September 2006

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Solving Complex Engineering Challenges of Large Composite Aerostructures

Composites are becoming the material of choice for the manufacture of large, complex aerostructures. The aft section of the jumbo Airbus A380 and the wings of the military transport Airbus A400, for example, are all made of carbon-fiber composites. Boeing, for the first...

Briefs : Medical
Repairing Fractured Bones by Use of Bioabsorbable Composites

A proposed method of surgical repair of fractured bones would incorporate recent and future advances in the art of composite materials. The composite materials used in this method would be biocompatible and at least partly bioabsorbable: that is, during the healing process following...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
An Alternative for Emergency Preemption of Traffic Lights

An electronic communication and control system has been developed as a prototype of advanced means of automatically modifying the switching of traffic lights to give priority to emergency vehicles. This system could be used alternatively or in addition to other emergency...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Vehicle Transponder for Preemption of Traffic Lights

The purpose of this article is to describe, in more detail, the transponder installed in each vehicle that participates in the emergency traffic-light-preemption system described in the immediately preceding article.

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Intersection Monitor for Traffic-Light-Preemption System

The figure shows an intersection monitor that is a key subsystem of an emergency traffic-light-preemption system that could be any of the systems described in the three immediately preceding articles and in “Systems Would Preempt Traffic Lights for Emergency Vehicles” (NPO-30573), NASA...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Automated Announcements of Approaching Emergency Vehicles

Street intersections that are equipped with traffic lights would also be equipped with means for generating audible announcements of approaching emergency vehicles, according to a proposal. The means to generate the announcements would be implemented in the intersection-based subsystems...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Digital Front End for Wide-Band VLBI Science Receiver

An upgrade to the very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) science receiver (VSR) — a radio receiver used in NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) — is currently being implemented. The current VSR samples standard DSN intermediate frequency (IF) signals at 256 MHz and after digital...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Full-Duplex Digital Communication on a Single Laser Beam

A proposed free-space optical communication system would operate in a full-duplex mode, using a single constant-power laser beam for transmission and reception of binary signals at both ends of the free-space optical path. The system was conceived for two-way data communication between a...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Pointing Reference Scheme for Free-Space Optical Communications Systems

A scheme is proposed for referencing the propagation direction of the transmit laser signal in pointing a free-space optical communications terminal. This recently developed scheme enables the use of low cost, commercial silicon-based sensors for tracking the direction of...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Microwave Oscillators Based on Nonlinear WGM Resonators

Optical oscillators that exploit resonantly enhanced four-wave mixing in nonlinear whispering- gallery- mode (WGM) resonators are under investigation for potential utility as low-power, ultra-miniature sources of stable, spectrally pure microwave signals. There are numerous potential uses...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Stabilizing Microwave Frequency of a Photonic Oscillator

A scheme for stabilizing the frequency of a microwave signal is proposed that exploits the operational characteristics of a coupled optoelectronic oscillator (COEO) and related optoelectronic equipment. An essential element in the scheme is a fiber mode-locked laser (MLL), the optical...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Covering a Crucible With Metal Containing Channels

In a procedure that partly resembles the lost-wax casting process, a crucible made of a brittle material (ceramic, quartz, or glass) is covered with a layer of metal containing channels. The metal cover and the channels can serve any or all of several purposes, depending upon the application:...

Briefs : Information Technology
Solving the Swath Segment Selection Problem

Several artificial-intelligence search techniques have been tested as means of solving the swath segment selection problem (SSSP) ? a real-world problem that is not only of interest in its own right, but is also useful as a test bed for search techniques in general. In simplest terms, the SSSP is the...

Briefs : Information Technology
The Spatial Standard Observer

The spatial standard observer is a computational model that provides a measure of the visibility of a target in a uniform background image or of the visual discriminability of two images. Standard observers have long been used in science and industry to quantify the discriminability of colors. Color standard...

Briefs : Information Technology
Less-Complex Method of Classifying MPSK

An alternative to an optimal method of automated classification of signals modulated with M-ary phase-shift-keying (M-ary PSK or MPSK) has been derived. The alternative method is approximate, but it offers nearly optimal performance and entails much less complexity, which translates to much less...

Briefs : Information Technology
Assistant for Analyzing Tropical Rain Mapping Radar Data

TDS is composed of software and hardware elements incorporating a two-frequency spaceborne radar system for measuring tropical precipitation. The TDS would be used primarily in generating data products for scientific investigations. The most novel part of the TDS would be expert-system...

Briefs : Information Technology
Discerning Trends in Performance Across Multiple Events

The program can perform Fourier analysis and other functions for the purposes of frequency analysis and trending of all variables. These functions facilitate identification of past use of diagnosed systems and of anomalies in such systems, and enable rapid assessment of related current...

Briefs : Materials
Lower-Conductivity Ceramic Materials for Thermal-Barrier Coatings

Doped pyrochlore oxides of a type described below are under consideration as alternative materials for high temperature thermal barrier coatings (TBCs). In comparison with partially yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ), which is the state of the art TBC material now in commercial use,...

