September 2012

Question of the Week
Will Robots Work Directly with Humans?

In today's work environments, robots are often kept isolated from humans due to their massive weight and speed, traits that could possibly endanger humans in their vicinity. Many machines are kept either inside glass cages or behind laser-controlled light curtains. New robots, however, are being built with...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D Printing with FDM: Real Parts, Real Possibilities

The terms “3D printing” and “additive manufacturing” refer to processes that automatically build objects layer-by-layer from computer data. The technology is already used in many sectors including transportation, healthcare, military, and education.

Uses of 3D printing include...

News
Blemished Graphene Could Lead to New Battery Technology

Engineering researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute made a sheet of paper from the world’s thinnest material, graphene, and then zapped the paper with a laser or camera flash to blemish it with countless cracks, pores, and other imperfections. The result is a graphene anode...

Products : Electronics & Computers
XMC Module

Innovative Integration (Simi Valley, CA) has announced the new X6-250M that integrates digitizing with signal processing on a PMC/XMC IO module. The module has a powerful Xilinx Virtex 6 FPGA signal processing core, and high performance PCI Express/PCI host interface. Applications include software defined radio, RADAR receivers, and...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Serial/Deserializer Chipset

Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (Dallas, TX) has introduced the DS90UB913Q serializer and DS90UB914Q deserializer, the newest additions to its FPD-Link III automotive-grade chipset family. The SerDes chipset provides a seamless video and data interface to megapixel driver assist camera modules, with no software...

Products : Electronics & Computers
2-Channel RF/IF Rackmount Recorder

Pentek, Inc. (Upper Saddle River, NJ) has introduced an ultra wide- band RF/IF rackmount recorder, the Talon(TM) RTS 2709. Using 12-bit, 3.6 GHz A/D converters and state-of-the-art solid state drive storage technology, this system can achieve sustained recording rates up to 3.2 Gbytes per second. It can be...

Question of the Week
Will Exoskeletons and Robotic Suits Become a Part of Everyday Life?

Many companies, including Raytheon and the Israel-based Argo Medical Technologies, have created self-contained, wearable robotic suits to reduce injuries from heavy lifting, for example, and help paraplegics walk again. Ekso, based in Richmond, California, builds a suit without...

Products : Electronics & Computers
cPCI Blade

ADLINK Technology, Inc. (San Jose, CA) has announced availability of the cPCI-6930, a next-generation 6U dual-slot CompactPCI(R) (cPCI) processor blade with flexible expansion capabilities. The cPCI-6930 features a 1.8 GHz eight-core Intel(R) Xeon(R) processor E5-2448L, Intel(R) C604 chipset, and DDR3-1333 ECC registered memory up to...

Products : Energy
Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Test System

SAKOR Technologies, Inc. (Okemos, MI) designed and installed a complete turnkey Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Test System for UQM Technologies, Inc. (Longmont, CO), a manufacturer of high-efficiency electric propulsion systems. UQM will use the system to test inverters and traction motors for use in hybrid...

Question of the Week
Are You Encouraged by the Capabilities of Medical Sensors and Stretchable Electronics?

Many wireless-monitor products today track daily activity, including a person's steps and calories burned. Wearable sensors, and even internal ones, however, may also be used to monitor one's specific biological processes. "Stretchable electronics," for...

News : Energy
Harnessing the Power of Spinach

Vanderbilt University researches have developed a way to combine Photosystem 1 (PS1), the photosynthetic protein that converts light into electrochemical energy in spinach with silicon (the material used in solar cells), in a fashion that produces substantially more electrical current than has been reported by...

News
Researchers Use Simulated Sunlight to Test PV Efficiency

PML researchers have devised a novel source of portable sunlight that may fill an urgent need in renewable energy research – namely, light sources that generate a near-perfect solar spectrum to be used in testing the performance and efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) materials.

The...

News
Researchers Use Graphene to Make Wireless Communications More Flexible

Michael Lekas and Sunwoo Lee, electrical engineering Ph.D. candidates, have been awarded a Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship (QInF) and the accompanying $100,000 prize. They were one of eight teams from across the U.S. to win the fellowship. Their project —“CMOS Compatible...

Question of the Week
Does Wave Energy Have Potential?

The first commercially licensed grid-connected wave-energy device in the United States, designed by the New Jersey-based Ocean Power Technologies, is in its final weeks of testing before a planned launch in October. The computer-equipped buoy captures the energy created by a wave, which is fueled by the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Lightweight, Miniature Inertial Measurement System

accurate inertial navigation system (INS) is coupled with GPS receivers to provide stable and highly accurate positioning, attitude, and inertial measurements while being subjected to highly dynamic maneuvers. In contrast to conventional methods that use extensive, ground-based, real-time...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Optical Density Analysis of X-Rays Utilizing Calibration Tooling to Estimate Thickness of Parts

This process is designed to estimate the thickness change of a material through data analysis of a digitized version of an xray (or a digital x-ray) containing the material (with the thickness in question) and various tooling. Using this process, it...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Beat-to-Beat Blood Pressure Monitor

This device provides non-invasive beat-to-beat blood pressure measurements and can be worn over the upper arm for prolonged durations. Phase and waveform analyses are performed on filtered proximal and distal photoplethysmographic (PPG) waveforms obtained from the brachial artery. The phase analysis is used...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Measurement Techniques for Clock Jitter

NASA is in the process of modernizing its communications infrastructure to accompany the development of a Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) to replace the shuttle. With this effort comes the opportunity to infuse more advanced coded modulation techniques, including low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes that...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Fuel Cell/ Electrochemical Cell Voltage Monitor

