January 2007

Techs for License
Database Interrelation Miner

The Interrelation Miner Methodology is a technology for multivariate statistical data analysis and outcome prediction (data mining) of either complex and/or multidimensional data sets, or of very small datasets based on statistical fuzzy set theory. This tool can be applied to any complicated data set with many...

Techs for License
Lactic-Acid-Producing Bacterial Strain

This technology has solved the problem of adding beneficial lactic-acid-producing bacteria (LAB) to both wet and dry foods that undergo processing with heat and pressure. The bacterial strain is able to withstand harsh manufacturing regimes including high- compression tableting, coating, highshear blending,...

Fire is deadly and unpredictable on Earth; in an enclosed space vehicle in orbit, its presence takes on even more serious implications. To prevent the threat of...

Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
3D Navigation Devices

3Dconnexion(r), a Logitech company, San Jose, CA, has released two new 3D navigation devices, SpaceNavigator and SpaceExplorer, that provide designers with intuitive 3D computer navigation control. SpaceNavigator is an...

O P T E K Technology (Carrollton, TX) offers the OP280 series of infrared emitters, and the OP580 series of matching silicon photo sensors. The OP280 emitter series consists of three standard...

Optical scanners, or servo-controlled, limited-rotation motors with laser-beam steering mirrors, were first introduced 40 years ago by General Scanning. Since then, they have...

The inherently interdisciplinary nature of developing instrumentation for life sciences requires a high level of collaboration between scientists and engineers across the...

Lion Precision and Professional Instruments, St. Paul, Minnesota

High-performance materials such as ceramics, optics, and alloy steels are manufactured using abrasive...

Coherent, Inc., Santa Clara, California

Q-switched, diode-pumped solid-state lasers with an end-pumped cavity design are now widely used in micromachining, materials...

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) of a proposed type would be designed and fabricated to effect lateral and vertical alignment of optical fibers with respect to optical,...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Optical Characterization of Molecular Contaminant Films

A semi-empirical method of optical characterization of thin contaminant films on surfaces of optical components has been conceived. The method was originally intended for application to films that become photochemically deposited on such optical components as science windows, lenses,...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Photonics West Exhibitor Preview

View these and other new products on display by exhibitors at Photonics West, January 23-25, in San Jose, CA. Visit Photonics Tech Briefs at Booth 435. Visit http://spie.org/Conferences/programs/07/pw/ for...

Artificial sensor skins modeled partly in imitation of biological sensor skins are undergoing development. These sensor skins comprise flexible polymer substrates that contain and/or...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Artificial Hair Cells for Sensing Flows

The purpose of this article is to present additional information about the flow-velocity sensors described briefly in the immediately preceding article. As noted therein, these sensors can be...

Since 9/11, we are increasingly threatened by terrorist plots — the release of noxious substances into crowded public places or on airplanes, in crowded...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Video Guidance Sensor and Time-of-Flight Rangefinder

A proposed video guidance sensor (VGS) would be based mostly on the hardware and software of a prior Advanced VGS (AVGS), with some additions to enable it to function as a time-of-flight rangefinder (in contradistinction to a triangulation or image-processing rangefinder). It would typically...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Optical Beam-Shear Sensors

A technique for measuring optical beam shear is based on collecting light from the four quadrants of the beam and comparing the optical power collected from each quadrant with that from the other three quadrants....

Briefs: Software
The PICWidget

The Plug-in Image Component Widget (PICWidget) is a software component for building digital imaging applications. The component is part of a methodology described in “GIS Methodology for Planning Planetary-Rover Operations” (NPO-41812), which appears elsewhere in this issue of NASA Tech Briefs. Planetary rover missions return a...

Briefs: Software
Fusing Symbolic and Numerical Diagnostic Computations

"X-2000 Anomaly Detection Language" denotes a developmental computing language, and the software that establishes and utilizes the language, for fusing two diagnostic computer programs, one implementing a numerical analysis method, the other implementing a symbolic analysis method into a...

Briefs: Software
Probabilistic Reasoning for Robustness in Automated Planning

A general-purpose computer program for planning the actions of a spacecraft or other complex system has been augmented by incorporating a subprogram that reasons about uncertainties in such continuous variables as times taken to perform tasks and amounts of resources to be consumed....

Briefs: Software
Short-Term Forecasting of Radiation Belt and Ring Current

A computer program implements a mathematical model of the radiation-belt and ring-current plasmas resulting from interactions between the solar wind and the Earth's magnetic field, for the purpose of predicting fluxes of energetic electrons (10 keV to 5 MeV) and protons (10 keV to 1...