Briefs : Materials
Improving Thermomechanical Properties of SiC/SiC Composites

Today, a major thrust toward improving the thermomechanical properties of engine components lies in the development of fiber-reinforced silicon carbide matrix composite materials, including SiC-fiber/SiC-matrix composites. These materials are lighter in weight and capable of...

Briefs : Materials
Patches for Repairing Ceramics and Ceramic Matrix Composites

Patches consisting mostly of ceramic fabrics impregnated with partially cured polymers and ceramic particles are being developed as means of repairing ceramics and ceramic-matrix composites (CMCs) that must withstand temperatures above the melting points of refractory metal alloys....

Briefs : Materials
4-Vinyl-1,3-Dioxolane-2-One as an Additive for Li-Ion Cells

Electrolyte additive 4-vinyl-1, 3-dioxolane-2-one has been found to be promising for rechargeable lithium-ion electrochemical cells. This and other additives, along with advanced electrolytes comprising solutions of LiPF6 in various mixtures of carbonate solvents, have been investigated...

Briefs : Materials
Aerogel/Particle Composites for Thermoelectric Devices

Optimizing solution chemistry and the addition of titania and fumed silica powder reduces shrinkage. These materials would serve to increase thermal efficiency by providing thermal insulation to suppress lateral heat leaks. They would also serve to prolong operational lifetime by suppressing...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Measurement of Model Noise in a Hard-Wall Wind Tunnel

Identification, analysis, and control of fluid mechanically generated sound from models of aircraft and automobiles in special low-noise, semi-anechoic wind tunnels are an important research endeavor. Such studies can also be done in aerodynamic wind tunnels that have hard walls if phased...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Tilt/Tip/Piston Manipulator With Base-Mounted Actuators

A proposed three degree of freedom (tilt/tip/piston) manipulator, suitable for aligning an optical or mechanical component, would offer several advantages over prior such manipulators:

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Multifunctional Tanks for Spacecraft

A document discusses multifunctional tanks as means to integrate additional structural and functional efficiencies into designs of spacecraft. Whereas spacecraft tanks are traditionally designed primarily to store fluids and only secondarily to provide other benefits, multifunctional tanks are designed to...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Electronic Absolute Cartesian Autocollimator

An electronic absolute Cartesian autocollimator performs the same basic optical function as does a conventional all-optical or a conventional electronic autocollimator but differs in the nature of its optical target and the manner in which the position of the image of the target is measured. The term...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Kalman Filter for Calibrating a Telescope Focal Plane

The instrument-pointing frame (IPF) Kalman filter, and an algorithm that implements this filter, have been devised for calibrating the focal plane of a telescope. As used here, “calibration” signifies, more specifically, a combination of measurements and calculations directed toward...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Lightweight, Segmented, Mostly Silicon Telescope Mirror

A document presents the concept of a curved telescope primary reflector structure, made mostly of silicon, that would have an areal mass density = 1 kg/m2 and would be deployed in outer space, where it would be operated at a temperature in the cryogenic range. The concept...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Anion-IntercalatingCathodes for High-Energy-Density Cells

A report discusses physicochemical issues affecting a fluoride-intercalating cathode that operates in conjunction with a lithium ion-intercalating anode in a rechargeable electrochemical cell described in a cited prior report. The instant report also discusses corresponding innovations...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Fiber-Optic Gratings for Lidar Measurements of Water Vapor

Narrow-band filters in the form of phase-shifted Fabry-Perot Bragg gratings incorporated into optical fibers are being developed for differential-absorption lidar (DIAL) instruments used to measure concentrations of atmospheric water vapor. The basic idea is to measure the relative...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Magnetic Field Solvers

The Magnetic Field Solver computer program calculates the magnetic field generated by a group of collinear, cylindrical axisymmetric electromagnet coils. Given the current flowing in, and the number of turns, axial position, and axial and radial dimensions of each coil, the program calculates matrix coefficients for a...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Silicon-Based Optical Modulator With Ferroelectric Layer

According to a proposal, a silicon dioxide layer in a high speed, low power, silicon-based electro-optical modulator would be replaced by a layer of lead zirconate titanate or other ferroelectric oxide material. The purpose of this modification is to enhance the power performance and...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Multiplexing Transducers Based on Tunnel-Diode Oscillators

Multiplexing and differential transducers based on tunnel-diode oscillators (TDOs) would be developed, according to a proposal, for operation at very low and/or widely varying temperatures in applications that involve requirements to minimize the power and mass of transducer electronic...

Briefs : Software
Scheduling With Automatic Resolution of Conflicts

DSN Requirement Scheduler is a computer program that automatically schedules, reschedules, and resolves conflicts for allocations of resources of NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) on the basis of ever changing project requirements for DSN services. As used here, "resources" signifies, primarily,...