A concept has been developed for a new fuel cell individual-cell-voltage monitor that can be directly connected to a multi-cell fuel cell stack for direct substack power provisioning. It can also provide voltage isolation for applications in high-voltage fuel cell stacks. The technology consists of...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Anomaly Detection Techniques With Real Test Data From a Spinning Turbine Engine-Like Rotor

Online detection techniques to monitor the health of rotating engine components are becoming increasingly attractive to aircraft engine manufacturers in order to increase safety of operation and lower maintenance costs. Health monitoring remains a...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Measuring Air Leaks Into the Vacuum Space of Large Liquid Hydrogen Tanks

Large cryogenic liquid hydrogen tanks are composed of inner and outer shells. The outer shell is exposed to the ambient environment while the inner shell holds the liquid hydrogen. The region between these two shells is evacuated and typically filled with a powder-like...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Antenna Calibration and Measurement Equipment

A document describes the Antenna Calibration & Measurement Equipment (ACME) system that will provide the Deep Space Network (DSN) with instrumentation enabling a trained RF engineer at each complex to perform antenna calibration measurements and to generate antenna calibration data. This data...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Lightweight Metal Matrix Composite Segmented for Manufacturing High-Precision Mirrors

High-precision mirrors for space applications are traditionally manufactured from one piece of material, such as lightweight glass “sandwich” or beryllium. The purpose of this project was to develop and test the feasibility of a manufacturing process...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Plasma Treatment To Remove Carbon From Indium UV Filters

The sounding rocket experiment FIRE (Far-ultraviolet Imaging Rocket Experi ment) will improve the science community’s ability to image a spectral region hitherto unexplored astronomically. The imaging band of FIRE (≈900 to 1,100 Å) will help fill the current wavelength imaging...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Telerobotics Workstation (TRWS) for Deep Space Habitats

On medium- to long- duration human spaceflight missions, latency in communications from Earth could reduce efficiency or hinder local operations, control, and monitoring of the various mission vehicles and other elements. Regardless of the degree of autonomy of any one particular element, a...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Flexible Architecture for FPGAs in Embedded Systems

Commonly, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) being developed in cPCI embedded systems include the bus interface in the FPGA. This complicates the development because the interface is complicated and requires a lot of development time and FPGA resources. In addition, flight qualification...

Briefs : Materials
Resin-Impregnated Carbon Ablator: A New Ablative Material for Hyperbolic Entry Speeds

Ablative materials are required to protect a space vehicle from the extreme temperatures encountered during the most demanding (hyperbolic) atmospheric entry velocities, either for probes launched toward other celestial bodies, or coming back to Earth from deep...

Briefs : Materials
Self-Cleaning Particulate Prefilter Media

A long-term space mission requires efficient air revitalization performance to sustain the crew. Prefilter and particulate air filter media are susceptible to rapid fouling that adversely affects their performance and can lead to catastrophic failure of the air revitalization system, which may result in...

Briefs : Materials
Polyurea-Based Aerogel Monoliths and Composites

A flexible, organic polyurea-based aerogel insulation material was developed that will provide superior thermal insulation and inherent radiation protection for government and commercial applications. The rubbery polyurea-based aerogel exhibits little dustiness, good flexibility and toughness, and...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Modular, Rapid Propellant Loading System/Cryogenic Testbed

The Cryogenic Test Laboratory (CTL) at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) has designed, fabricated, and installed a modular, rapid propellant-loading system to simulate rapid loading of a launch-vehicle composite or standard cryogenic tank. The system will also function as a cryogenic testbed...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Compact, Low-Force, Low-Noise Linear Actuator

Actuators are critical to all the robotic and manipulation mechanisms that are used in current and future NASA missions, and are also needed for many other industrial, aeronautical, and space activities. There are many types of actuators that were designed to operate as linear or rotary motors, but...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Loop Heat Pipe With Thermal Control Valve as a Variable Thermal Link

Future lunar landers and rovers will require variable thermal links that allow for heat rejection during the lunar daytime and passively prevent heat rejection during the lunar night. During the lunar day, the thermal management system must reject the waste heat from the...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Process for Measuring Over-Center Distances

Over-center mechanisms were used in the orbiter payload bay to lock down the robotic arm during the launch of the space shuttle. These mechanisms were unlocked while in orbit in order to release the arm for use. Adjusting the mechanism such that it would not inadvertently release during launch, but...

Briefs : Medical
Developing Physiologic Models for Emergency Medical Procedures Under Microgravity

Several technological enhancements have been made to METI’s commercial Emergency Care Simulator (ECS) with regard to how microgravity affects human physiology. The ECS uses both a software only lung simulation, and an integrated mannequin lung that uses a...

Briefs : Medical
Improving Balance Function Using Low Levels of Electrical Stimulation of the Balance Organs

Crewmembers returning from long duration space flight face significant challenges due to the microgravity induced inappropriate adaptations in balance/sensorimotor function. The Neuroscience Laboratory at JSC is developing a method based on stochastic...

Briefs : Medical
Hands-Free Transcranial Color Doppler Probe

Current transcranial color Doppler (TCD) transducer probes are bulky and difficult to move in tiny increments to search and optimize TCD signals. This invention provides miniature motions of a TCD transducer probe to optimize TCD signals.

Briefs : Medical
Portable Intravenous Fluid Production Device for Ground Use

There are several medical conditions that require intravenous (IV) fluids. Limitations of mass, volume, storage space, shelf-life, transportation, and local resources can restrict the availability of such important fluids. These limitations are expected in long-duration space...

Briefs : Medical
Adaptation of a Filter Assembly to Assess Microbial Bioburden of Pressurant Within a Propulsion System

A report describes an adaptation of a filter assembly to enable it to be used to filter out microorganisms from a propulsion system. The filter assembly has previously been used for particulates >2 μm. Projects that utilize large volumes of...

