September 2011

News : Energy
Cheap Sugars for Sustainable Biofuel Production

Researchers at Iowa State University think that fast pyrolysis - quickly heating biomass such as corn stalks or wood chips without oxygen to produce liquid or gas products - could be a new way to make inexpensive sugars from biomass.

News : Lighting
$10 Million in Funding to Support R&D to Improve SSL Manufacturing

The DOE has announced the availability of up to $10 million in funding for energy-saving lighting technologies. DOE is seeking applications for research and development projects to drive down the cost and improve the quality of solid-state lighting products through manufacturing...

Question of the Week
Do you think light speed can be exceeded?
This week's Question: The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, reported that a neutrino beam fired from a particle accelerator near Geneva to a lab 454 miles away in Italy traveled 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light — a claim that potentially questions Einstein's 1905 special...
Boeing's 787 Dreamliner Features Technology Innovations

Boeing (Everett, WA) has delivered the first 787 Dreamliner to Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA). The 787 Dreamliner is an all-new airplane featuring a host of technologies that benefit both airlines and passengers. It is the first mid-size airplane capable of flying long-range routes,...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Thermal Energy Harvesting Enables Wireless Sensor Deployment

Marlow Industries (Dallas, TX) has introduced the EverGen series of thermoelectric-based energy harvesting devices, offering a zero-maintenance power solution for wireless sensor applications. EverGen thermal energy harvesters power wireless sensors without a battery, reducing...

Product of the Month: 3D Laser Confocal Microscope

The VK-9700 is a color 3D laser scanning confocal microscope from Keyence Corp. (Woodcliff Lake, NJ). Features include 18,000× magnification and 0.001 μm precision, 3D imaging, and superior color performance with operational simplicity. The VK-9700 performs a variety of non-contact 3D...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Edible Carbon Dioxide Sponge

A team of researchers at Northwestern University has discovered that a class of nanostructures made of sugar, salt, and alcohol can efficiently detect, capture, and store carbon dioxide. And the compounds themselves are carbon-neutral.

Articles : Software
Download the Sounds of NASA

Some of the most historic and interesting sound bites from NASA space missions are now available for download as ringtones on your phone, or on your computer for alarms and notifications.

You can hear the roar of a space shuttle launch or Neil Armstrong's "One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for...

PCI Express 3.0 Protocol Analyzer

The N8816A Infiniium PCI Express 3.0 protocol analyzer software from Agilent Technologies (Santa Clara, CA) provides the ability to perform 128/130 bit and 8b/10b based packet decoding via a patented (patent pending) technique to capture and display serial data synchronized with the analog view of traffic of a...

Slim SATA Flash Storage

Emphase (South Burlington, VT) has announced an all-new Slim SATA flash drive. Available in two grades of performance, this lightweight, low-profile storage drive has been engineered to afford flexibility in embedded designs while weighing in heavy on capacity and performance. The 4mm thick Slim SATA uses SLC flash memory...

24 VDC Temperature Controllers

AutomationDirect’s (Cumming, GA) 24 VDC powered SOLO process/temperature controllers are powerful process tools offering flexibility and simplicity. Available in four standard DIN sizes, these single-loop units are equipped with a dual four-digit, seven-segment display, and offer dual output control, making them...

PC/104 Mounting Kits

A new series of hardware mounting kits for PC/104 and PC104-Plus Bus Drives that have to be installed in limited space design/installation applications is among the latest developments from Keystone Electronics Corp. (Astoria, NY). Engineered to ease assembly of new modules and multi-board stacks, the PC/104 and PC/104-Plus...

PC/104-Plus Ethernet LAN

Advanced Digital Logic (ADL) (San Diego, CA) has announced the release of its ADLLAN PC/104-Plus Ethernet LAN. This PC/104-Plus expansion board is available with either a single 1GB LAN Port or dual 1GB LAN Port. The Intel 82541ER Gigabit Ethernet Controller provides optimized Gigabit networking for PCI designs. This...

News : Energy
Flexible CIGS Solar Cells - 18.7% World Record Efficiency

New technology yielding flexible solar cells was developed by scientists at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology. Key to the breakthrough is the control of the energy band gap grading in the copper indium gallium (di)selenide semiconductor, or CIGS,...

Products : Energy
Wind Inverter

Smart Power Systems, Inc. (Baltimore, MD) has developed a 25-kW single-phase bi-directional inverter. The SPS-Pavan 25 features minimum harmonic point tracking to reduce harmonic distortion and a unity power factor operation while drawing or supplying power into a single-phase grid.

Question of the Week
Will we set foot on Mars?
  This week's Question: NASA recently unveiled its new "Space Launch System," which will be designed to carry the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, as well as important cargo, equipment, and science experiments to Earth's orbit and destinations beyond. "Tomorrow's explorers will now dream of one day walking on Mars,"...
News : Energy
Read the September Issue of Solar & Wind Power

The latest issue of Solar & Wind Power has more new feature articles, application stories, tech briefs, videos, products, technologies available for licensing, and research news - all on the latest advances in renewable energy.

C37.90.1: IEEE Standard for SWC Tests for Relays and Relays Systems Associated with Electric Power Apparatus

Two types of design tests for relays and relay systems that relate to the immunity of this equipment to repetitive electrical transients are specified. Test generator characteristics, test waveforms, selection of equipment terminals on...

Videos : Energy
Wind Turbine Placement Research Facility

Researchers from California Institute of Technology have been conducting a field tests at an experimental two-acre wind farm in northern Los Angeles County. The farm, known as the Field Laboratory for Optimized Wind Energy (FLOWE), houses 24 10-meter-tall, 1.2-meter-wide vertical-axis wind turbines...

News : Energy
Electronic "Bucket Brigade" Could Boost Solar Cell Voltages

If solar cells could generate higher voltages when sunlight falls on them, they’d produce more electrical power more efficiently. Ferroelectrics - materials with an overall electrical polarization - can develop very high photovoltages under illumination. Berkeley Lab researchers have...