Briefs : Software
Computing for Aiming a Spaceborne Bistatic-Radar Transmitter

BISTAT is a computer program for use in aiming a spaceborne bistatic-radar transmitting antenna at a remote planet that has an atmosphere, such that after refraction by the atmosphere and reflection from the surface of the planet, the radar signal travels toward a receiver on Earth....

Briefs : Software
Symbolic Constraint Maintenance Grid

Version 3.1 of Symbolic Constraint Maintenance Grid (SCMG) is a software system that provides a general conceptual framework for utilizing pre-existing programming techniques to perform symbolic transformations of data. SCMG also provides a language (and an associated communication method and protocol) for...

Who's Who
Anthony Kelley, Lead Flow Research Engineer, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

As petroleum prices spiral higher, new technologies are being developed to help keep prices down. The balanced flow meter, technology originally developed by NASA for the space shuttle, promises to ease pain at the pump by being more precise and consuming...

Products
DA-130 ruggedized notebook computer

Dewetron, Charlestown, RI, has introduced the DA-130 ruggedized notebook computer that includes the company's proprietary SideHAND® battery power system, allowing it to run indefinitely without any external power source. Batteries are hot-swappable, and can be exchanged even when the system is running off...

Application Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Data Loggers Store and Record Critical Data for NASA Experiments
Precision temperature data loggers
Veriteq Instruments
Richmond, BC, Canada
604-273-6850
www.veriteq.com
Application Briefs : Software
Mission Planning & Scheduling Tool for Mission to the Moon
FlexPlan mission planning and scheduling tool
GMV Space Systems
Rockville, MD
301-216 3840
www.gmvspacesystems.com
Articles
An Operational Guide to Bringing Your Invention to Market

The last of a four-part series on converting your invention into a revenue-generating business, this month’s article describes, from an operational viewpoint, the critical steps that an inventor needs to understand to raise investment money and convert their invention into a viable...

Articles : Energy
30 Years of Power & Energy

In celebration of the 30th Anniversary of NASA Tech Briefs, our features in 2006 highlight a different technology category each month, tracing the past 30 years of the technology, and continuing with a glimpse into the future of where the technology is headed. Along the way, we include insights from industry leaders on...

Briefs : Software
Thermal Model of a Current-Carrying Wire in a Vacuum

A computer program implements a thermal model of an insulated wire carrying electric current and surrounded by a vacuum. The model includes the effects of Joule heating, conduction of heat along the wire, and radiation of heat from the outer surface of the insulation on the wire. The model...

Briefs : Software
Compressible Flow Toolbox

The Compressible Flow Toolbox is primarily a MATLAB-language implementation of a set of algorithms that solve approximately 280 linear and nonlinear classical equations for compressible flow. The toolbox is useful for analysis of one-dimensional steady flow with either constant entropy, friction, heat transfer, or Mach...

Briefs : Software
Code for Multiblock CFD and Heat-Transfer Computations

The NASA Glenn Research Center General Multi-Block Navier-Stokes Convective Heat Transfer Code, Glenn- HT, has been used extensively to predict heat transfer and fluid flow for a variety of steady gas turbine engine problems. Recently, the Glenn-HT code has been completely rewritten in...

Briefs : Software
General Flow-Solver Code for Turbomachinery Applications

Phantom is a computer code intended primarily for real-fluid turbomachinery problems. It is based on Corsair, an ideal-gas turbomachinery code, developed by the same authors, which evolved from the ROTOR codes from NASA Ames. Phantom is applicable to real and ideal fluids, both...

Briefs : Software
Probabilistic Prediction of Lifetimes of Ceramic Parts

ANSYS/CARES/PDS is a software system that combines the ANSYS Probabilistic Design System (PDS) software with a modified version of the Ceramics Analysis and Reliability Evaluation of Structures Life (CARES/Life) Version 6.0 software. [A prior version of CARES/Life was reported in "Program...

Briefs : Software
STRANAL-PMC Version 2.0

Version 2.0 of the Strain Rate Dependent Analysis of Polymer Matrix Composites (STRANAL-PMC) software has been released. A prior version was reported in "Analyzing Loads and Strains in Polymer-Matrix Composites" (LEW- 17227), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 26, No. 11 (November 2002), page 36. To recapitulate: Modified versions of...

Briefs : Software
Micromechanics and Piezo Enhancements of HyperSizer

The commercial HyperSizer aerospacecomposite- material-structure-sizing software has been enhanced by incorporating capabilities for representing coupled thermal, piezoelectric, and piezomagnetic effects on the levels of plies, laminates, and stiffened panels. This enhancement is based on a...

Briefs : Software
Loci-STREAM Version 0.9

Loci-STREAM is an evolving computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software tool for simulating possibly chemically reacting, possibly unsteady flows in diverse settings, including rocket engines, turbomachines, oil refineries, etc. Loci-STREAM implements a pressure-based flow-solving algorithm that utilizes unstructured...