Briefs : Medical
PMA-Linked Fluorescence for Rapid Detection of Viable Bacterial Endospores

The most common approach for assessing the abundance of viable bacterial endospores is the culture-based plating method. However, culture-based approaches are heavily biased and oftentimes incompatible with upstream sample processing strategies, which make viable...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Vision-Aided Autonomous Landing and Ingress of Micro Aerial Vehicles

Micro aerial vehicles have limited sensor suites and computational power. For reconnaissance tasks and to conserve energy, these systems need the ability to autonomously land at vantage points or enter buildings (ingress). But for autonomous navigation, information is needed to...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Whispering Gallery Mode Optomechanical Resonator

Great progress has been made in both micromechanical resonators and microoptical resonators over the past decade, and a new field has recently emerged combining these mechanical and optical systems. In such optomechanical systems, the two resonators are strongly coupled with one influencing the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Self-Sealing Wet Chemistry Cell for Field Analysis

In most analytical investigations, there is a need to process complex field samples for the unique detection of analytes, especially when detecting low-concentration organic molecules that may identify extraterrestrial life. Wet chemistry based instruments are the techniques of choice for most...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Multiplexed Force and Deflection Sensing Shell Membranes for Robotic Manipulators

Force sensing is an essential requirement for dexterous robot manipulation, e.g., for extravehicular robots making vehicle repairs. Although strain gauges have been widely used, a new sensing approach is desirable for applications that require greater robustness,...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Mars Technology Rover with Arm-Mounted Percussive Coring Tool, Microimager, and Sample-Handling Encapsulation Containerization Subsystem

A report describes the PLuto (programmable logic) Mars Technology Rover, a mid-sized FIDO (field integrated design and operations) class rover with six fully drivable and steerable cleated wheels, a...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Pre-Validated Medical Packaging Solution

Due to the complex requirements of the medical device industry, the internal resources of device OEMs are drawn primarily to the device R&D and regulatory arenas. However, once the device R&D...

Briefs : Materials
Silk Microneedles Deliver Controlled-Release Drugs Painlessly

Bioengineers have developed a new silk-based microneedle system able to deliver precise amounts of drugs over time and without need for refrigeration. The tiny needles can be fabricated under normal temperature and pressure and from water, so they can be loaded with sensitive...

Briefs : Medical
Portable Intravenous Fluid Production Device for Ground Use

There are several medical conditions that require intravenous (IV) fluids. Limitations of mass, volume, storage space, shelf-life, transportation, and local resources can restrict the availability of such important fluids. These limitations are expected in long-duration space...

Briefs : Medical
Development of a Low- Cost, Portable Biosensor for Blood Protein Detection

Current blood testing procedures are expensive and time consuming, and the equipment required is often bulky and difficult to transport. A new low-cost, portable technique has been developed to quickly and reliably detect specific proteins in a sample of human blood. The...

Briefs : Imaging
Non-Invasive Instrument for Skin Cancer Screening

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in humans, with annual rates continuing to climb from their current estimate of just over three million new cases each year. Although all skin...

Briefs : Software
Conjugate Heat Transfer

The controlled transfer of heat from a component to its surroundings is critical for the operation of many industrial processes. For example, cooling of electronics components is needed to maintain safe operation and extend operating lifetime, while quenching of materials from elevated temperatures is often required to...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Surface Plasmon Resonance

Surface plasmons are coherent electron oscillations that exist at the interface between any two materials where the real part of the dielectric function changes sign across the interface. Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) can be used to detect molecular adsorption on surfaces, and consequently is of significance for...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Software Creates and Analyzes Lightning Protection Solutions for Wind Turbines

Highvoltage.dk is a Danish consulting engineering firm with expertise in lightning protection and high-voltage engineering. The company, founded in 2005, tackles complex problems such as general high-voltage design engineering for the power industry, lightning...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Computing Radiative Transfer in a 3D Medium

A package of software computes the time-dependent propagation of a narrow laser beam in an arbitrary threedimensional (3D) medium with absorption and scattering, using the transientdiscrete- ordinates method and a direct integration method. Unlike prior software that utilizes a Monte Carlo method, this...

Briefs : Software
Water Detection Based on Object Reflections

Water bodies are challenging terrain hazards for terrestrial unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) for several reasons. Traversing through deep water bodies could cause costly damage to the electronics of UGVs. Additionally, a UGV that is either broken down due to water damage or becomes stuck in a water...

Briefs : Software
SATPLOT for Analysis of SECCHI Heliospheric Imager Data

Determining trajectories of solar transients such as coronal mass ejections is not always easy. White light images from SECCHI’s (Sun Earth Connection Coronal and Heliospheric Investigation) heliospheric imagers are difficult to interpret because they represent a lineof- sight projection...

Briefs : Software
Low-Cost Telemetry System for Small/Micro Satellites

A Software Defined Radio (SDR) concept uses a minimum amount of analog/radio frequency components to up/downconvert the RF signal to/from a digital format. Once in the digital domain, all other processing (filtering, modulation, demodulation, etc.) is done in software. The project will...

Briefs : Software
Plug-in Plan Tool v3.0.3.1

The role of PLUTO (Plug-in Port UTilization Officer) and the growth of the International Space Station (ISS) have exceeded the capabilities of the current tool PiP (Plug-in Plan). Its users (crew and flight controllers) have expressed an interest in a new, easy-touse tool with a higher level of interactivity and...

Briefs : Software
Architectural Implementation of NASA Space Telecommunications Radio System Specification

This software demonstrates a working implementation of the NASA STRS (Space Telecommunications Radio System) architecture specification. This is a developing specification of software architecture and required interfaces to provide commonality among future...