Articles : Motion Control
NASA Announces New Launch System

Today, NASA announced the new Space Launch System (SLS), an advanced heavy-lift launch vehicle that will provide an entirely new national capability for human exploration beyond Earth's orbit.

News : Energy
MUTE: The Efficient City Car

MUTE, an electric vehicle from the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), is an agile, sporty two-seater for regional road traffic. Its lithium-ion battery is designed to guarantee a range of at least 100 kilometers. When needed, a zinc-air battery serves as a range extender.

Question of the Week
Will robot writers play a valuable role in newsrooms?
Code created by a start-up company called Narrative Science takes data, including sports statistics, company financial reports, and housing sales, and turns it into readable news articles. Supporters of this type of software note an increasing sophistication in the technology's ability to make...
Briefs : Energy
Hybrid Power Management-Based Vehicle Architecture
Hybrid Power Management (HPM) is the integration of diverse, state-of-the-art power devices in an optimal configuration for space and terrestrial applications. The basic vehicle architecture consists of a primary power source, and possibly other power sources, that provides all power to a common...
News : Energy
Boost for Energy Storage Systems

Batteries could get an upgrade from an Oak Ridge National Laboratory discovery that increases power, energy density, and safety while reducing charge time. The results could also have significance for applications in stationary energy storage systems for solar and wind power, and for smart grids.

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Data Service Provider Cost Estimation Tool

The Data Service Provider Cost Estimation Tool (CET) and Comparables Database (CDB) package provides to NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise (ESE) the ability to estimate the full range of year-by-year lifecycle cost estimates for the implementation and operation of data service providers required by ESE...

News : Energy
Electricity and Carbon Offsets from Hog Waste

A system constructed by Duke University and Duke Energy on a hog finishing facility converts hog waste into electricity and creates carbon offset credits. Google, which invests in carbon offsets to fulfill its own carbon neutrality goals, announced its endorsement of the project this week.

Question of the Week
Do the benefits of a "cloud-first" strategy outweigh the risks and drawbacks?
This week's Question: While companies debate the merits of cloud computing, the U.S. government has been weighing its own options. By gradually shifting to maintenance-free services that are based on the Internet and run by private companies, Vivek Kundra, the White...
Articles : Energy
Inverter Testing and Certification for Global Markets

Inverters/converters are a key element of most renewable energy systems where the power generated is not suitable to either be used locally or to provide power directly to the electric utility. Many renewable sources such as photovoltaics generate DC power, while some renewable sources such...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Dynamic Monitoring of Cleanroom Fallout Using an Air Particle Counter

The particle fallout limitations and periodic allocations for the James Webb Space Telescope are very stringent. Standard prediction methods are complicated by non-linearity and monitoring methods that are insufficiently responsive. A method for dynamically predicting the...

Briefs : Software
Test Generator for MATLAB Simulations

MATLAB Automated Test Tool, version 3.0 (MATT 3.0) is a software package that provides automated tools that reduce the time needed for extensive testing of simulation models that have been constructed in the MATLAB programming language by use of the Simulink and Real-Time Workshop programs. MATT 3.0 runs on...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Crush Test Abuse Stand

The purpose of this system is to simulate an internal short on battery cells by causing deformation (a crushing force) in a cell without penetration. This is performed by activating a hydraulic cylinder on one side of a blast wall with a hydraulic pump located on the other. The operator can control the rate of the crush by...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Fused Reality for Enhanced Flight Test Capabilities

The feasibility of using Fused Reality-based simulation technology to enhance flight test capabilities has been investigated. In terms of relevancy to piloted evaluation, there remains no substitute for actual flight tests, even when considering the fidelity and effectiveness of modern...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Enhancement to Non-Contacting Stress Measurement of Blade Vibration Frequency

A system for turbo machinery blade vibration has been developed that combines time-of-arrival sensors for blade vibration amplitude measurement and radar sensors for vibration frequency and mode identification. The enabling technology for this continuous blade...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Thermography to Inspect Insulation of Large Cryogenic Tanks

Thermography has been used in the past to monitor active, large, cryogenic storage tanks. This approach proposes to use thermography to monitor new or refurbished tanks, prior to filling with cryogenic liquid, to look for insulation voids. Thermography may provide significant cost and...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
UAVSAR Active Electronically Scanned Array

The Uninhabited Airborne Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) is a pod-based, L-band (1.26 GHz), repeatpass, interferometric, synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) used for Earth science applications. Repeat-pass interferometric radar measurements from an airborne platform require an antenna that can be...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Positively Verifying Mating of Previously Unverifiable Flight Connectors

Current practice is to uniquely key the connectors, which, when mated, could not be verified by ground tests such as those used in explosive or non-explosive initiators and pyro valves. However, this practice does not assure 100-percent correct mating. This problem could be...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Radiation-Tolerant Intelligent Memory Stack — RTIMS

This innovation provides reconfigurable circuitry and 2-Gb of error-corrected or 1-Gb of triple-redundant digital memory in a small package. RTIMS uses circuit stacking of heterogeneous components and radiation shielding technologies. A reprogrammable field-programmable gate array (FPGA), six...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Ultra-Low-Dropout Linear Regulator

A radiation-tolerant, ultra-low-dropout linear regulator can operate between –150 and 150 ºC. Prototype components were demonstrated to be performing well after a total ionizing dose of 1 Mrad (Si). Unlike existing components, the linear regulator developed during this activity is unconditionally stable over...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Excitation of a Parallel Plate Waveguide by an Array of Rectangular Waveguides

This work addresses the problem of excitation of a parallel plate waveguide by an array of rectangular waveguides that arises in applications such as the continuous transverse stub (CTS) antenna and dual-polarized parabolic cylindrical reflector antennas excited by a...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) Simulator

The Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) Simulator is a portable training aid, or demonstration tool, designed to physically illustrate real-time critical-safety concepts of electrical lockout/tagout. The objective is to prevent misinterpretations of what is off and what is on during maintenance and repair of complex electrical...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
FPGA for Power Control of MSL Avionics

A PLGT FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) is included in the LCC (Load Control Card), GID (Guidance Interface & Drivers), TMC (Telemetry Multiplexer Card), and PFC (Pyro Firing Card) boards of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft. (PLGT stands for PFC, LCC, GID, and TMC.) It provides the interface...