Briefs : Software
Reconfigurable Software for Controlling Formation Flying

Software for a system to control the trajectories of multiple spacecraft flying in formation is being developed to reflect underlying concepts of (1) a decentralized approach to guidance and control and (2) reconfigurability of the control system, including reconfigurability of the...

Briefs : Software
Analyzing Aeroelastic Stability of a Tilt-Rotor Aircraft

Proprotor Aeroelastic Stability Analysis, now at version 4.5 (PASTA 4.5), is a FORTRAN computer program for analyzing the aeroelastic stability of a tilt-rotor aircraft in the airplane mode of flight. The program employs a 10-degree-of-freedom (DOF), discrete- coordinate, linear...

Briefs : Software
Tracking Positions and Attitudes of Mars Rovers

The Surface Attitude Position and Pointing (SAPP) software, which runs on computers aboard the Mars Exploration Rovers, tracks the positions and attitudes of the rovers on the surface of Mars. Each rover acquires data on attitude from a combination of accelerometer readings and images of the Sun...

Briefs : Software
Simulating Responses of Gravitational-Wave Instrumentation

Synthetic LISA is a computer program for simulating the responses of the instrumentation of the NASA/ESA Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission, the purpose of which is to detect and study gravitational waves. Synthetic LISA generates synthetic time series of the LISA...

Briefs : Software
SOFTC: A Software Correlator for VLBI

SOFTC is an advanced software implementation of a signal correlator for verylong- baseline interferometry (VLBI) for measuring positions of natural celestial objects and distant spacecraft. Because of increases in processing speeds of general- purpose computers, software VLBI correlators have become viable...

Briefs : Software
Program for Analyzing Flows in a Complex Network

Generalized Fluid System Simulation Program (GFSSP) version 4 is a generalpurpose computer program for analyzing steady-state and transient flows in a complex fluid network. [GFSSP version 2.01 was reported in a prior issue of NASA Tech Briefs.] The program is capable of modeling compressibility,...

Briefs : Software
Computing Spacecraft Solar-Cell Damage by Charged Particles

General EQFlux is a computer program that converts the measure of the damage done to solar cells in outer space by impingement of electrons and protons having many different kinetic energies into the measure of the damage done by an equivalent fluence of electrons, each having kinetic...

Briefs : Software
Automated Camera Calibration

Automated Camera Calibration (ACAL) is a computer program that automates the generation of calibration data for camera models used in machine vision systems. Machine vision camera models describe the mapping between points in threedimensional (3D) space in front of the camera and the corresponding points in...

Briefs : Software
Program Predicts Performance of Optical Parametric Oscillators

A computer program predicts the performances of solid-state lasers that operate at wavelengths from ultraviolet through mid-infrared and that comprise various combinations of stable and unstable resonators, optical parametric oscillators (OPOs), and sum-frequency generators (SFGs),...

Briefs : Software
Database of Properties of Meteors

A database of properties of meteors, and software that provides access to the database, are being developed as a contribution to continuing efforts to model the characteristics of meteors with increasing accuracy. Such modeling is necessary for evaluation of the risk of penetration of spacecraft by meteors. For...

Briefs : Software
SmaggIce Version 1.8

SmaggIce version 1.8 is a set of software tools for geometrical modeling of, and generation of grids that conform to, both clean and iced airfoils. A prior version (SmaggIce 1.2) was described in "Preparing and Analyzing Iced Airfoils" (LEW-17399), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 8 (August 2004), page 32. Ice shapes,...

Briefs : Software
Processing TES Level-1B Data

TES L1B Subsystem is a computer program that performs several functions for the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES). The term "L1B" (an abbreviation of "level 1B"), refers to data, specific to the TES, on radiometric calibrated spectral radiances and their corresponding noise equivalent spectral radiances...

Briefs : Software
Processing TES Level-2 Data

TES Level 2 Subsystem is a set of computer programs that performs functions complementary to those of the program summarized in the immediately preceding article. TES Level-2 data pertain to retrieved species (or temperature) profiles, and errors thereof. Geolocation, quality, and other data (e.g., surface...

Briefs : Software
Improvement in Recursive Hierarchical Segmentation of Data

A further modification has been made in the algorithm and implementing software reported in “Modified Recursive Hierarchical Segmentation of Data” (GSC-14681-1), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 30, No. 6 (June 2006), page 51. That software performs recursive hierarchical segmentation of data...

Briefs : Software
Using Heaps in Recursive Hierarchical Segmentation of Data

speed has been made in the algorithm and implementing software reported in "Modified Recursive Hierarchical Segmentation of Data" (GSC-14681-1), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 30, No. 6 (June 2006), page 51. That software performs recursive hierarchical segmentation of data having spatial...