Briefs : Software
Autonomous Rover Traverse and Precise Arm Placement on Remotely Designated Targets

This software controls a rover platform to traverse rocky terrain autonomously, plan paths, and avoid obstacles using its stereo hazard and navigation cameras. It does so while continuously tracking a target of interest selected from 10–20 m away. The rover...

Briefs : Software
Operator Interface and Control Software for the Reconfigurable Surface System Tri-ATHLETE

Graphical operator interface methods have been developed for modular, reconfigurable articulated surface systems in general, and a specific instantiation thereof for JPL’s Tri-ATHLETE. The All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra- Terrestrial Explorer Robot (ATHLETE)...

Briefs : Software
Nonlinear Estimation Approach to Real-Time Georegistration from Aerial Images

When taking aerial images, it is important to know locations of specific points of interest in an Earth-centered coordinate system (latitude, longitude, height) (see figure). The correspondence between a pixel location in the image and its Earth coordinate is known as...

Briefs : Software
Optimal Force Control of Vibro-Impact Systems for Autonomous Drilling Applications

The need to maintain optimal energy efficiency is critical during the drilling operations performed on future and current planetary rover missions (see figure). Specifically, this innovation seeks to solve the following problem. Given a spring-loaded percussive...

Briefs : Software
Journal and Wave Bearing Impedance Calculation Software

The wave bearing software suite is a MALTA application that computes bearing properties for user-specified wave bearing conditions, as well as plain journal bearings. Wave bearings are fluid film journal bearings with multi-lobed wave patterns around the circumference of the bearing...

Briefs : Software
Scalable Integrated Multi-Mission Support System (SIMSS) Simulator Release 2.0 for GMSEC

Scalable Integrated Multi-Mission Support System (SIMSS) Simulator Release 2.0 software is designed to perform a variety of test activities related to spacecraft simulations and ground segment checks. This innovation uses the existing SIMSS framework, which...

Briefs : Software
Linked-List-Based Multibody Dynamics (MBDyn) Engine

This new release of MBDyn is a software engine that calculates the dynamics states of kinematic, rigid, or flexible multibody systems. An MBDyn multibody system may consist of multiple groups of articulated chains, trees, or closed-loop topologies. Transient top ologies are handled through...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Frequency Correction for MIRO Chirp Transformation Spectroscopy Spectrum

This software processes the flyby spectra of the Chirp Transform Spectrometer (CTS) of the Microwave Instrument for Rosetta Orbiter (MIRO). The tool corrects the effect of Doppler shift and local-oscillator (LO) frequency shift during the flyby mode of MIRO operations. The...

Briefs : Software
Jet and Tropopause Products for Analysis and Characterization (JETPAC)

This suite of IDL programs provides identification and comprehensive characterization of the dynamical features of the jet streams in the upper troposphere, the lower stratospheric polar night jet, and the tropopause. The output of this software not only provides...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Multi-Mission Power Analysis Tool (MMPAT) Version 3

The Multi-Mission Power Analysis Tool (MMPAT) simulates a spacecraft power subsystem including the power source (solar array and/or radioisotope thermoelectric generator), bus-voltage control, secondary battery (lithium-ion or nickel-hydrogen), thermostatic heaters, and power-consuming...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Jupiter Environment Tool

The Jupiter Environment Tool (JET) is a custom UI plug-in for STK that provides an interface to Jupiter environment models for visualization and analysis. Users can visualize the different magnetic field models of Jupiter through various rendering methods, which are fully integrated within STK’s 3D Window. This allows...

Briefs : Software
WGM Temperature Tracker

This software implements digital control of a WGM resonator temperature based on the dual-mode approach. It comprises one acquisition and three modules. Interaction proportional-integral loops is designed in original way preventing from fighting. Data processing organized parallel with which allows computational overhead...

Briefs : Software
Large Terrain Continuous Level of Detail 3D Visualization Tool

This software solved the problem of displaying terrains that are usually too large to be displayed on standard workstations in real time. The software can visualize terrain data sets composed of billions of vertices, and can display these data sets at greater than 30 frames per...

Briefs : Software
Earth-Science Data Co-Locating Tool

This software is used to locate Earthscience satellite data and climate-model analysis outputs in space and time. This enables the direct comparison of any set of data with different spatial and temporal resolutions. It is written in three separate modules that are clearly separated for their functionality and...

Briefs : Software
Algorithms for Determining Physical Responses of Structures Under Load

Ultra-efficient real-time structural monitoring algorithms have been developed to provide extensive information about the physical response of structures under load. These algorithms are driven by actual strain data to measure accurately local strains at multiple locations on...

Briefs : Software
CometQuest: A Rosetta Adventure

CometQuest is an educational Apple iPhone game outlining the Rosetta mission to comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Its goal is to provide an enjoyable means to learn about the Rosetta mission through action gameplay where the player takes the role of Rosetta’s mission operator and tries to capture and record as much...

Briefs : Software
Mission Analysis, Operations, and Navigation Toolkit Environment (Monte) Version 040

Monte is a software set designed for use in mission design and spacecraft navigation operations. The system can process measurement data, design optimal trajectories and maneuvers, and do orbit determination, all in one application. For the first time, a single...

Briefs : Information Technology
Tiled WMS/KML Server V2

This software is a higher-performance implementation of tiled WMS, with integral support for KML and time-varying data. This software is compliant with the Open Geospatial WMS standard, and supports KML natively as a WMS return type, including support for the time attribute. Regionated KML wrappers are generated that...

Briefs : Software
Where’s My Data — WMD

WMD provides a centralized interface to access data stored in the Mission Data Processing and Control System (MPCS) GDS (Ground Data Systems) databases during MSL (Mars Science Laboratory) Testbeds and ATLO (Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations) test sessions. The MSL project organizes its data based on venue (Testbed,...