Briefs : Software

Sptrace is a general-purpose space utilization tracing system that is conceptually similar to the commercial “Purify” product used to detect leaks and other memory usage errors. It is designed to monitor space utilization in any sort of “heap,” i.e., a region of data storage on some device (nominally memory; possibly shared and...

Briefs : Software
Interplanetary Overlay Network Bundle Protocol Implementation

The Interplanetary Overlay Network (ION) system’s BP package, an implementation of the Delay-Tolerant Networking (DTN) Bundle Protocol (BP) and supporting services, has been specifically designed to be suitable for use on deep-space robotic vehicles. Although the ION BP...

Briefs : Software
S-Band POSIX Device Drivers for RTEMS

This is a set of POSIX device driver level abstractions in the RTEMS RTOS (Real-Time Executive for Multiprocessor Systems real-time operating system) to SBand radio hardware devices that have been instantiated in an FPGA (field-programmable gate array). These include A/D (analog-to-digital) sample capture,...

Briefs : Software
STRS SpaceWire FPGA Module

An FPGA module leverages the previous work from Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) relating to NASA’s Space Telecommunications Radio System (STRS) project. The STRS SpaceWire FPGA Module is written in the Verilog Register Transfer Level (RTL) language, and it encapsulates an unmodified GSFCcore (which is written in...

Briefs : Software
Geodetic Strain Analysis Tool

A geodetic software analysis tool enables the user to analyze 2D crustal strain from geodetic ground motion, and create models of crustal deformation using a graphical interface. Users can use any geodetic measurements of ground motion and derive the 2D crustal strain interactively. This software also provides a...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Silicon Carbide Mounts for Fabry-Perot Interferometers

Etalon mounts for tunable Fabry-Perot interferometers can now be fabricated from reaction-bonded silicon carbide structural components. These mounts are rigid, lightweight, and thermally stable. The fabrication of these mounts involves the exploitation of post-casting capabilities that (1)...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Measuring the In-Process Figure, Final Prescription, and System Alignment of Large Optics and Segmented Mirrors Using Lidar Metrology

The fabrication of large optics is traditionally a slow process, and fabrication capability is often limited by measurement capability. While techniques exist to measure mirror figure with nanometer precision,...

Briefs : Materials
Fiber-Reinforced Reactive Nano-Epoxy Composites

A family of metal/ceramic composite materials has been developed that are relatively inexpensive, lightweight alternatives to structural materials that are typified by beryllium, aluminum, and graphite/epoxy composites. These metal/ceramic composites were originally intended to replace beryllium...

Briefs : Materials
Iridium-Doped Ruthenium Oxide Catalyst for Oxygen Evolution

NASA requires a durable and efficient catalyst for the electrolysis of water in a polymer-electrolyte-membrane (PEM) cell. Ruthenium oxide in a slightly reduced form is known to be a very efficient catalyst for the anodic oxidation of water to oxygen, but it degrades rapidly, reducing...

Briefs : Materials
Improved Mo-Re VPS Alloys for High-Temperature Uses

Dispersion-strengthened molybdenum-rhenium alloys for vacuum plasma spraying (VPS) fabrication of high-temperature-resistant components are undergoing development. In comparison with otherwise equivalent non-dispersion-strengthened Mo-Re alloys, these alloys have improved high-temperature...

Briefs : Materials
Polymerization Initiated at the Sidewalls of Carbon Nanotubes

A process has been developed for growing polymer chains via anionic, cationic, or radical polymerization from the side walls of functionalized carbon nanotubes, which will facilitate greater dispersion in polymer matrices, and will greatly enhance reinforcement ability in polymeric...

Briefs : Materials
Piezoelectrically Enhanced Photocathodes

Doping of photocathodes with materials that have large piezoelectric coefficients has been proposed as an alternative means of increasing the desired photoemission of electrons. Treating cathode materials to increase emission of electrons is called “activation” in the art. It has been common practice...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Force Limit System

The Force Limit System (FLS) was developed to protect test specimens from inadvertent overload. The load limit value is fully adjustable by the operator and works independently of the test system control as a mechanical (nonelectrical) device.

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Active Response Gravity Offload System

The Active Response Gravity Offload System (ARGOS) provides the ability to simulate with one system the gravity effect of planets, moons, comets, asteroids, and microgravity, where the gravity is less than Earth’s gravity. The system works by providing a constant force offload through an overhead hoist...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Compact, Two- Sided Structural Cold Plate Configuration

In two-sided structural cold plates, typically there is a structural member, such as a honeycomb panel, that provides the structural strength for the cold plates that cool equipment. The cold plates are located on either side of the structural member and thus need to have the cooling fluid...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Levitated Duct Fan (LDF) Aircraft Auxiliary Generator

This generator concept includes a novel stator and rotor architecture made from composite material with blades attached to the outer rotating shell of a ducted fan drum rotor, a non-contact support system between the stator and rotor using magnetic fields to provide levitation, and an...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
AN Fitting Reconditioning Tool

A tool was developed to repair or replace AN fittings on the shuttle external tank (ET). (The AN thread is a type of fitting used to connect flexible hoses and rigid metal tubing that carry fluid. It is a U.S. military-derived specification agreed upon by the Army and Navy, hence AN.) The tool is used on a drill...