Briefs: Software
JMS Proxy and C/C++ Client SDK

JMS Proxy and C/C++ Client SDK ("JMS" signifies "Java messaging service" and "SDK" signifies "software development kit") is a software package for developing interfaces that enable legacy programs (here denoted "clients") written in the C and C++ languages to communicate with each other via a JMS broker. This...

Briefs: Software
XML Flight/Ground Data Dictionary Management

A computer program generates Extensible Markup Language (XML) files that effect coupling between the command- and telemetry-handling software running aboard a spacecraft and the corresponding software running in ground support systems. The XML files are produced by use of information from the flight...

Briefs: Software
Cross-Compiler for Modeling Space-Flight Systems

Ripples is a computer program that makes it possible to specify arbitrarily complex space-flight systems in an easy-tolearn, high-level programming language and to have the specification automatically translated into LibSim, which is a textbased computing language in which such simulations are...

Products: Electronics & Computers
Card Provides PCI-Based Multi-Axis Motion Control

Performance Motion Devices (Lincoln, MA) offers the Prodigy™-PCI motion card for multi-axis motion control. Available in 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-axis versions, the card provides trajectory...

A research and development effort now underway is directed toward satisfying requirements for a new type of relatively inexpensive, lightweight, microwave antenna array and associated...

Autonomous systems of multiple-agent air/ground robotic units for exploration of the surfaces of remote planets are undergoing development. Modified versions of these systems could be...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Multiloop Rapid-Rise/Rapid Fall High-Voltage Power Supply

A proposed multiloop power supply would generate a potential as high as 1.25 kV with rise and fall times <100 μs. This power supply would, moreover, be programmable to generate output potentials from 20 to 1,250 V and would be capable of supplying a current of at least 300 μA at...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Applications for Subvocal Speech

research and development effort now underway is directed toward the use of subvocal speech for communication in settings in which (1) acoustic noise could interfere excessively with ordinary vocal communication and/or (2) acoustic silence or secrecy of communication is required. By "subvocal speech" is meant...

A portable long-wavelength infrared electronic camera having a cutoff wavelength of 9 μm has been built around an image sensor in the form of a 640 × 512- pixel array of...

An array of small optical receivers is proposed as an alternative to a single large optical receiver for high-data-rate communications in NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN). Because...

Composite elastic skins having tailorable mechanical properties have been invented for covering shape-changing ("morphable") structures. These skins are intended especially for use on...

A family of glass/ceramic composite materials has been investigated for use as sealants in planar solid oxide fuel cells. These materials are modified versions of a barium calcium...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Manufacturing Large Membrane Mirrors at Low Cost

Relatively inexpensive processes have been developed for manufacturing lightweight, wide-aperture mirrors that consist mainly of reflectively coated, edge-supported polyimide membranes. The polyimide and other materials in these mirrors can withstand the environment of outer space, and the mirrors...

A double-vacuum-bag process has been devised as a superior alternative to a single-vacuum-bag process used heretofore in making laminated fiber-reinforced resin-matrix...

Articles: Electronics & Computers
Sensor Interface Design Demystified

With the rapid expansion of available sensor elements driven by the growth of MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) sensors, the considerations of sensor interface design become ever more important. The...

Briefs: Medical
Surface Bacterial-Spore Assay Using Tb³⁺ /DPA Luminescence

Equipment and a method for rapidly assaying solid surfaces for contamination by bacterial spores are undergoing development. The method would yield a total (nonviable plus viable) spore count of a surface within minutes and a viable-spore count in about one hour. In this method,...

The continuous increase in the consumption of semiconductor devices and the emergence of new applications in optical components — MEMS, LCD display, flip-chip,...

Two simplified methods of identifying messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), and compact, low-power apparatuses to implement the methods, are at the proof-of-concept stage of...

By now, most test engineers have recognized that both HALT (Highly Accelerated Life Testing) and HASS (Highly Accelerated Stress Screening) are the fastest and most effective...

A proposed telescope would afford high resolution over a narrow field of view (<0.10°) while scanning over a total field of view nominally 16° wide without need to slew the entire...

Application Briefs: Electronics & Computers
High-Integrity Java Targets Safety-Critical Systems

High-integrity software plays critical roles in telecommunications, transportation, defense systems, industrial automation, and power management. Because human lives may be lost and...

Figure 1 schematically depicts an improved multispectral imaging system of the type that utilizes a filter wheel that contains multiple discrete narrow-band-pass filters and that is...

WinSystems (Arlington, TX) has introduced the LBC-GX500, a singleboard computer based on the AMD GX500@1W processor, designed for machine-to-machine connectivity. The board is a...