Briefs : Information Technology
Dig Hazard Assessment Using a Stereo Pair of Cameras

This software evaluates the terrain within reach of a lander’s robotic arm for dig hazards using a stereo pair of cameras that are part of the lander’s sensor system. A relative level of risk is calculated for a set of dig sectors. There are two versions of this software; one is designed...

Briefs : Information Technology
Mars Express Forward Link Capabilities for the Mars Relay Operations Service (MaROS)

This software provides a new capability for landed Mars assets to perform forward link relay through the Mars Express (MEX) European Union orbital spacecraft. It solves the problem of standardizing the relay interface between lander missions and MEX.

Briefs : Software
FERMI/GLAST Integrated Trending and Plotting System Release 5.0

An Integrated Trending and Plotting System (ITPS) is a trending, analysis, and plotting system used by space missions to determine performance and status of spacecraft and its instruments. ITPS supports several NASA mission operational control centers providing engineers, ground...

Briefs : Software
Scalable Integrated Multi-Mission Support System Simulator Release 3.0

The Scalable Integrated Multi-mission Support System (SIMSS) is a tool that performs a variety of test activities related to spacecraft simulations and ground segment checks.

Briefs : Information Technology
Policy-Based Negotiation Engine for Cross-Domain Interoperability

A successful policy negotiation scheme for Policy-Based Management (PBM) has been implemented. Policy negotiation is the process of determining the “best” communication policy that all of the parties involved can agree on. Specifically, the problem is how to reconcile the...

Briefs : Software
SE-FIT

The mathematical theory of capillary surfaces has developed steadily over the centuries, but it was not until the last few decades that new technologies have put a more urgent demand on a substantially more qualitative and quantitative understanding of phenomena relating to capillarity in general. So far, the new theory development...

Briefs : Information Technology
WMS Server 2.0

This software is a simple, yet flexible server of raster map products, compliant with the OGC WMS 1.1.1 protocol. The server is a full implementation of the OGC WMS 1.1.1 as a fastCGI client and using GDAL for data access. The server can operate in a proxy mode, where all or part of the WMS requests are done on a back server.

Briefs : Software
High-Performance Modeling and Simulation of Anchoring in Granular Media for NEO Applications

NASA is interested in designing a spacecraft capable of visiting a near- Earth object (NEO), performing experiments, and then returning safely. Certain periods of this mission would require the spacecraft to remain stationary relative to the NEO, in an...

Briefs : Information Technology
Mobile Multi-System Overview

At the time of this reporting, there are 2,589 rich mobile devices used at JPL, including 1,550 iPhones and 968 Blackberrys. Considering a total JPL population of 5,961 employees, mobile applications have a total addressable market of 43 percent of the employees at JPL, and that number is rising.

Briefs : Information Technology
Ascent/Descent Software

The Ascent/Descent Software Suite has been used to support a variety of NASA Shuttle Program mission planning and analysis activities, such as range safety, on the Integrated Planning System (IPS) platform. The Ascent/Descent Software Suite, containing Ascent Flight Design (ASC)/Descent Flight Design (DESC) Configuration...

Briefs : Software
I-FORCAST: Rapid Flight Planning Tool

I-FORCAST (Instrument – Field of Regard Coverage Analysis and Simulation Tool) is a flight planning tool specifically designed for quickly verifying the feasibility and estimating the cost of airborne remote sensing campaigns (see figure). Flights are simulated by being broken into three predefined routing...

Briefs : Information Technology
Leveraging Cloud Computing to Improve Storage Durability, Availability, and Cost for MER Maestro

The Maestro for MER (Mars Exploration Rover) software is the premiere operation and activity planning software for the Mars rovers, and it is required to deliver all of the processed image products to scientists on demand. These data span multiple...

Briefs : Software
Simulation Leads to Better Cooling of Electronic Components in Toyota Hybrid Vehicles

If carmakers could reduce the number, size, and weight of the components in there, better fuel economy would result. A case in point is the design and development of optimized cooling structures, or advanced heat sinks, for thermally regulating the growing...

Articles : Imaging
3D Visualization in Geospatial Analysis

The past decade has seen an explosion of observations from airborne and satellite-based multiand hyperspectral sensors, as well as from synthetic-aperture radar and LiDAR. Distilling useful information from this wealth of raw data is the domain of geospatial analysis, the collection of analytical,...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Glass Solder Approach for Robust, Low-Loss, Fiber-to- Waveguide Coupling

The key advantages of this approach include the fact that the index of interface glass (such as Pb glass n = 1.66) greatly reduces Fresnel losses at the fiber-to-waveguide interface, resulting in lower optical losses. A contiguous structure cannot be misaligned and readily...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
General MACOS Interface for Modeling and Analysis for Controlled Optical Systems

The General MACOS Interface (GMI) for Modeling and Analysis for Controlled Optical Systems (MACOS) enables the use of MATLAB as a front-end for JPL’s critical optical modeling package, MACOS. MACOS is JPL’s in-house optical modeling software, which has proven to...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
ASIC Readout Circuit Architecture for Large Geiger Photodiode Arrays

The objective of this work was to develop a new class of readout integrated circuit (ROIC) arrays to be operated with Geiger avalanche photodiode (GPD) arrays, by integrating multiple functions at the pixel level (smart-pixel or active pixel technology) in 250-nm CMOS...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Digital Imaging Systems for Ballistics Testing

Traditionally, the recording of ordnance proofing data has been split into two main areas: instrumentation and high speed photography. Instrumentation was more focused on the collection of analytical data from various instruments, e.g. Doppler radar, yaw screens (for pitch and yaw), and velocity...

