June 2004

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Membrane-Based Water Evaporator for a Space Suit

A membrane-based water evaporator has been developed that is intended to serve as a heat-rejection device for a space suit. This evaporator would replace the current sublimator that is sensitive to contamination of its feedwater. The design of the membrane-based evaporator takes advantage of...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Compact Microscope Imaging System With Intelligent Controls

The figure presents selected views of a compact microscope imaging system (CMIS) that includes a miniature video microscope, a Cartesian robot (a computer- controlled three-dimensional translation stage), and machine-vision and control subsystems. The CMIS was built from commercial...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Chirped- Superlattice, Blocked- Intersubband QWIP

An AlxGa1—x As/GaAs quantum-well infrared photodetector (QWIP) of the blocked-intersubband-detector (BID) type, now undergoing development, features a chirped (that is, aperiodic) superlattice. The purpose of the chirped superlattice is to increase the quantum efficiency of the device.

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Charge-Dissipative Electrical Cables

Electrical cables that dissipate spurious static electric charges, in addition to performing their main functions of conducting signals, have been developed. These cables are intended for use in trapped-ion or ionizing-radiation environments, in which electric charges tend to accumulate within, and on the...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Deep-Sea Video Cameras Without Pressure Housings

Underwater video cameras of a proposed type (and, optionally, their light sources) would not be housed in pressure vessels. Conventional underwater cameras and their light sources are housed in pods that keep the contents dry and maintain interior pressures of about 1 atmosphere (0.1 MPa). Pods...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
RFID and Memory Devices Fabricated Integrally on Substrates

Electronic identification devices containing radio-frequency identification (RFID) circuits and antennas would be fabricated integrally with the objects to be identified, according to a proposal. That is to say, the objects to be identified would serve as substrates for the deposition...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Multispectral Scanner for Monitoring Plants

A multispectral scanner has been adapted to capture spectral images of living plants under various types of illumination for purposes of monitoring the health of, or monitoring the transfer of genes into, the plants. In a health-monitoring application, the plants are illuminated with full-spectrum...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Brush/Fin Thermal Interfaces

Brush/fin thermal interfaces are being developed to increase heat-transfer efficiency and thereby enhance the thermal management of orbital replaceable units (ORUs) of electronic and other equipment aboard the International Space Station. Brush/fin thermal interfaces could also be used to increase heat-transfer...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Compensating for Effects of Humidity on Electronic Noses

A method of compensating for the effects of humidity on the readouts of electronic noses has been devised and tested. The method is especially appropriate for use in environments in which humidity is not or cannot be controlled — for example, in the vicinity of a chemical spill, which...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Farm Equipment Manufacturer Shortens Design Cycle With Analysis Software

Humans have been using tools to make farming easier since the dawn of civilization. Since the turn of the 20th century, the growing use of mechanized power to till and sow fields has enabled farmers to realize incredible efficiency gains in the production of low-cost, safe,...

Briefs : Information Technology
Coding for Communication Channels With Dead-Time Constraints

Coding schemes have been designed and investigated specifically for optical and electronic data-communication channels in which information is conveyed via pulse-position modulation (PPM) subject to dead-time constraints. These schemes involve the use of errorcorrecting codes...

Briefs : Information Technology
System for Better Spacing of Airplanes En Route

An improved method of computing the spacing of airplanes en route, and software to implement the method, have been invented. The purpose of the invention is to help air-traffic controllers minimize those deviations of the airplanes from the trajectories preferred by their pilots that are needed to...

Briefs : Information Technology
Algorithm for Training a Recurrent Multilayer Perceptron

An improved algorithm has been devised for training a recurrent multilayer perceptron (RMLP) for optimal performance in predicting the behavior of a complex, dynamic, and noisy system multiple time steps into the future. [An RMLP is a computational neural network with self-feedback and...

Briefs : Materials
Electrodeionization Using Microseparated Bipolar Membranes

An electrochemical technique for deionizing water, now under development, is intended to overcome a major limitation of prior electrically–based waterpurification techniques. The limitation in question is caused by the desired decrease in the concentration of ions during purification:...

Briefs : Materials
Safer Electrolytes for Lithium-Ion Cells

A number of nonvolatile, low-flammability liquid oligomers and polymers based on aliphatic organic carbonate molecular structures have been found to be suitable to be blended with ethylene carbonate to make electrolytes for lithium-ion electro- chemical cells. Heretofore, such electrolytes have often been...

Briefs : Software
Analyzing Dynamics of Cooperating Spacecraft

A software library has been developed to enable high-fidelity computational simulation of the dynamics of multiple spacecraft distributed over a region of outer space and acting with a common purpose. All of the modeling capabilities afforded by this software are available independently in other,...

Briefs : Software
Spacecraft Attitude Maneuver Planning Using Genetic Algorithms

A key enabling technology that leads to greater spacecraft autonomy is the capability to autonomously and optimally slew the spacecraft from and to different attitudes while operating under a number of celestial and dynamic constraints. The task of finding an attitude trajectory that...

Briefs : Software
Forensic Analysis of Compromised Computers

Directory Tree Analysis File Generator is a Practical Extraction and Reporting Language (PERL) script that simplifies and automates the collection of information for forensic analysis of compromised computer systems. During such an analysis, it is sometimes necessary to collect and analyze information...

Briefs : Software
Document Concurrence System

The Document Concurrence System is a combination of software modules for routing users expressions of concurrence with documents. This system enables determination of the current status of concurrences and eliminates the need for the prior practice of manually delivering paper documents to all persons whose approvals...

Briefs : Software
Managing an Archive of Images

The SSC Multimedia Archive is an automated electronic system to manage images, acquired both by film and digital cameras, for the Public Affairs Office (PAO) at Stennis Space Center (SSC). Previously, the image archive was based on film photography and utilized a manual system that, by today's standards, had become...