A method of compensation for the polarization-dependent phase anisotropy of a metal reflector has been proposed. The essence of the method is to coat the reflector with multiple thin...

Products: Electronics & Computers
8-Port RS-232 Universal PCI Communication Card

The eAutomation Group of Advantech (Cincinnati, OH) has released the PCI- 1625U, an 8-port RS-232 universal PCI communication card. The PCI-1625U functions as a self-contained computer and...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Integral Radiator and Storage Tank

A simplified, lightweight system for dissipating heat of a regenerative fuel- cell system would include a heat pipe with its evaporator end placed at the heat source and its condenser end integrated into the wall of the regenerative fuel cell system gas-storage tanks. The tank walls act as heat-radiating...

Molex (Lisle, IL) offers a μTCA backplane and development chassis to allow developers to build and debug μTCA designs before going to production. The backplane has a fully...

Briefs: Information Technology
Integrated Hardware and Software for No-Loss Computing

When an algorithm is distributed across multiple threads executing on many distinct processors, a loss of one of those threads or processors can potentially result in the total loss of all the incremental results up to that point. When implementation is massively hardware distributed, then...

SIXNET (Clifton Park, NY) has introduced the ET-10MG, a 10-port industrial Ethernet managed switch offering eight 10/100 Mbps RJ45 ports plus two Gigabit combination...

Briefs: Information Technology
Decision-Tree Formulation With Order-1 Lateral Execution

A compact symbolic formulation enables mapping of an arbitrarily complex decision tree of a certain type into a highly computationally efficient multidimensional software object. The type of decision trees to which this formulation applies is that known in the art as the Boolean class of...

Linear Technology Corp. (Milpitas, CA) has introduced the LTC4263, an autonomous single-channel Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE) controller with an onboard MOSFET for use in IEEE...

Briefs: Information Technology
GIS Methodology for Planning Planetary-Rover Operations

A document describes a methodology for utilizing image data downlinked from cameras aboard a robotic ground vehicle (rover) on a remote planet for analyzing and planning operations of the vehicle and of any associated spacecraft. Traditionally, the cataloging and presentation of large...

Products: Electronics & Computers
Platform Enables Wideband Data Links and SATCOM Processing

Mercury Computer Systems (Chelmsford, MA) has announced its integrated COTS application-ready platform for wideband data links and satellite communications (WBDLS) processing. The suite includes the Mercury Echotek™ Series ECV4-RFT 6U Wideband Remote Fiber Transceiver, which...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Optimal Calibration of the Spitzer Space Telescope

A document discusses the focal-plane calibration of the Spitzer Space Telescope by use of the instrument pointing frame (IPF) Kalman filter, which was described in "Kalman Filter for Calibrating a Telescope Focal Plane" (NPO-40798), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 30, No. 9 (September 2006), page 62. To...

Products: Electronics & Computers
Pentium M-Based Slot-O Controller

KineticSystems (Lockport, IL) has announced the V155, a VXI Slot-0 controller featuring a Pentium® M embedded processor. The V155 is a single- width C-size module with 1.1-GHz, 1.6-GHz, and 1.8-GHz clocking options. It features dual Ethernet controllers that support 10BaseT, 100BaseTX, and 1000BaseT...

Briefs: Information Technology
Automated Detection of Events of Scientific Interest

A report presents a slightly different perspective of the subject matter of "Fusing Symbolic and Numerical Diagnostic Computations" (NPO-42512), which appears elsewhere in this issue of NASA Tech Briefs. Briefly, the subject matter is the X-2000 Anomaly Detection Language, which is a...

National Instruments (NI, Austin, TX), in collaboration with Freescale Semiconductor and Wind River, has developed the NI cRIO-9012 real-time controller based on Freescale's MPC5200...

Briefs: Information Technology
Representation-Independent Iteration of Sparse Data Arrays

An approach is defined that describes a method of iterating over massively large arrays containing sparse data using an approach that is implementation independent of how the contents of the sparse arrays are laid out in memory. What is unique and important here is the decoupling of the...

Products: Electronics & Computers
Quad DMOS Full-Bridge PWM Motor Driver

The A3988 quad DMOS full-bridge driver from Allegro MicroSystems (Worcester, MA) can drive two stepper motors or four DC motors. Each fullbridge output is rated to 1.2 A and 36 V. The A3988 includes...

Briefs: Information Technology
Mission Operations of the Mars Exploration Rovers

A document describes a system of processes involved in planning, commanding, and monitoring operations of the rovers Spirit and Opportunity of the Mars Exploration Rover mission. The system is designed to minimize command turnaround time, given that inherent uncertainties in terrain conditions...

