October 1998

Briefs: Software
Program Computes Equilibrium Compositions of Mixtures

The Chemical Equilibrium with Applications (CEA) computer program is used to obtain chemical-equilibrium compositions of complex mixtures. This program can be applied to a wide variety of problems in chemistry and chemical engineering. Specifically, CEA is applicable to the following kinds of...

An important nondestructive evaluation (NDE) measurement technique is to record the vibration-mode spectrum of a material part or structure, excited by a random or...

Latching devices have been developed to provide electrical connections, secure mechanical and thermal connections, and optical alignment for mounting electronically controlled...

Window assemblies (see figure) have been developed to satisfy special requirements pertaining to ease of replacement, alignment, sealing, and resistance to vibration in a spaceborne...

A procedure for determining the location of an instrumentation platform on natural terrain is based on a concept of maximum-likelihood matching of two range maps: (1) a local range...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Development of Circuitry for Wristband Radio Transponders

A document proposes the development of several alternative types of electronic circuits for wristband transponders for the system described in "Person-Locator System Based on Wristband Radio Transponders" (NPO-19280) NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 19, No. 12 (December 1995), page 40. To...

Single crystals of benzil, benzil aniline, and salicylidene-aniline have been successfully grown using a modified...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Active-Pixel Sensors With "Winner-Take-All" Mode

Circuits to generate the intensity reading and the coordinates of the brightest pixel in each image would be added to imaging photodetector arrays of the active-pixel-sensor (APS) type,...

A program to demonstrate the feasibility of GaAs-based Kₐ-band power amplifiers has generated a number of technological advances. The goals of the program included (1) capability of...

The figure shows a complementary metal oxide/semiconductor (CMOS) integrated circuit that contains all of the electronic circuitry of a programmable active-pixel-sensor digital camera....

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Sorption Compressor for Collecting Atmospheric CO₂ on Mars

A report describes a small, lightweight sorption compressor that is now undergoing development for use in collecting CO2 from the atmosphere on Mars. This compressor would be part of a system that would use the CO2 to generate oxygen and a carbon-based fuel for a...

Circuits to generate analog or digital representations of the coordinates of the centers of mass of images would be added to imaging photodetector arrays of the active-pixel-sensor...

The Production Support Flight Control Computers (PSFCCs) are flight-control computers that are being developed by NASA in conjunction with the United States Navy. These computers...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Microfabricated Ice Sensors

Microfabricated, silicon-based capacitive actuator/sensor devices have been developed as prototypes of compact, low-power transducers that would be used to detect the presence (and perhaps eventually measure the...

A new process and equipment have been developed for reducing the emissions of hazardous nitrogen oxides (NOx), and eliminating a hazardous waste stream. In this process, a...

Vacuum plasma spraying (VPS) has been demonstrated to be an effective technique for the fabrication of refractory-metal components of solar-thermal engines. Heretofore, such...

A developmental electronic system that includes Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers is designed to track the relative position and velocity to two airplanes in real time. In...

A concept for optimizing the designs of two-wavelength GaAs-based quantum-well infrared photodetectors (QWIPs) could make it practical to use focal-plane arrays of QWIPs as image sensors...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Vacuum Three-Ball Tribometer for Testing Liquid Lubricants

A three-ball tribometer has been developed for use in evaluating the performances of oils and greases as lubricants in a vacuum at room temperature. This apparatus differs from the...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Methanol-Fuel-Cell Biplate Improved for Removal of Water

An improved design for a biplate in a methanol fuel cell provides increased efficiency in the removal of water, relative to older designs. For reasons explained below, this design both improves the performance of the fuel cell and increases the overall energy efficiency of the...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Study of DLS Monitoring of the Growth of Protein Crystals

A report describes an experimental study of whether an advanced fiber-optic dynamic-light-scattering (DLS) probe affords a capability for noncontact detection of particles of various sizes associated with the stages of growth of protein crystals in automated hanging-drop protein-growth...

Modules of electronic circuitry that perform the amplitude- and phase-control and the status-monitoring functions for eight-element (2 ×4) subarrays of K-band phased-array antennas...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Penetrator Projectile Tolerates Some Misalignment

A two-body design has enabled an instrumented penetrator projectile to function with increased tolerance to initial misalignment among (a) the longitudinal axis of the penetrator, (b) the...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Mars Lander

A brief report presents drawings for the conceptual design of a spacecraft that would land on Mars or another remote planet. The spacecraft would have a tetrahedral shape, would include airbags to cushion impact, and would have a self-righting capability. The drawings show the general appearance of the spacecraft and show the...

A rapid densification technology uses nanostructured powders to produce ceramic devices and components. This technology provides ceramic monoliths and composites that can be used in the...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Delta-Doped Hybrid Advanced Detector

The delta-doped hybrid advanced detector is a developmental integrated electronic imaging and detecting circuit designed to be sensitive to (1) charged particles with kinetic energies ranging from...

A process for the fabrication of improved high-temperature fiber-optic sensor heads has been proposed. Fiber-optic sensor heads that can withstand hot, dirty, noisy environments are...

A vapor drying treatment removes traces of water and other contaminant residues that remain on the surface of a patterned semiconductor substrate after chemical cleaning in...

An information-reduced carrier-synchronization (IRCS) system has been proposed for use in a coded binary-phase-shift-keying (BPSK) radio-communication receiver...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Fabrication of Diffractive GaAs Microlenses

A planar array of microscopic diffractive optical elements that resemble macroscopic Fresnel lenses can be fabricated as an array of continuous relief patterns on a GaAs substrate by a procedure that includes the transfer of a corresponding array of patterns formed on a surface layer of poly(methyl...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Micromachined Magnetostatic Switches

Magnetostatic switches — switches that open or close in response to magnetic fields — are being developed and fabricated using micromachining (MEMS) technology. These switches operate similarly to...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Robot Hands With Electroactive-Polymer Fingers

Multifinger electroactive-polymer grippers (MEPGs) are simple, compact, lightweight robotic end effectors with fingers that bend and function similarly to human fingers. The fingers are made...

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Will Self-Erasing Chips Catch On?

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