Briefs : Medical
Method and Apparatus for Forming Nanodroplets

This innovation uses partially miscible fluids to form nano- and microdroplets in a microfluidic droplet generator system.

Briefs : Medical
Rapid Detection of the Varicella Zoster Virus in Saliva

Varicella zoster virus (VZV) causes chicken pox on first exposure (usually in children), and reactivates from latency causing shingles (usually in adults). Shingles can be extremely painful, causing nerve damage, organ damage, and blindness in some cases. The virus can be life-threatening...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Frame-Transfer Gating Raman Spectroscopy for Time-Resolved Multiscalar Combustion Diagnostics

Accurate experimental measurement of spatially and temporally resolved variations in chemical composition (species concentrations) and temperature in turbulent flames is vital for characterizing the complex phenomena occurring in most practical...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Phase-Controlled Magnetic Mirror for Wavefront Correction

Typically, light interacts with matter via the electric field and interaction with weakly bound electrons. In a magnetic mirror, a patterned nanowire is fabricated over a metallic layer with a dielectric layer in between. Oscillation of the electrons in the nanowires in response to the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
In-Service Monitoring of Steam Pipe Systems at High Temperatures

An effective, in-service health monitoring system is needed to track water condensation in real time through the walls of steam pipes. The system is required to measure the height of the condensed water from outside the pipe, while operating at temperatures that are as high as 250...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Thermal Properties of Microstrain Gauges Used for Protection of Lithium-Ion Cells of Different Designs

The purpose of this innovation is to use microstrain gauges to monitor minute changes in temperature along with material properties of the metal cans and pouches used in the construction of lithium-ion cells. The sensitivity of the microstrain...

Briefs : Information Technology
Finding Every Root of a Broad Class of Real, Continuous Functions in a Given Interval

One of the most pervasive needs within the Deep Space Network (DSN) Metric Prediction Generator (MPG) view period event generation is that of finding solutions to given occurrence conditions. While the general form of an equation expresses equivalence between...

Briefs : Information Technology
Kalman Orbit Optimized Loop Tracking

Under certain conditions of low signal power and/or high noise, there is insufficient signal to noise ratio (SNR) to close tracking loops with individual signals on orbiting Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers. In addition, the processing power available from flight computers is not great...

Briefs : Information Technology
Development of Jet Noise Power Spectral Laws

High-quality jet noise spectral data measured at the Aero-Acoustic Propulsion Laboratory (AAPL) at NASA Glenn is used to develop jet noise scaling laws. A FORTRAN algorithm was written that provides detailed spectral prediction of component jet noise at user-specified conditions. The model generates...

Features : Photonics/Optics
Vibration Isolation in Optical Test Systems

In the world of precision motion control there is a continuous pursuit of higher performance, whether it’s resolution, speed, stability, accuracy or step size. Even if a specified device appears on paper to be capable of achieving excellent results, the design of the mechanics and the platform...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Analysis of Microwave Radiation

Microwave heating is an important process for many commercial, industrial, and household applications. Industrial microwave ovens are widely used for chemical processing, agri-food, medical products, and consumer products applications. Resonant cavities are often used to speed up chemical reactions, and have the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Graphical Language for Data Processing

A graphical language for processing data allows processing elements to be connected with virtual “wires” that represent data flows between processing modules. The processing of complex data, such as lidar data, requires many different algorithms to be applied. The purpose of this innovation is to...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Analysis of Thermoelectric Phenomena

Thermoelectric phenomena provide the direct conversion of heat into electricity or electricity into heat. The phenomena are described by three related mechanisms: the Seebeck, Peltier, and Thomson effects. The Seebeck effect describes the conversion of temperature differences directly into electricity; at the...

Briefs : Software
Onboard Short Term Plan Viewer

Onboard Short Term Plan Viewer (OSTPV) is a computer program for electronic display of mission plans and timelines, both aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and in ISS ground control stations located in several countries. OSTPV was specifically designed both (1) for use within the limited ISS computing...

Briefs : Information Technology
3D Direct Modeling: Removing Bottlenecks in Simulation

Geometry is a critical constituent in almost every simulation: representations must be sufficiently accurate for the given problem, possess the appropriate level of detail for pre-processing, and still be easily manipulated for iterative design modifications and optimization. Geometry...

Briefs : Software
Link Analysis in the Mission Planning Lab

The legacy communications link analysis software currently used at Wallops Flight Facility involves processes that are different for command destruct, radar, and telemetry. There is a clear advantage to developing an easy-to-use tool that combines all the processes in one application. Link Analysis in...

Briefs : Software
Multidisciplinary Tool for Systems Analysis of Planetary Entry, Descent, and Landing

Systems analysis of a planetary entry (SAPE), descent, and landing (EDL) is a multidisciplinary activity in nature. SAPE improves the performance of the systems analysis team by automating and streamlining the process, and this improvement can reduce the errors...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Wind Turbine Noise Reduction

Noise from wind farms falls into two categories: aerodynamic noise is created by the blades of a turbine swishing through the air, while mechanical noise is associated with the machinery housed in the nacelle of a turbine. As mechanical noise tends to be tonal, it is this that is most often a nuisance factor for...

Briefs : Software
GLobal Integrated Design Environment

The GLobal Integrated Design Environment (GLIDE) is a collaborative engineering application built to resolve the design session issues of realtime passing of data between multiple discipline experts in a collaborative environment. Utilizing Web protocols and multiple programming languages, GLIDE allows...

Briefs : Information Technology
Conceptual Model of Quantities, Units, Dimensions, and Values

JPL collaborated with experts from industry and other organizations to develop a conceptual model of quantities, units, dimensions, and values based on the current work of the ISO 80000 committee revising the International System of Units & Quantities based on the International...

Briefs : Software
Spacecraft Guidance, Navigation, and Control Visualization Tool

G-View is a 3D visualization tool for supporting spacecraft guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) simulations relevant to small-body exploration and sampling (see figure). The tool is developed in MATLAB using Virtual Reality Toolbox and provides users with the ability to...

