pan rotation at a travel speed from 5° to 400°/second. It operates from presets with 180° auto turnaround. The ESD-380DR features tilt travel from -10° to 190°, and 256 programmable preset pinpoint target areas. Pan and tilt speed...

Products
Laser Ultrasonic Receiver

Lasson Technologies (Culver City, CA) has released the AIR-1550-TWM laser ultrasonic receiver for component inspection and nondestructive evaluation of material properties. Part of the AIR family of receivers, the AIR-1550-TWM operates at a wavelength of 1,550 nm. AIR receivers are based on a common platform with a...

Products
Laser Doppler Vibrometer

MetroLaser (Irvine, CA) has announced the VibroMet 500V single-beam laser Doppler vibrometer that features a sensitivity range of 2 microns/sec, and a vibration velocity measurement range of 1 meter/sec. The laser is collimated, so there is no need to adjust a focusing lens. Its solid-state laser diode ensures the system...

Products
Shortwave Infrared Camera

Sensors Unlimited, Goodrich Corp. (Princeton, NJ) has announced the SU640SDWH-1.7RT high-frame-rate, high-resolution, shortwave infrared (SWIR) camera. The indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) camera has regions of interest (ROI) windowing capabilities with high-sensitivity SWIR spectral response from 900 nm to 1,700 nm....

Products
LED Illuminator

The LV-1000 LED-based microscope light source from Micro-Lite® (Three Rivers, MA) incorporates LEDs as the light source. The illuminator features 360-degree, shadow-free uniform illumination; low voltage; and reduced glare. Brightness can be user-controlled to suit specific viewing requirements. The white light source will fit...

Products
Multiplexer

LightSmyth Technologies (Eugene, OR) offers an integrated, single-mode-compatible, coarse WDM (CWDM) multiplexer based on the company’s nanophotonic filtering technology. The unit is passively athermal and polarization insensitive to 0.2 dB. It is based on the silica-on-silicon planar waveguide format, and requires chips of only 1...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Improved Traps for Removing Gases From Coolant Liquids

Two documents discuss improvements in traps for removing noncondensable gases (e.g., air) from heat-transfer liquids (e.g., water) in spacecraft cooling systems. Noncondensable gases must be removed because they can interfere with operation. A typical trap includes a cylindrical hydrophobic...

Briefs : Medical
Simulation Software Enables Accurate Placement of Electrode Arrays in Cochlear Implants

Cochlear implants have been used successfully to provide auditory information for bilaterally profoundly deaf patients. This is achieved by electrically stimulating auditory nerve fibers via an electrode array, which is surgically implanted into the scala...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Better Back Contacts for Solar Cells on Flexible Substrates

Improved low-resistance, semitransparent back contacts, and a method of fabricating them, have been developed for solar photovoltaic cells that are made from thin films of I-III-VI2 semiconductor materials on flexible, high-temperature-resistant polyimide substrates or superstrates....

Briefs : Information Technology
Automation for 'Direct-to' Clearances in Air-Traffic Control

A method of automation, and a system of computer hardware and software to implement the method, have been invented to assist en-route air-traffic controllers in the issuance of clearances to fly directly to specified waypoints or navigation fixes along straight paths that deviate from...

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