Briefs : Software
Tool for Statistical Analysis and Display of Landing Sites

MarsLS is a software tool for analyzing statistical dispersion of spacecraft-landing sites and displaying the results of its analyses. Originally intended for the Mars Explorer Rover (MER) mission, MarsLS is also applicable to landing sites on Earth and non-MER sites on Mars. MarsLS is a...

Briefs : Software
Automated Assignment of Proposals to Reviewers

A computer program automates the process of selecting unbiased peer reviewers of research proposals submitted to NASA. Heretofore, such selection has been performed by manual searching of two large databases subject to a set of assignment rules. One database lists proposals and proposers; the other...

Briefs : Software
Array-Pattern-Match Compiler for Opportunistic Data Analysis

A computer program has been written to facilitate real-time sifting of scientific data as they are acquired to find data patterns deemed to warrant further analysis. The patterns in question are of a type denoted array patterns, which are specified by nested parenthetical expressions....

Briefs : Software
Pre-Processor for Compression of Multispectral Image Data

A computer program that preprocesses multispectral image data has been developed to provide the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission with a means of exploiting the additional correlation present in such data without appreciably increasing the complexity of compressing the data. When used...

Briefs : Software
Compressing Image Data While Limiting the Effects of Data Losses

ICER is computer software that can perform both lossless and lossy compression and decompression of gray-scaleimage data using discrete wavelet transforms. Designed for primary use in transmitting scientific image data from distant spacecraft to Earth, ICER incorporates an...

Briefs : Software
Flight Operations Analysis Tool

Flight Operations Analysis Tool (FLOAT) is a computer program that partly automates the process of assessing the benefits of planning spacecraft missions to incorporate various combinations of launch vehicles and payloads (see figure). Designed primarily for use by an experienced systems engineer, FLOAT makes it...

Briefs : Software
Improvement in Visual Target Tracking for a Mobile Robot

In an improvement of the visual-targettracking software used aboard a mobile robot (rover) of the type used to explore the Martian surface, an affine-matching algorithm has been replaced by a combination of a normalized-cross- correlation (NCC) algorithm and a template-image- magnification...

Briefs : Software
Software for Simulating Air Traffic

Future Air Traffic Management Concepts Evaluation Tool (FACET) is a system of software for performing computational simulations for evaluating advanced concepts of advanced air-traffic management. FACET includes a program that generates a graphical user interface plus programs and databases that implement...

Briefs : Software
Automated Vectorization of Decision-Based Algorithms

Virtually all existing vectorization algorithms are designed to only analyze the numeric properties of an algorithm and distribute those elements across multiple processors. This advances the state of the practice because it is the only known system, at the time of this reporting, that takes...

Briefs : Software
Grayscale Optical Correlator Workbench

Grayscale Optical Correlator Workbench (GOCWB) is a computer program for use in automatic target recognition (ATR). GOCWB performs ATR with an accurate simulation of a hardware grayscale optical correlator (GOC). This simulation is performed to test filters that are created in GOCWB. Thus, GOCWB can be used...

Briefs : Software
“One-Stop Shopping” for Ocean Remote-Sensing and Model Data

OurOcean Portal 2.0 (http:// ourocean.jpl.nasa.gov) is a software system designed to enable users to easily gain access to ocean observation data, both remote-sensing and in-situ, configure and run an Ocean Model with observation data assimilated on a remote computer, and visualize...

Briefs : Software
State Analysis Database Tool

The State Analysis Database Tool software establishes a productive environment for collaboration among software and system engineers engaged in the development of complex interacting systems. The tool embodies State Analysis, a model-based system engineering methodology founded on a state-based control architecture...

Briefs : Software
Generating CAHV and CAHVOR Images With Shadows in ROAMS

Part of the Rover Analysis, Modeling and Simulation (ROAMS) software that synthesizes images of terrain has been augmented to make the images more realistic. [ROAMS was described in "Simulating Operation of a Planetary Rover" (NPO-30722), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 9 (September 2004),...

Briefs : Software
Improving UDP/IP Transmission Without Increasing Congestion

Datagram Retransmission (DGR) is a computer program that, within certain limits, ensures the reception of each datagram transmitted under the User Datagram Protocol/Internet Protocol. [User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is considered unreliable because it does not involve a reliability-...

Briefs : Software
FORTRAN Versions of Reformulated HFGMC Codes

Several FORTRAN codes have been written to implement the reformulated version of the high-fidelity generalized method of cells (HFGMC). Various aspects of the HFGMC and its predecessors were described in several prior NASA Tech Briefs articles, the most recent being "HFGMC Enhancement of MAC/GMC"...

Briefs : Software
Program for Editing Spacecraft Command Sequences

Sequence Translator, Editor, and Expander Resource (STEER) is a computer program that facilitates construction of sequences and blocks of sequences (hereafter denoted generally as sequence products) for commanding a spacecraft. STEER also provides mechanisms for translating among various sequence...