Briefs : Information Technology
The Planning Execution Monitoring Architecture

The Planning Execution Monitoring (PEM) architecture is a design concept for developing autonomous cockpit command and control software. The PEM architecture is designed to reduce the operations costs in the space transportation system through the use of automation while improving safety and...

Briefs : Information Technology
SSC Engineering Analysis

A package for the automation of the Engineering Analysis (EA) process at the Stennis Space Center has been customized. It provides the ability to assign and track analysis tasks electronically, and electronically route a task for approval. It now provides a mechanism to keep these analyses under configuration management....

Briefs : Software
Automated Cryocooler Monitor and Control System Software

This software is used in an automated cryogenic control system developed to monitor and control the operation of small-scale crycoolers. The system was designed to automate the cryogenically cooled low-noise amplifier system described in “Automated Cryocooler Monitor and Control...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Draper Station Analysis Tool

Draper Station Analysis Tool (DSAT) is a computer program, built on commercially available software, for simulating and analyzing complex dynamic systems. Heretofore used in designing and verifying guidance, navigation, and control systems of the International Space Station, DSAT has a modular architecture that lends...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Common Bolted Joint Analysis Tool

Common Bolted Joint Analysis Tool (comBAT) is an Excel/VB-based bolted joint analysis/optimization program that lays out a systematic foundation for an inexperienced or seasoned analyst to determine fastener size, material, and assembly torque for a given design. Analysts are able to perform numerous...

Briefs : Information Technology
CCSDS Advanced Orbiting Systems Virtual Channel Access Service for QoS MACHETE Model

To support various communications requirements imposed by different missions, interplanetary communication protocols need to be designed, validated, and evaluated carefully. Multi-mission Advanced Communications Hybrid Environment for Test and Evaluation...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Commercial Modular Aero-Propulsion System Simulation 40k

The Commercial Modular Aero-Propulsion System Simulation 40k (C-MAPSS40k) software package is a nonlinear dynamic simulation of a 40,000-pound (≈178-kN) thrust class commercial turbofan engine, written in the MAT-LAB/Simulink environment. The model has been tuned to capture the behavior...

Briefs : Software
Jitter Controller Software

Sinusoidal jitter is produced by simply modulating a clock frequency sinusoidally with a given frequency and amplitude. But this can be expressed as phase jitter, frequency jitter, or cycle-to-cycle jitter, rms or peak, absolute units, or normalized to the base clock frequency. Jitter using other waveforms requires...

Briefs : Software
μShell Minimalist Shell for Xilinx Microprocessors

μShell is a lightweight shell environment for engineers and software developers working with embedded microprocessors in Xilinx FPGAs. (μShell has also been successfully ported to run on ARM Cortex-M1 microprocessors in Actel ProASIC3 FPGAs, but without project-integration support.) μShell...

Briefs : Software
Software Architecture to Support the Evolution of the ISRU RESOLVE Engineering Breadboard Unit 2 (EBU2)

The In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) Regolith & Environmental Science and Oxygen & Lunar Volatiles Extraction (RESOLVE) software provides operation of the physical plant from a remote location with a high-level interface that can access and...

Briefs : Software
InSAR Scientific Computing Environment

This computing environment is the next generation of geodetic image processing technology for repeat-pass Interferometric Synthetic Aperture (InSAR) sensors, identified by the community as a needed capability to provide flexibility and extensibility in reducing measurements from radar satellites and...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Coastal On-line Assessment and Synthesis Tool 2.0

COAST (Coastal On-line Assessment and Synthesis Tool) is a 3D, open-source Earth data browser developed by leveraging and enhancing previous NASA open-source tools. These tools use satellite imagery and elevation data in a way that allows any user to zoom from orbit view down into any place on...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Software Displays Data on Active Regions of the Sun

The Solar Active Region Display System is a computer program that generates, in near real time, a graphical display of parameters indicative of the spatial and temporal variations of activity on the Sun. These parameters include histories and distributions of solar flares, active region growth,...

Briefs : Software
Generalized Software Architecture Applied to the Continuous Lunar Water Separation Process and the Lunar Greenhouse Amplifier

This innovation provides the user with autonomous on-screen monitoring, embedded computations, and tabulated output for two new processes. The software was originally written for the Continuous Lunar Water Separation...

Briefs : Software
Monitoring Areal Snow Cover Using NASA Satellite Imagery

The objective of this project is to develop products and tools to assist in the hydrologic modeling process, including tools to help prepare inputs for hydrologic models and improved methods for the visualization of stream-flow forecasts. In addition, this project will facilitate the use...

Briefs : Information Technology
Computer-Aided Parallelizer and Optimizer

The Computer-Aided Parallelizer and Optimizer (CAPO) automates the insertion of compiler directives (see figure) to facilitate parallel processing on Shared Memory Parallel (SMP) machines. While CAPO currently is integrated seamlessly into CAPTools (developed at the University of Greenwich, now marketed...

Briefs : Software
Bundle Security Protocol for ION

This software implements bundle authentication, conforming to the Delay-Tolerant Networking (DTN) Internet Draft on Bundle Security Protocol (BSP), for the Interplanetary Overlay Network (ION) implementation of DTN. This is the only implementation of BSP that is integrated with ION.

Briefs : Software
MaROS: Information Management Service

This software is provided by the Mars Relay Operations Service (MaROS) task to a variety of Mars projects for the purpose of coordinating communications sessions between landed spacecraft assets and orbiting spacecraft assets at Mars. The Information Management Service centralizes a set of functions...

Briefs : Software
Mission Operations Planning and Scheduling System (MOPSS)

MOPSS is a generic framework that can be configured on the fly to support a wide range of planning and scheduling applications. It is currently used to support seven missions at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in roles that include science planning, mission planning, and real-time...