Products
Product of the Month: Dell Precision M4700 and M6700

Dell, Round Rock, TX, has introduced the Dell Pre cision M4700 and M6700 15" and 17" mobile workstations that incorporate Intel Core i5, i7, and Extreme Ed ition processors with Turbo Boost technology. Available graphics include the NVIDIA Quadro K-series GPUS and AMD FirePro. The workstations...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Photovoltaic Tracking Control Systems

Tracking systems are included in more than one-third of new photovoltaic developments in Europe, but less than 10% in the US. If properly controlled, they can capture more energy from each panel than fixed racks – up to 40% more in most parts of North America – so selecting the best hardware and the...

Articles : Aerospace
NASA Begins a New Journey of Exploration

“Tonight, on the planet Mars, the United States of America made history. The successful landing of Curiosity – the most sophisticated roving laboratory ever to land on another planet – marks an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of national pride far into the future. It...

Articles : Aerospace
Talking Mars

NASA Tech Briefs recently spoke with Doug McCuistion, Director of the Mars Exploration Program, and Michael Meyer, lead scientist for the Mars Exploration Program and Program Scientist for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). We talked about what NASA hopes to find, the technologies used onboard, and how the two-year mission is...

Articles : Aerospace
The Technology of Curiosity

On April 14, 2004, NASA announced an opportunity for researchers to propose science investigations for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. Eight months later, the agency announced selection of eight investigations. In addition, Spain and Russia would each provide an investigation through international...

Application Briefs : Software
CAD/CAE Software Enables NASA to Head Back to Mars

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, was designed to determine whether the Gale Crater on Mars ever had conditions...

Articles : Nanotechnology
An Ionic Twist on Hair Care

Disinfecting can be dirty work. Typical cleaning agents, like chlorine and alcohol, release fumes that don’t go away when applied in the contained environment of a spacecraft. So NASA scientists developed an alternative method to keep surfaces disinfected, using a material whose antimicrobial properties have long...

Articles : Imaging
The GigE Vision® Interface Standard: Transforming Medical Imaging

Live, high-resolution imaging is increasingly being leveraged to enhance operating procedures. It can improve the precision of physicians and their instruments, and minimize the invasiveness of many procedures. Increasingly, one small component in a vision system — the...

Products : Imaging
Imaging Sensor

OmniVision Technologies (Santa Clara, CA) offers the OV12830, a 12.7-megapixel CameraChip™ sensor designed to meet the image and video recording standards of smartphones and tablets. The OV12830 utilizes the OmniBSI- 2 pixel architecture to capture 1080p high definition (HD) video at 60 frames per second (FPS).

Products : Imaging
GigE Vision Cameras

Teledyne DALSA (Billerica, MA) has expanded its Genie™ TS camera series with the addition of three color models that use CMOS imaging sensor technology. The Genie TS color cameras, which include 5M, 8M, and 12M models, reach speeds up to 29 fps.

Products : Imaging
Digital High-Speed Cameras

Vision Research (Wayne, NJ) has added the v411 to its 1 Megapixel (Mpx)-v-Series line of digital high-speed cameras. The 4Gpx/s v411 has a top speed at full resolution of 4200 fps. V-Series cameras feature high-definition, widescreen 1280x800 CMOS sensors and have larger 20 micron pixels that allow shooting in low...

Products : Imaging
CCD Scientific Cameras

Photometrics (Tucson, AZ) has introduced CoolSNAP™ MYO and CoolSNAP™ KINO CCD cameras, which are designed to discern finer details in biological samples under lower light levels. The MYO, capable of cooling to 0°C, features a fan that can be disabled. The KINO is cooled to 20°C without a fan, making it suitable for...

Products : Imaging
Human-Machine Interface

The HMI5121P from Maple Systems (Everett, WA) is equipped with a bright 12.1" TFT touchscreen; up to 16.2 million colors can be shown on the 1024 × 768-pixel display. The model has a 800- MHz microprocessor, designed for graphic animation and heavy data processing.

Products : Imaging
3D Visualization

Christie® (Cypress, CA) has added three Mirage M Series digital projectors: Mirage DS+14KM, Mirage HD14K-M, and Mirage WU14K-M. New Christie Twist™hardware provides built-in geometric warping with sharper imagery, and advanced edge-blending capabilities that reduce or eliminate electronic blending artifacts. The Mirage M...

Products : Imaging
Infrared Camera

The IR-1000 near-infrared camera from Dage-MTI (Michigan City, IN) features automatic contrast and real-time edge enhancement. The realtime CCD camera includes electronics that automatically and instantaneously readjust when a scene changes. The user also has continuous access to the manual gain and may engage the camera’s...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Blue Tunable Laser

New Focus™ (Santa Clara, CA) a Newport Corporation Brand, has introduced the Vortex™ Plus Blue TLB-6802 precision series, single-mode, finely-tunable laser. This is the world’s first precision tunable blue laser that operates at 461nm, the critical wavelength for next-generation atomic clocks that are currently being...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Smart Camera

The In-Sight® 7000 smart camera from Cognex Corp. (Natick, MA) features a vision tool library; In-Sight measurement, location, and inspection vision tools; and the EasyBuilder® setup and deployment environment. The smart camera provides various model options, all with a tough metal IP67 package. Each includes acquisition speeds of...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Optical Matrix Switch

Polatis (Andover, MA) has introduced its Series 6000 Optical Matrix Switch — a non-blocking, all-optical single-mode fiber cross-connect for up to 192x192 fiber ports. The switch features less than 1dB typical optical loss. The Series 6000, based on Polatis’ patented DirectLight® optical switch technology, doubles the...

Products : Photonics/Optics
DC Cabling

Amphenol Industrial (Sidney, NY) has announced an active trunk and drop cabling product, in conjunction with Ampt (Fort Collins, CO), a designer of active electronics for photovoltaic (PV) solar modules.