Briefs : Software
Flight-Tested Prototype of BEAM Software

software prototype of BEAM (Beaconbased Exception Analysis for Multimissions) and successfully tested its operation in flight onboard a NASA research aircraft. BEAM (see NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 26, No. 9; and Vol. 27, No. 3) is an ISHM (Integrated Systems Health Management) technology that automatically...

Briefs : Software
Mission Scenario Development Workbench

The Mission Scenario Development Workbench (MSDW) is a multidisciplinary performance analysis software tool for planning and optimizing space missions. It provides a number of new capabilities that are particularly useful for planning the surface activities on other planets. MSDW enables rapid planning of a...

Briefs : Software
Marsviewer

Marsviewer is a multi-platform application designed to aid in quality control, browsing, and analysis of original science product images (Experiment Data Records, or EDRs) and derived image data products (Reduced Data Records, or RDRs) returned by the Mars Explorer Rover (MER) mission. Marsviewer offers an abstraction of the products'...

Briefs : Software
Tool for Analysis and Reduction of Scientific Data

The Automated Virtual Laboratory Tool (AVLT) is designed to be an intelligent scientific analysis assistant (SAA) system, dedicated to facilitating analysis and reduction of data collected by spaceborne scientific instruments. Within the SAA, a variety of conventional and artificial-intelligence...

Briefs : Software
ASPEN Version 3.0

The Automated Scheduling and Planning Environment (ASPEN) computer program has been updated to version 3.0. ASPEN as a whole (up to version 2.0) has been summarized, and selected aspects of ASPEN have been discussed in several previous NASA Tech Briefs articles. Restated briefly, ASPEN is a modular, reconfigurable, application...

Briefs : Software
Secure Display of Space-Exploration Images

Java EDR Display Interface (JEDI) is software for either local display or secure Internet distribution, to authorized clients, of image data acquired from cameras aboard spacecraft engaged in exploration of remote planets. ("EDR" signifies "experimental data record," which, in effect, signifies image...

Briefs : Software
Multiphysics Modeling Helps SONAR “Listen” to Material

SONAR (SOund NAvigation Ranging) has been in use for decades to detect submerged objects, but researchers are finding how to extract new information from its echoes. With the help of multiphysics modeling software, a group of researchers at the NATO Undersea Research Centre in La Spezia,...

Briefs : Software
Rotating-Pump Design Code

Pump Design (PUMPDES) is a computer program for designing a rotating pump for liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen, liquid nitrogen, water, methane, or ethane. Using realistic properties of these fluids provided by another program called "GASPAK," this code performs a station-by-station, mean-line analysis along the pump flow...

Briefs : Software
High-Level Performance Modeling of SAR Systems

SAUSAGE (Still Another Utility for SAR Analysis that's General and Extensible) is a computer program for modeling (see figure) the performance of synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) or interferometric synthetic- aperture radar (InSAR or IFSAR) systems. The user is assumed to be familiar with the basic...

Briefs : Software
Spectral Analysis Tool 6.2 for Windows

Spectral Analysis Tool 6.2 is the latest version of a computer program that assists in analysis of interference between radio signals of the types most commonly used in Earth/spacecraft radio communications. [An earlier version was reported in "Software for Analyzing Earth/ Spacecraft Radio Interference"...

Briefs : Software
Multi-Platform Avionics Simulator

Multi-Platform Avionics Simulator (MPAvSim) is a software library for development of simulations of avionic hardware. MPAvSim facilitates simulation of interactions between flight software and such avionic peripheral equipment as telecommunication devices, thrusters, pyrotechnic devices, motor controllers, and...

Briefs : Software
The Synergistic Engineering Environment

The Synergistic Engineering Environment (SEE) is a system of software dedicated to aiding the understanding of space mission operations. The SEE can integrate disparate sets of data with analytical capabilities, geometric models of spacecraft, and a visualization environment (see figure), all contributing...

Briefs : Software
More About the Tetrahedral Unstructured Software System

TetrUSS is a comprehensive suite of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) programs that won the Software of the Year award in 1996 and has found increasing use in government, academia, and industry for solving realistic flow problems (especially in aerodynamics and aeroelastics of aircraft...

Briefs : Software
Computing Flows Using Chimera and Unstructured Grids

DRAGONFLOW is a computer program that solves the Navier-Stokes equations of flows in complexly shaped three- dimensional regions discretized by use of a direct replacement of arbitrary grid overlapping by nonstructured (DRAGON) grid. A DRAGON grid (see figure) is a combination of a chimera...

Briefs : Software
Avoiding Obstructions in Aiming a High-Gain Antenna

The High Gain Antenna Pointing and Obstruction Avoidance software performs computations for pointing a Mars Rover high-gain antenna for communication with Earth while (1) avoiding line-of-sight obstructions (the Martian terrain and other parts of the Rover) that would block communication and...

Briefs : Software
Progress in Computational Simulation of Earthquakes

GeoFEST(P) is a computer program written for use in the QuakeSim project, which is devoted to development and improvement of means of computational simulation of earthquakes. GeoFEST(P) models interacting earthquake fault systems from the fault-nucleation to the tectonic scale. The development...