Briefs : Information Technology
Global Precipitation Mission Visualization Tool

The Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) software provides graphic visualization tools that enable easy comparison of ground- and space-based radar observations. It was initially designed to compare ground radar reflectivity from operational, ground-based, S- and C-band meteorological radars with...

Briefs : Software
Thermal Protection System Imagery Inspection Management System —TIIMS

TIIMS is used during the inspection phases of every mission to provide quick visual feedback, detailed inspection data, and determination to the mission management team. This system consists of a visual Web page interface, an SQL database, and a graphical image generator....

Briefs : Software
Adaptation of G-TAG Software for Validating Touch-and-Go Comet Surface Sampling Design Methodology

The G-TAG software tool was developed under the R&TD on Integrated Autonomous Guidance, Navigation, and Control for Comet Sample Return, and represents a novel, multi-body dynamics simulation software tool for studying TAG sampling.

Briefs : Software
Visual PEF Reader — VIPER

This software graphically displays all pertinent information from a Predicted Events File (PEF) using the Java Swing framework, which allows for multi-platform support. The PEF is hard to weed through when looking for specific information and it is a desire for the MRO (Mars Reconn aissance Orbiter) Mission Planning &...

Briefs : Information Technology
MatchGUI: A Graphical MATLAB-Based Tool for Automatic Image Co-Registration

MatchGUI software, based on MATLAB, automatically matches two images and displays the match result by superimposing one image on the other. A slider bar allows focus to shift between the two images. There are tools for zoom, auto-crop to overlap region, and basic image...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Innovation in Smart Robotics

After turning the dial to heavy-duty and pushing the start button, Modi waits for the click that indicates that the interlock mechanism successfully locked the door of the washing machine. Shortly after, the water starts to flow and the machine indicates that the soak and scour phase is in progress. Now it’s time...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
SENSORS Tech Forum: A “Smart” Sensors Technology Event

Over the past ten years, the worldwide sensors technology market has experienced tremendous growth. Today’s sensor technology has been woven seamlessly into our everyday lives through a vast array of new and exciting applications that continue to evolve at a pace never seen before. To...

Articles : Aerospace
Johnson Space Center

Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX supports the new era in space exploration and commercial spaceflight. As commercial partnerships assume an increasing role in spaceflight development and operations, JSC looks to leverage its experience, expertise, national investments, and capabilities to ensure mission success.

NASA Tech Needs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Establishing a Network of pFab Innovators
Nancy M.H. Holloway, Section Head
Advanced Fabrication Processes Section
Fabrication Technology Development Branch
NASA Langley Research Center
Hampton, VA

The Fabrication organization at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) is in the process of establishing a personal...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
Launch Escape System Advances Commercial Human Spaceflight
Launch escape system
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX)
Hawthorne, CA

Due to the recent retirement of the space shuttle, NASA now depends on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to ferry astronauts to and from the International...

Application Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Capacitive Pressure Sensor Enables Better Combustor Design
Pressure sensor
Sporian® Microsystems
Lafayette, CO

Sporian Microsystems has been awarded a NASA contract to develop a capacitive pressure sensor. The sensor must survive extremely harsh conditions, including temperatures in...

P3 Series of Thermal Imagers

Fluke Corp., Everett, WA, has introduced four new models to the P3 Series of thermal imagers. The new models include the Ti32, TiR32, Ti27, and Ti29 for industrial, electrical, mechanical, and process applications; and for building inspection, energy audit, and maintenance applications. All models provide one-handed...

Techs for License
Mobile Therapy Systems Deliver Ultrasound to Reduce Pain

New mobile devices deliver ultrasound for the relief of major conditions, including arthritis, tendonitis, and back pain. In addition to pain relief, the system can be used to heal wounds, promote transdermal drug delivery, and improve skin health. The ZetrOZ system, about the size of an...

Techs for License
Pipe Alignment and Clamping Tool Offers High-Quality Alloy Welding

For welding purposes, a clamping device aligns two adjacent sections of pipe internally. The apparatus has a variety of clamping members movable between retracted and extended positions. Each of the members holds a clamping shoe that connects to the device frame. The technology...

Tech Needs
Non-Smoke, Non-Halogenated Fire Retardants

A company needs non-halogenated polymeric mix additives that provide non-smoke fire retardance for wiring jackets and cables. The additive must have low enough loadings so that product performance and flexibility are maintained. Wires and cables must meet a variety of requirements, some imposed by...

NASA Tech Needs
Materials That Build Viscosity Upon Dilution with Water

A new material needs to maintain a low viscosity when concentrated or anhydrous, and then build viscosity when diluted with water. It should have an approximate concentrated viscosity of less than 500 cps, and a diluted viscosity greater than 1,000 cps when diluted to 50% or more with...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Improving Microinverter Performance in Photovoltaic Systems

We have known for decades that the sun radiates enough energy to meet the world’s needs for power, both now and in the future. As in any energy conversion from original source to a “usable” form, however, the various stages of adaptation introduce efficiency losses. In the case of...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Control Program and Optical Improvements of Fresnel Microspectrometer

A microspectrometer has a circular geometry, and is designed with the Fresnel diffraction equation. This enables a dramatic miniaturization of the optical parts of a spectrometer over 100 times by volume. Therefore, it enables the construction of spectrometer arrays such as...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Miniature Laser Magnetometer

A conceptual design has been developed for a miniature laser magnetometer (MLM) that will measure the scalar magnitude and vector components of near-Earth magnetic fields. The MLM incorporates a number of technical innovations to achieve high-accuracy and high-resolution performance while significantly reducing the...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Low-Power, Self-Calibrated Vector Magnetometer

NASA satellites measure vector magnetic fields around planets to learn about the geology of the planets. Existing fluxgate magnetometers drift as a result of temperature and aging. A magnetometer whose calibration was stable would improve investigations of planets and the solar system.