Products: Electronics & Computers
Full-Size PICMG Single-Board Computer

ADLINK Technology (Irvine, CA) has released the NuPRO- 851 Series, a PICMG 1.0 full-size single-board computer. It features an Intel® LGA-775 for Pentium® 4 with FSB 533/800-MHz, dual-channel...

Briefs: Information Technology
More About Software for No-Loss Computing

A document presents some additional information on the subject matter of "Integrated Hardware and Software for No-Loss Computing" (NPO-42554), which appears elsewhere in this issue of NASA Tech Briefs. To recapitulate: The hardware and software designs of a developmental parallel computing system are...

Products: Electronics & Computers
Small-Form-Factor SDR Platform for Development and Optimization of Radio Designs

Xilinx (San Jose, CA) offers a Small Form Factor (SFF) Software Defined Radio (SDR) development platform allowing OEMs to develop and optimize their radio designs for low power operation. The RF-to-baseband platform provides the hardware, operating software, and...

The Ethersmart Wildcard™, an expansion module from Mosaic Industries (Newark, CA), enables Web connectivity to the company's embedded controllers and operator...

Kontron America (Poway, CA) has released four AdvancedMC modules that will facilitate the security, processing, I/O, and storage configurations of pre-integrated...

Microchip Technology (Chandler, AZ) offers three tools for IEEE 802.15.4 wireless networking. The MRF24J40 is a 2.4-GHz IEEE 802.15.4 transceiver targeted for the...

Fairchild Semiconductor (South Portland, ME) has introduced the FSB50325S (250V), the FSB50250S (500V), and the FSB50450S (500V) Motion-SPM™ devices available in 29 × 12-mm...

Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Deformable Mirror to Help NASA Search for New Planets

Boston Micromachines, a provider of MEMS-based deformable mirror products for adaptive optics systems, is developing a deformable mirror that will aid NASA in the search for extra-solar...

Products: Electronics & Computers
Telecom Adapter for Intra-Chassis Communication

Performance Technologies (Rochester, NY) has expanded its family of communication platforms with the PCE385, a quad T1/E1/J1 PCI Express telecom adapter. The device is enabled with NexusWare...

Application Briefs: Research Lab
NASA Institute Studies and Identifies Martian Land Formations

The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston is part of the Universities Space Research Association, and is a NASAfunded institute that conducts research in the lunar, planetary, and terrestrial sciences on behalf of university science departments and NASA. The most recent...

Articles: Software
The Problems With CAD Tools: Vendors Address User Pain Points

CAD systems can be a design engineer’s best friend or their worst enemy. They help engineers create better products faster, but can prove daunting and frustrating in the process.We spoke to executives at several CAD companies to find out how they are helping their customers get past...

Tech Needs
Eliminate Color Fading in Washable Cotton Garments

Cotton garments, especially dark-colored garments, lose their initial color through repeated washings and exposure to sunlight. Needed is a new technology or technology system that will give cotton garments improved color fastness, but which does not depend just on using a more expensive dye...

Tech Needs
Frizzy Hair Control

Materials and compounded products are sought that, when deposited on hair from a leave-on or rinse-off conditioner, will control frizzy hair and leave a positive feel to the hair. Any solution must be non-toxic and safe for use by children. It should neither produce environmental difficulties in its use or manufacture, nor...

Blog
Current Attractions

Embedded Technology magazine features board-level electronics and COTS solutions for design engineers, as well as a variety of product offerings.

The January issue of Embedded Technology contains a feature story on “Sensor Interface Design Demystified.” In this article, Dr. Kevin A. Shaw,...

Blog
Mine Detection

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory developed a pinpointed sound beam that can detect buried land mines from a safe distance. Called a parametric acoustic array, the device is made up of ceramic transducers -- devices that emit a powerful narrow acoustic beam at...

Blog
Technologies of the Week

Polymer coatings and films have been disclosed that are photochemically processed for producing safer paints and coatings for a wider range of applications.

View this technology at: http://link.abpi.net/l.php?20070102A3

Blog
Invisible Electronics

Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) researchers have combined organic and inorganic materials to produce prototype transparent, high-performance transistors that can be assembled inexpensively on both glass and plastics. To create the thin-film transistors, the Northwestern group combined films of the inorganic...

Blog
White Paper

Torque Measurement Methods

Outlining torque measurement in the following areas: calculation from electrical power; measuring reaction torque; measuring in-line torque; strain gages in torque measurement. This white paper showcases torque measurement products in action and details how measurement experts measure torque....