Briefs : Software
Stochastic Evolutionary Algorithms for Planning Robot Paths

A computer program implements stochastic evolutionary algorithms for planning and optimizing collision-free paths for robots and their jointed limbs. Stochastic evolutionary algorithms can be made to produce acceptably close approximations to exact, optimal solutions for path-planning...

Briefs : Software
Tracking the Martian CO₂ Polar Ice Caps in Infrared Images

Researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have developed a method for automatically tracking the polar caps on Mars as they advance and recede each year (see figure). The seasonal Mars polar caps are composed mainly of CO2 ice and are therefore cold enough to stand...

Briefs : Software
Rapid Aeroelastic Analysis of Blade Flutter in Turbomachines

The LINFLUX-AE computer code predicts flutter and forced responses of blades and vanes in turbomachines under subsonic, transonic, and supersonic flow conditions. The code solves the Euler equations of unsteady flow in a blade passage under the assumption that the blades vibrate...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Microwave Oscillators Based on Nonlinear WGM Resonators

Optical oscillators that exploit resonantly enhanced four-wave mixing in nonlinear whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) resonators are under investigation for potential utility as low-power, ultra-miniature sources of stable, spectrally pure microwave signals. There are numerous potential uses for...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Fiber-Optic Gratings for Lidar Measurements of Water Vapor

Narrow-band filters in the form of phase-shifted Fabry-Perot Bragg gratings incorporated into optical fibers are being developed for differential-absorption lidar (DIAL) instruments used to measure concentrations of atmospheric water vapor. The basic idea is to measure

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Simplifying Beam Measurements in Real Time

A common misconception is that beam collimation angle measurements must involve a least two or more beam size measurements along the beam path. For this reason, collimation measurements are often viewed as complicated and time-consuming. Real-time collimation angle measurements are considered out of the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Single-Phase Rare-Earth Oxide/Aluminum Oxide Glasses

Glasses that comprise rare-earth oxides and aluminum oxide plus, optionally, lesser amounts of other oxides, have been invented. The other oxide(s) can include SiO2, B2O3, GeO2, and/or any of a variety of glass-forming oxides that have been used...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
QC Lasers Improve Hazardous Gas Monitoring

The measurement of gases associated with industrial processing/emissions monitoring has become increasingly important as the need to improve efficiencies in process control has increased, and legislation governing emissions has come into force. Gases including NOx, SOx,...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
LUTs: Take Control of Your Imaging Application

It is hard to see how machine-vision camera manufacturers produce decent-quality products at reasonable prices. The multi-megapixel sensors at the heart of current machine-vision cameras are among the largest of VLSI (very-large-scale integration) semiconductor chips, and it is almost impossible to...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Water Jets and Lasers Cut Through Electronic Industry’s Problems

Semiconductor manufacturers need the flexibility of a wafer-cutting machine that supports various wafer sizes and cuts them without the mechanical and thermal damage often seen with traditional cutting methods, including the mechanical stress that occurs with conventional sawing,...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Full-Duplex Digital Communication on a Single Laser Beam

A proposed free-space optical communication system would operate in a full-duplex mode, using a single constant-power laser beam for transmission and reception of binary signals at both ends of the free-space optical path. The system was conceived for two-way data communication between a...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Stabilizing Microwave Frequency of a Photonic Oscillator

A scheme for stabilizing the frequency of a microwave signal is proposed that exploits the operational characteristics of a coupled optoelectronic oscillator (COEO) and related optoelectronic equipment. An essential element in the scheme is a fiber mode-locked laser (MLL), the optical...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Microwave Oscillators Based on Nonlinear WGM Resonators

Optical oscillators that exploit resonantly enhanced four-wave mixing in nonlinear whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) resonators are under investigation for potential utility as low-power, ultra-miniature sources of stable, spectrally pure microwave signals. There are numerous potential uses for...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Fiber-Optic Gratings for Lidar Measurements of Water Vapor

Narrow-band filters in the form of phase-shifted Fabry-Perot Bragg gratings incorporated into optical fibers are being developed for differential-absorption lidar (DIAL) instruments used to measure concentrations of atmospheric water vapor. The basic idea is to measure the relative...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Simplifying Beam Measurements in Real Time

Photon, Inc., San Jose, California

A common misconception is that beam collimation angle measurements must involve a least two or more beam size measurements along the beam path. For this reason, collimation measurements are often viewed as complicated and time-consuming. Real-time collimation...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Pointing Reference Scheme for Free-Space Optical Communications Systems

A scheme is proposed for referencing the propagation direction of the transmit laser signal in pointing a free-space optical communications terminal. This recently developed scheme enables the use of low-cost, commercial silicon-based sensors for tracking the direction of...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Single-Phase Rare-Earth Oxide/Aluminum Oxide Glasses

Glasses that comprise rare-earth oxides and aluminum oxide plus, optionally, lesser amounts of other oxides, have been invented. The other oxide(s) can include SiO2, B2O3, GeO2, and/or any of a variety of glass-forming oxides that have been used...