Products : Photonics/Optics
All-In-One Fluorescence Microscope

The BZ-9000 (BIOREVO) from Keyence Corp. of America (Elmwood Park, NJ) performs fluorescence, bright field, and phase-contrast imaging on a variety of specimen holders, including slides, dishes, and wellplates. By integrating a fully motorized, six-objective lens revolver, motorized stage, electronically...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Harsh Environment Optical Systems

Resolve Optics Ltd. (Chesham, Bucks, England) has developed optical systems that will operate in up to 950°C without cooling. For radioactive environments, the custom lens systems and through-wall endoscopes are capable of withstanding radiation doses of up to 100,000,000 rads without degradation of...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Light Pipes

Lumex (Palatine, IL) has announced TransBrite™ Halo Ring™ light pipe technology for LEDs. The pipes come in both standard and custom formats, created with ray trace software and 3D CAD/CAM models for optimum light transmittance.

Products : Photonics/Optics
Quantum Cascade Laser Driver

The QCL Series of Low Noise Quantum Cascade Laser Drivers from Wavelength Electronics (Bozeman, MT) minimize linewidth, spectral drift, and center wavelength jitter with low noise control electronics. The driver offers sub-microamp RMS noise (0.7 μA RMS over 100 kHz bandwidth with the QCL1000 1A driver). Designed as...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Laser Modules

FLEXPOINT® laser modules from Laser Components USA (Hudson, NH) display a “clean” spot at multiple levels of magnification. Inside the module, optical elements are used and adjusted manually to obtain the optimal alignment position, allowing, for example, a beam diameter of 0.020mm to be achieved at a distance of 100mm (1/e2)....

Products : Photonics/Optics
Raman Spectroscopy Spectrometer

B&W Tek (Newark, DE) has released the Glacier™ T spectrometer for Raman spectroscopy applications. The Glacier™ T, which measures less than 8" × 4" × 4", comes preconfigured with a choice of 532nm or 785nm excitation. Its resolution options range from 3cm-1 to 4000cm-1. B&W Tek’s proprietary TE Cooling...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Wavelength Meter

TOPTICA (Victor, NY) has announced its WS6–200 IR3 wavelength meter for wavelength measurements (from 2μm to 11μm) in the mid-infrared (IR) region. The WS6–200 IR3 permits both CW and pulsed lasers with narrow-band emission to be examined, monitored, and controlled. Based on a Fizeau interferometer setup with no moving...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Color Sensors

ColorMax and ColorMax View sensors from EMX Industries (Cleveland, OH) have been made in an industry standard M30 housing without internal or external switches. The operator has control over parameters of the sensor, including target illumination. ColorMax has 0.5% resolution on each of the RGB channels, along with up to 15...

Products : Photonics/Optics
DPSS Lasers

Cobolt AB (Stockholm, Sweden) has released two wavelengths on the single frequency 05-01 DPSS laser platform. The Cobolt Flamenco™ 660nm is available with 300mW CW output power, and the Cobolt Jive™ 561nm has 500mW CW output power. The proprietary cavity design is manufactured using HTCure™ technology and delivers good noise...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Laser Splicing System

Joining Technologies (East Granby, CT) has introduced the Infinite Web™ 355, a laser cutting and welding system for splicing iron and nickelbased strip alloys. The design incorporates laser welding and cutting with a single head. The product joins leading and trailing edges of metal coils in strip processing lines to...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Patterned Optical Coatings

To grow its PixelTec™ patterned optical coating technology, Ocean Thin Films (Largo, FL) has expanded its Golden, Colardo facility. PixelTec technology enables micron-scale patterning of multiple thin film optical coatings on a single substrate including precision patterning of intricate features, shapes, and sizes...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Photoelectric Sensor

The photoelectric sensor from AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) now includes 18 mm rectangular plastic DC models. The IP67 rated sensors, available in 12 varieties, feature an 18mm diameter threaded lens and M12 quick-disconnect.

Products : Photonics/Optics
Ten-Megapixel Camera

The SILICON VIDEO®10C6 color and 10M6 monochrome cameras from EPIX (Buffalo Grove, IL) have 10 megapixel progressive scan images with a resolution of 3840 × 2764 pixels and 12 bits per pixel. Asynchronous capture is available for triggered capture. The combination of programmable pixel clock and area of interest also...

News : Lighting
Inexpensive, Efficient 60-W LED Bulb

Lighting Science Group (Satellite Beach, FL) and Dixon Technologies India Pvt. Ltd (New Delhi, India) have announced that a high-performance, sub-$15 omnidirectional 60-watt equivalent A19 LED bulb will be available in India by the end of the year and will be sold worldwide early next year.

Briefs : Materials
Metal-Matrix/Hollow-Ceramic-Sphere Composites

A family of metal/ceramic composite materials has been developed that are relatively inexpensive, lightweight alternatives to structural materials that are typified by beryllium, aluminum, and graphite/epoxy composites. These metal/ceramic composites were originally intended to replace beryllium...

Application Briefs : Imaging
Using Aspheric Optics in Complex Lens Designs

Optical design engineers often discuss the use of aspheres to reduce element count, but they seldom put the discussion into real-time practice, often fearing that the more complex fabrication process of the asphere itself overwhelms the advantages that they might gain.

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Better, Faster Sonar Development With Multiphysics Simulation

As any dolphin could tell us, sound travels well in water. While water absorbs electromagnetic radiation and light waves over relatively short distances, sound travels widely and even faster in water than in air. That’s why we use sonar (SOund NAvigation Ranging), the acoustic...

Articles : Imaging
When Human-Machine Interfaces and Control Converge

Today’s human-machine interfaces (HMIs) provide the link between sophisticated technology and the human touch required to effectively operate essential systems and applications. By offering intuitive contact between the operator and the process, users can safely operate trains, build cars,...