Products : Photonics/Optics
Machinable Glass Ceramic

MACOR® machinable glass ceramic from Goodfellow Corp. (Oakdale, PA) is machinable with ordinary metalworking tools rather than diamond grinding equipment. The rigid, radiation- resistant ceramic, which has a maximumuse temperature of 1000°C, has a low thermal conductivity, and can be highly polished. MACOR® machinable...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Fiber-Pigtailed Laser

Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) has expanded its OBIS family of plug-and-play smart laser modules with a new fiber-pigtailed (FP) option at several wavelengths, including 405nm, 488nm, and 640nm. The OBIS FP lasers are offered with 1 meter of single-mode, polarization-preserving fiber, terminating in a standard FC/APC connector....

Products : Photonics/Optics
Digital Laser Diode Driver

Portable Power Systems (St. Louis, MO) has expanded its line of Digital Laser Diode Drivers by offering the new series of PPS drivers, which are offered in CW, Pulsed or CW/Pulsed versions. The pulsed versions have rise times of

Products : Photonics/Optics
CMOS Cameras

Baumer (Southington, CT) has introduced new HXG cameras that combine CMOS sensor technology with a dual GigE interface and PoE (Power over Ethernet). Available with 2- and 4- megapixel resolutions, Baumer HXG cameras transfer more than 100 frames/s. Dual GigE technology allows the cameras to double GigE bandwidth, achieving a...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Diode Laser Bars

DILAS (Mainz, Germany) offers water-cooled laser diodes for alkali laser pumping at 766nm, 780nm, and 852nm on micro-channel heat sinks at CW power levels of 40W, 60W, and 100W, respectively. The laser bar geometry has a 1cm bar width, with 19 emitters on a 500μm pitch. Typical power conversion efficiency is in the range of 56%...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Silicone Solar Cables

Rated for voltages up to 42,000 Volts DC, Cicoil’s (Valencia, CA) Silicone Jacketed Solar Power Cables have been designed to provide absolute reliability in solar panel interconnection and photovoltaic applications. These halogen- free cables are flame retardant, highly flexible and perform exceptionally well when exposed...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Near-Infrared Photon Counter

The id220-FR-SMF from id Quantique (Carouge, Switzerland) provides a cost-effective tool for applications that require asynchronous photon detection. The cooled InGaAs/InP avalanche photodiode and associated electronics achieve low dark count and afterpulsing rates in free-running mode. The module operates at two...

Products : Photonics/Optics
InGaAs Camera

FLIR Systems (Portland, OR) has announced its SC2600 near infrared (NIR) camera. The device features a 640 × 512 InGaAs sensor. The SC2600 combines a spectral sensitivity range of 0.9-1.7μm and small 25μm pixels. Other features include independent analog and digital (gigabit Ethernet) video outputs, external frame...

Products
Fiber Optic Connector Cleaning Tools

US Conec (Hickory, NC) has released two new fiber optic connector cleaning tools in the IBC™ family. The Zi series tools feature a 117mm (4.6") housing, and a lanyard attaches to the operator’s belt. The IBC™ Brand Cleaner Zi125 tool cleans LC and MU connectors, as well as 2.5mm-based connectors...

Techs for License
Gauge Calibrates Three-Dimensional Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM)

A gauge, which is used in examining the accuracy of a coordinate measuring machine (CMM), enables total calibration of errors and numbers of revisions of the measured values. The accurate calibration is possible for a CMM of any size. Various machines can also be calibrated by...

Techs for License
Inspection Technology Identifies Surface Defects

An automated surface inspection technology identifies potential defects on a painted surface so that they can be remedied. The system provides a database so that the size, location, quality, and other aspects of production line defects can be tracked over time.

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Industry Contributions to Mars Rover

To accomplish its missions, NASA relies on the support of hundreds of contractors and suppliers. Here's a look at some of the companies that contributed to the Mars Science Laboratory and the future success of Curiosity’s mission on the Red Planet.

Techs for License
Razor “Saws” Hair for Easier Shaving

With traditional razors, the cutting edge of a blade moves in the direction of the cut. A new shaving device, however, includes one or more blades that perform a vibrating motion perpendicular to the direction of the cut, and parallel to the blade’s edge; the hairs are cut by sawing, rather than...

Techs for License
Medical Valves Withstand Magnetic Fields

Parker Hannifin has created design concepts for valves that can be used in MRI-compatible ventilators. The valves, built to work with a variety of medical fluids and gases, are unaffected by strong magnetic fields and, in turn, do not create any magnetic fields of their own. In addition, the valves can be...

NASA Tech Needs
Heat Seal Solutions for Flexible Film

An organization seeks one or more bonding agents that can be dispersed into water. When the bonding agents are coated onto a PET film and dried, the coated film should adhere to and seal items made from rigid PE (polyethylene), PP (polypropylene), PS (polystyrene), PVC (polyvinylchloride), and PET...

NASA Tech Needs
Fast-Cooking Pasta

A large manufacturer of consumer products needs an innovative process to make fast-cooking pasta. Cooking time should be reduced by at least 70%, and thickness/texture of the dry product must be the same as that of the reference shape. Ingredients should be suitable for human consumption. The reduction of cooking time and...

NASA Tech Needs
Diagnostic Indicators on Consumer Packaging

Low-cost, flexible diagnostic indicators must be incorporated onto consumer product packaging. The main focus of the technology should be the diagnosis of bad breath; a printable diagnostic strip on a tube of toothpaste, for example, may be a possible solution for quickly identifying halitosis. The...

Tech Needs
Graphene as Filler for Thermoplastic Nanocomposites

To save costs and reduce weight, a company is exploring graphene as a filler for thermoplastic resins. Work to date has shown that graphene dispersion is generally poor in thermoplastics, leading to less than optimal reinforcement properties and darker color. The manufacturer is specifically...