Products
Product of the Month: Camera Shutters

Melles Griot Optics Group (Rochester, NY) has released the ExtremeService™ shutter designed for operation in environmental conditions involving variations in temperature. The shutter is suitable for OEM applications including night vision cameras and infrared illumination systems such as analytical,...

Products
Fiber-Optic Laser Couplers

Bristol Instruments (Victor, NY) offers the LC Series fiber-optic laser couplers that can be used to launch a free-space laser beam into a fiber, or return the laser to a collimated free-space beam. The couplers contain a 1"- diameter mounting disk attached to 3 meters of 9-μm core-diameter fiber that is terminated...

Products
Wide-Gap Sensor

TT Electronics OPTEK Technology (Carrollton, TX) offers the OPB856Z Series wide-gap optical sensor that includes an emitter-sensor pair. The sensor consists of an LED and a phototransistor designed to operate over distances of 12" in industrial environments. The sensor components are mounted in threaded, color-coded housings; the...

Products
Laser Processing System

Universal Laser Systems (Scottsdale, AZ) has added a laser platform to its XL Series of industrial CO2 laser processing systems that can provide 400 watts of air-cooled laser power. The laser utilizes direct air-cooling, eliminating the need for chillers and plumbing. Two models are available: the XL-9200...

Products
FBG Sensor Arrays

QPS Photronics (Montreal, QE, Canada) offers sensor arrays with 100 Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBGs) in each array, with the total length of the fiber measuring 20 kilometers. Through a front-end switch matrix, 16 of these fiber arrays can be connected together to form a Star Network that contains a total of 1,600 sensors. This...

Products
CCD Camera

A custom CCD camera capable of operating at 100 million frames per second is available from KAMAN Electro-Optics Dev. Center (Tucson, AZ). The camera’s 10-nsec exposures offer speed-of-light image capture outside the gated-ICCD realm. The units are available as 64 × 64 format with 16-frame burst capability. Individual frame...

Products
UV Hazard Meter

The X1-1 + XD-9506-4 UV hazard meter and detector from Gigahertz- Optik (Newburyport, MA) can operate and display separate UV-C/B and UV-A detector measurements, and can calculate and display the sum of the two detector readings for UV hazard assessment. The XD-9506 detector covers the ACGIH/ICNIRP UV spectral guidelines by...

Products
Imaging Camera

PerkinElmer Optoelectronics (Fremont, CA) has introduced the MultiBlue™ multi-purpose CCD imaging camera featuring 12-bit output depth and USB 2.0 and IEEE-1394b FireWire interfaces that provide dual plug-and-play connectivity. The camera is Windows XP-compatible, and includes an Eastman Kodak KAI-0340SM imager with a pixel...

Products
Laser Event Recorder

OPTRA (Topsfield, MA) offers a laser event recorder that measures, characterizes, and documents laser exposures in support of dosimetry requirements for the protection of personnel working with, or who could potentially be exposed to, laser illumination. The laser event recorder is battery powered and operates for six hours...

Products
Crystal Rotation Stage

Cleveland Crystals (Highland Heights, OH) has introduced the CRS150 counter rotation stage that can facilitate simultaneous angle-tuning of two crystals oriented for compensation of birefringent walkoff. The walkoff compensation configuration provides nonlinear optical conversion, reduces distortion, and minimizes beam...

Products
Document Camera

The TT-02 from ELMO USA Corp. (Plainview, NY) is an XGA-output Visual Presenter that enables users to share information, documents, and small 3D objects with audiences. The camera contains a 5.3× optical zoom, 8× digital zoom, and one-touch auto focus. It features an 850,000-pixel scan CCD for reproduction of full-size A3...

Products
Optical Flats

Optical Surfaces (Surrey, UK) offers standard and custom optical flats measuring up to 600 mm in diameter and manufactured of materials such as glass, Zerodur, and silica. The optical flats can be used for measuring surface flatness of polished areas by determining the variations between work surfaces and the surface of the optical...

Products
CMOS Camera

Lumenera Corp. (Ottawa, ON, Canada) has introduced the Lw290, a USB 2.0 digital camera based on the company’s 1080P HD sensor. The 16:9 HD format, 2.0-megapixel CMOS sensor provides 20 frames per second at full 1920×1080 resolution. Higher frame rates are available at lower resolution, with full sub-window control and live...

Products
Diode Laser Platform

Spectra-Physics, a Division of Newport Corp. (Tucson, AZ), has released a 900- to 980-nm diode laser platform based on epitaxial design. The diode laser platform provides CW power conversion efficiency to 71% for 940-nm single emitters (15°C case temperature). More than 68.5% peak PCE at 25°C may be achieved from...

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