Articles : Imaging
Testing Lenses for Thermal Imagers

Although thermal imagers tend to be judged on the detector technology employed, the detected image must first be formed by an infra-red lens, and the quality and performance of this lens will be an important factor in the overall performance of the imager. For critical applications, it is important to test the...

Articles : Software
NASA Awards 2010 Software of the Year

The Kepler mission Science Operations Center Science Pipeline Release 6.0 software system was named 2010 NASA Software of the Year by the NASA Software Advisory Panel. Designed, developed, and operated by the Kepler Science Operations Center (SOC) at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA, the...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Smart Phones in Space

Students, teachers, and commercial companies have been taking advantage of the International Space Station's (ISS) unique environment for years. One of those companies, Houston-based Odyssey Space Research, plans to bring the experience to the rest of us via our mobile devices.

Products : Imaging
Flat Panel Sensors

Hamamatsu Photonics K.K. (Bridgewater, NJ) has developed two large-area X-ray flat panel sensors based on amorphous silicon technology. The sensors, intended for applications in dental X-ray imaging, are available in two active area sizes: 16 x 16 cm (C11700CK) and 27 cm × 22 cm (C11701CK).

Products : Imaging
Image Sensor

The MLX75412 extended HDR Image Sensor from Melexis (Ieper, Belgium) includes two on-chip functions: exposure controls and an adaptive Autoview™ histogram remapping capability. Focus applications include automotive driver assistance, night vision, security/surveillance, fleet safety, and truck blind spot detection.

Products : Imaging
Microscopy High-Speed Camera

QImaging (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada) has announced the release of the Rolera Thunder EMCCD microscopy camera. Designed for quantitative low-light fluorescence microscopy, the Rolera Thunder features a back-illuminated, 16 μm-pixel, 512 × 512 EMCCD sensor for > 90% peak quantum efficiency. The camera also has...

Products : Imaging
Camera and Panomorph Lens

Samsung Techwin America (Ridgefield Park, NJ) has introduced a 1.3-megapixel, high-definition network camera. The SNB-5000 model camera now offers 360-degree viewing.

Products : Imaging
Camera Module

Saelig Company (Pittsford, NY) has announced the C429-RS232, a serial and encoded video camera module. The module uses an OmniVision CMOS MT9V011 VGA color sensor, matched with a Vimicro VC0706 control chip. The C429-RS232 has an on-board RS232 serial interface for direct connection to any host PC system with a COMport. Video...

Products : Imaging
Microscope Camera

OPTRONICS® (Goleta, CA) has announced its Microcast ® HDXS™ 1920 × 1080 progressive scan C-mount camera system for research and microsurgical imaging applications. The device, which includes a 3CCD HD prism and embedded software, creates 2-megapixel video. Expanded user preset functionality increases access to multiple...

Products : Imaging
Robotic Camera

Vaddio (New Hope, MN) offers the ClearVIEW HD-19 PTZ robotic camera. The camera, eq - uipped with a 19x optical zoom lens, is built around a 1.3 mega - pixel, 1/3-Type Sony Exmor CMOS image sensor. Integrated SmartSHOT technology with AIP (Adjustable Image Processing) provides end user control of advanced imaging DSP (Digital...

Products : Imaging
Digital CCD Camera

The INFINITY2-5 digital CCD USB 2.0 camera from Lumenera Corporation (Lawrenceville, GA) provides qualitative image archiving in life science, clinical, and material science applications. The 5.0 megapixel camera employs the Sony Super HAD ICX655 2/3" sensor featuring 3.45-micron square pixels. An 8-bit output is available for...

Products : Imaging
Infrared Camera

The FLIR GF306 infrared camera from FLIR Systems (Boston, MA) allows utility companies and other organizations to search for SF6 leaks across a range of substation equipment. Using a proprietary High Sensitivity Mode (HSM), the FLIR GF306 camera detects harmful gas emissions at safe distances, without the need to interrupt power....

Products : Imaging
Microscopy Color Camera

Olympus (Center Valley, PA) has released the DP26, a high-resolution digital color camera for microscopy. Incorporating a 5-megapixel, scientific-grade CCD sensor, the DP26 allows users to browse samples without the use of eyepieces.

Products : Imaging
Display Wall-Controller Boards

Now available with Matrox Mura MPX Series display wall controller boards, the Matrox PowerDesk Edge Overlap feature from Matrox Graphics (Dorval, Quebec, Canada) provides seamless images over multi-projector setups, whether the projectors are in landscape or portrait mode, or positioned in horizontal and/or...

Products : Imaging
Electron Microscope System

The Versa 3D™ DualBeam™ system from FEI Company (Hillsboro, OR) provides high-resolution, three-dimensional imaging on a range of sample types. Versa 3D is available with either high-vacuum-only or high- and low-vacuum electron imaging hardware. New features, such as FEI’s SmartSCAN™ and Drift Corrected Frame...

Who's Who
Dr. Lin Chambers, Project Scientist, NASA Langley Science Directorate, Hampton, VA

Dr. Lin Chambers is Project Scientist in the Innovations in Global Climate Change Education program. The congressionally mandated project, initiated in 2008, awards grants to institutions that educate communities about climate science. The group develops resources...

Dr. Lin Chambers, Project Scientist, NASA Langley Science Directorate, Hampton, VA

Dr. Lin Chambers is Project Scientist in the Innovations in Global Climate Change Education program. The congressionally mandated project, initiated in 2008, awards grants to institutions that educate communities about climate science. The group develops...


On-Demand Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Heavy-Duty Engine Design for a Transitioning Market

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

High-Powered Directed Energy Laser Projects: Destroy the Target,...

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

Optical Coating Design

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Rapid Decompression and Sealed Containers: Why Choose Magnet...

Upcoming Webinars: Motion Control

Advantages of Smart Servo Steppers vs. Smart Brushless Servos

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Large Cable, Large Problems: Considerations for Innovation