Blog
New Polymers

Researchers from the University of Delaware (UD) discovered a new class of ultra-thin polymer films with potential applications ranging from coating tiny microelectronic devices to plastic solar cells. The research focused on formerly nonpolymerizable ethylenes.

The UD researchers developed a polymer-making technique that...

Blog
Tech Needs of the Week

A method is needed to prevent the evaporation of a liquid out of a porous biological structure or to retain the liquid in the biological structure. The method will be used to decrease the rate of water evaporation through a fingernail. It must be safe and easily applicable by a common user.

Click here to respond to...

Blog
3D navigation devices

Two new 3D navigation devices, SpaceNavigator and SpaceExplorer, from 3Dconnexion(R), a Logitech company, San Jose, CA, have been named NASA Tech Briefs' Product of the Month for January. SpaceNavigator is an entry-level device that lets users move naturally and fluidly in 3D environments without making repetitive mouse...

Blog
Safer Driving

Engineers at Lehigh and Carnegie Mellon universities, working with Green Lane, PA-based Freedom Lift Corp., have integrated robotics, laser, and wireless technologies into a new system that promises to make it safer for wheelchair users to drive a car.

Current solutions for wheelchair users who desire independent mobility...

Blog
Product of the Year Awards

It's that time of year again -- time to cast your vote for NASA Tech Briefs' Readers' Choice Product of the Year. Each month, the editors of NTB select a Product of the Month. At the end of the year, we ask our Readers to choose the Product of the Year -- the one product from those 12 nominees that they feel was the...

Blog
NASA News

The unexpected longevity of NASA's twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity is giving NASA a chance to field-test on Mars some new capabilities useful both to these missions and future rovers. Both rovers begin their fourth year on Mars this month. They are currently testing four new skills included in revised flight software uploaded to...

Blog
Technology Business Needs
Alternative Technologies for Storing Mechanical Energy

A Fortune 500 company is seeking technology or joint development proposals for an alternative method of stored energy that can be used in place of a gas-charged cylinder or compression spring for closing valve.

Click here for more info.

Blog
New Directions in Optical Scanning

Optical scanners were first introduced 40 years ago. Since then, they have become the enabling technology behind many innovative products across many different industries, including medical imaging, industrial machining, product identification, biomedical research, automotive manufacturing, and many...

Blog
Product of the Month

The OP280 series of infrared emitters and the OP580 series of matching silicon photo sensors from OPTEK Technology (Carrollton, TX) were named PTB Product of the Month for January. The OP280 emitter series consists of three standard devices: the OP180 940-nm infrared emitter, the OP280 880-nm infrared emitter, and the OP280K...

Blog
Nano 50 Awards - Call for Nominations

Nanotech Briefs(R) magazine has announced a "Call for Nominations" for its third annual Nano 50 awards competition. The Nano 50 recognizes the top 50 technologies, innovators, and products with the greatest potential to advance the commercialization of nanotechnology.

There is no cost to submit a...

Blog
Genetically Engineered Cows

Scientists at Hematech (Sioux Falls, SD) have genetically engineered a dozen "prion-protein-knockout" cows to be free from the proteins that cause bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease. Prion protein is a natural cellular protein that can become misfolded into infectious particles and cause BSE...

Blog
Technologies of the Week

"Micro-needles" have been disclosed that are characterized by their sharpness and side holes that prevent the coring phenomenon seen in standard needles. The needles can be several hundreds of microns in length and avoid most pain receptors in the skin. The sharpness ensures minimal damage to the skin.

Click here...

Blog
Who's Who at NASA

Bill Sheredy heads NASA's Smoke Aerosol Measurement Experiment (SAME), implemented to design smoke detection devices operable in the micro-gravity environments found in the International Space Station and space shuttle. Fire is deadly and unpredictable on Earth; in an enclosed space vehicle in orbit, its presence takes on even...

Blog
Event Alert

Fastening Technology & Bolted Joint Design Seminar

February 27-28, 2007

Detroit, Michigan USA

This two-day seminar gives engineers and technical personnel current specifications for, and a better understanding of, the complexities of mechanical joining with fasteners. Featured topics include bolted/screwed...

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Machine Vision for Industrial Inspection

Upcoming Webinars: Electronics & Computers

Protecting Power Electronics from EM and RF Interference

Upcoming Webinars: Electronics & Computers

Vehicle Electrification

Upcoming Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition

The Evolution of SOSA

Upcoming Webinars: Software

Next-Gen Vehicle Architectures and the Role of HPCs

Tech Talks: Medical

Testing Home Healthcare Medical Devices

Videos