Briefs : Software
MPT Prediction of Aircraft Engine Fan Noise

A collection of computer programs has been developed that implements a procedure for predicting multiple- puretone (MPT) noise generated by fan blades of an aircraft engine (e.g., a turbofan engine). MPT noise arises when the fan is operating with supersonic relative tip Mach No. Under this flow...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Rotating Reverse-Osmosis for Water Purification

A new design for a water-filtering device combines rotating filtration with reverse osmosis to create a rotating reverse- osmosis system. Rotating filtration has been used for separating plasma from whole blood, while reverse osmosis has been used in purification of water and in some chemical...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Robotic End Effectors for Hard-Rock Climbing

Pasadena, California Special-purpose robot hands (end effectors) now under development are intended to enable robots to traverse cliffs much as human climbers do. Potential applications for robots having this capability include scientific exploration (both on Earth and other rocky bodies in space),...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
COTS MEMS Flow-Measurement Probes

As an alternative to conventional tubing instrumentation for measuring airflow, designers and technicians at Glenn Research Center have been fabricating packaging components and assembling a set of unique probes that contain commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensor chips. MEMS...

Briefs : Motion Control
Improving Control of Two Motor Controllers

A computer program controls motors that drive translation stages in a metrology system that consists of a pair of two-axis cathetometers. This program is specific to Compumotor Gemini (or equivalent) motors and the Compumotor 6K-series (or equivalent) motor controller. Relative to the software supplied...

Briefs : Motion Control
Two-Armed, Mobile, Sensate Research Robot

The Anthropomorphic Robotic Testbed (ART) is an experimental prototype of a partly anthropomorphic, humanoid- size, mobile robot. The basic ART design concept provides for a combination of two-armed coordination, tactility, stereoscopic vision, mobility with navigation and avoidance of obstacles, and...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Improved Nutation Damper for a Spin- Stabilized Spacecraft

A document proposes an improved liquid- ring nutation damper for a spin-stabilized spacecraft. The improvement addresses the problem of accommodating thermal expansion of the damping liquid. Heretofore, the problem has been solved by either (1) filling the ring completely with liquid and...

Briefs : Motion Control
Compact, Automated Centrifugal Slide-Staining System
Compact, Automated Centrifugal Slide-Staining System

The Directional Acceleration Vector-Driven Displacement of Fluids (DAVDDOF) system, under development at the time of reporting the information for this article, would be a relatively...

Compact, Automated Centrifugal Slide-Staining System
Briefs : Communications
Orbiter Interface Unit and Early Communication System

A report describes the Orbiter Interface Unit (OIU) and the Early Communication System (ECOMM), which are systems of electronic hardware and software that serve as the primary communication links for the International Space Station (ISS). When a space shuttle is at or near the ISS during...

Briefs : Motion Control
Arc-Second Pointer for Balloon-Borne Astronomical Instrument
Arc-Second Pointer for Balloon-Borne Astronomical Instrument

A control system has been designed to keep a balloon-borne scientific instrument pointed toward a celestial object within an angular error of the order of an arc second. The design...

Arc-Second Pointer for Balloon-Borne Astronomical Instrument
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Microwave/Sonic Apparatus Measures Flow and Density in Pipe
Microwave/Sonic Apparatus Measures Flow and Density in Pipe

An apparatus for measuring the rate of flow and the mass density of a liquid or slurry includes a special section of pipe instrumented with microwave and sonic sensors, and a...

Microwave/Sonic Apparatus Measures Flow and Density in Pipe
Briefs : Physical Sciences
White-Light Nulling Interferometers for Detecting Planets

A report proposes the development of a white-light nulling interferometer to be used in conjunction with a single-aperture astronomical telescope that would be operated in outer space. When such a telescope is aimed at a given star, the interferometer would suppress the light of that star...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Making Precise Resonators for Mesoscale Vibratory Gyroscopes

An alternative approach to the design and fabrication of vibratory gyroscopes is founded on the use of fabrication techniques that yield best results in the mesoscopic size range, which is characterized by overall device dimensions of the order of a centimeter. This approach stands in...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Airplane Ice Detector Based on a Microwave Transmission Line
Airplane Ice Detector Based on a Microwave Transmission Line

An electronic instrument that could detect the potentially dangerous buildup of ice on an airplane wing is undergoing development. The instrument is based on a microwave...

Airplane Ice Detector Based on a Microwave Transmission Line
Briefs : Motion Control
Exhaust Nozzle for a Multitube Detonative Combustion Engine
Exhaust Nozzle for a Multitube Detonative Combustion Engine

An improved type of exhaust nozzle has been invented to help optimize the performances of multitube detonative combustion engines. The invention is applicable to both air-breathing...

Exhaust Nozzle for a Multitube Detonative Combustion Engine
Briefs : Software
Development of Methodology for Programming Autonomous Agents

A brief report discusses the rationale for, and the development of, a methodology for generating computer code for autonomous-agent-based systems. The methodology is characterized as enabling an increase in the reusability of the generated code among and within such systems, thereby...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Measurement of an Evaporating Drop on a Reflective Substrate

The figure depicts an apparatus that simultaneously records magnified ordinary top-view video images and laser shadowgraph video images of a sessile drop on a flat, horizontal substrate that can be opaque or translucent and is at least partially specularly reflective. A similar...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Reducing Errors by Use of Redundancy in Gravity Measurements

A methodology for improving gravity-gradient measurement data exploits the constraints imposed upon the components of the gravity-gradient tensor by the conditions of integrability needed for reconstruction of the gravitational potential. These constraints are derived from the basic...

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