Who's Who
Steve Gaddis, Program Director for NASA Space Technology's Game Changing Development Office, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

Steve Gaddis runs the newly created Game Changing Technology Development Program Office. Gaddis leads the program’s efforts to develop innovative technologies that will revolutionize space...

Articles : Lighting
The Future Looks Dimmer

Originally fueled by environmental concerns and the steadily rising cost of electricity, the market for energy- efficient lighting has been dramatically accelerated by regulations that will restrict the sale of most...

Articles : Lighting
Specifying Gaskets for Outdoor LED Lighting Fixtures

LED lighting technology has the potential to lower energy consumption and reduce maintenance costs on outdoor installations such as area lighting and parking lights, street lights and other “difficult to reach” outdoor locations. When operating in controlled temperatures and weatherproof...

Briefs : Lighting
Efficient Optical Spectroscopy of Single Solid-State Quantum Emitters

Devices such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and lasers are typically based upon the accumulated emission from a large number of gas phase atoms, ions in solids, electron-hole pairs in semiconductors, or other fluorescence centers. In such macroscopic devices, the behavior of...

Briefs : Lighting
'Metamaterials,' Quantum Dots Show Promise for New Technologies

Researchers are edging toward the creation of new optical technologies using "nanostructured metamaterials" capable of ultra-efficient transmission of light, with potential applications including advanced solar cells and quantum computing.

Articles : Lighting
Researchers Study How to Avoid Charge Traps in Plastic Electronics

Plastic electronics hold the promise of cheap, mass-produced devices. But plastic semiconductors have an important flaw – the electronic current is influenced by “charge traps” in the material. These traps, which have a negative impact on plastic light-emitting diodes and...

Articles : Lighting
New ‘Spintronic’ LED Technology Promises Brighter TV and Computer Displays

Physicists at the University of Utah have invented a new “spintronic” organic light-emitting diode (OLED) that promises to be brighter, cheaper and more environmentally friendly than the kinds of LEDs now used in television and computer displays, lighting, traffic...

Articles : Lighting
Organometallic Materials with Unique Optical Properties

Scientists at North Dakota State University have recently developed a family of novel organometallic materials that have unique optical properties that make it ideal for use in optical switches, organic light emitting devices (OLED), and optical sensors.

Techs for License : Lighting
Device Structure for High Efficiency LED

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have developed a novel device structure that reduces light absorption inside an LED, enables uniform light emission from the active layer, and reduces light reflections occurring repeatedly inside the LED, thus increasing the overall...

Application Briefs : Lighting
World’s Largest LED Media Sign Debuts In Las Vegas

Branded Cities Network (“BCN”), a division of Phoenix, AZbased EL Media Holdings USA, LLC, announced an exclusive representation agreement to sell digital advertising and integrated...

Products : Lighting
LED Lamp

LEDnovation (Tampa, FL) has expanded its EnhanceLite® MR16-35L Landscape line to include a 24° narrow-flood beam angle. The MR16-35Ls are comparable replacements for 35-watt halogen lamps. Designed for use in IP66 rated outdoor fixtures, the EnhanceLite® MR16-35L lamp produces light at a color temperature of 3000K. Other features...

Products : Lighting
LED Drivers

Power Integrations (San Jose, CA) has announced an LED-driver reference design for high-power LED bulb replacement. The driver delivers the power required for a 100W incandescent bulb replacement in an A19 form factor. The...

Products : Lighting
Thermal Protection Devices

TE Circuit Protection (Menlo Park, CA), a business unit of TE Connectivity, has announced AC-rated and DC-rated Reflowable Thermal Protection (RTP) devices, which feature a temperature open (Topen) value of 140°C....

Products : Lighting
Phase-Dimmable LED Driver

Texas Instruments (Dallas, TX) has introduced a new LED controller with constant power regulation. The LM3447 AC/DC LED driver includes a dimmer detect, phase decoder and adjustable hold current circuits to provide smooth and flicker-free dimming operation in off-line, isolated LED lighting applications.

Products : Lighting
LED Luminaires

MaxLite® (West Caldwell, NJ) has introduced a number of new outdoor LED fixtures. New additions to the company’s exterior lighting line will include: induction lighting; small LED floods; LED parking area lights and large...

Products : Lighting
LED Molding and Extrusion Compounds

Evonik Cyro LLC (Parsippany, NJ) recently announced the launch of ACRYLITE® LED, molding and extrusion compounds designed specifically for LED lighting applications. By offering ACRYLITE® LED in both...

Products : Lighting
Floodlight Wash Fixture

The EcoSpec Floodlight Wash from EcoSense (New York, NY) is an ultra-bright white light fixture designed for indoor and outdoor architectural use. Like all EcoSense fixtures, the EcoSpec Floodlight Wash is RoHS compliant and lead- and mercury-free. It features powerful, energy-efficient LEDs along with precision constant...

Products : Lighting
High Bay LED Fixtures

Albeo Technologies (Boulder, CO) recently announced that its H-Series LED high bay is now fully listed on the DesignLights Consortium (DLC) Qualified Products List (QPL). The consortium is the premier agency for...

Products : Lighting
LED Driver Catalog

Thomas Research Products (Huntley, IL) has released a revised and expanded version of its LED driver catalog. The extensive line of LED drivers listed in the catalog range from 12 through 300 watts. Constant-current, fixed-output and dimming, as well as constant-voltage versions are included. All are UL 1310 or 8750 compliant,...

Podcasts
Steve Gaddis, Program Director for NASA Space Technology's Game Changing Development Office, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

Steve Gaddis runs the newly created Game Changing Technology Development Program Office. Gaddis leads the program’s efforts to develop innovative technologies that will revolutionize space...

Technology Leaders