October 2015

Briefs: Medical
Polymerase Chain Reaction Preparation Kit and Self-Enclosed, Pipette-Free DNA/RNA Isolation Device

The ability to monitor and detect microorganism contamination/infection is important for long space voyages, in order to maintain a clean environment not only for the health of the astronauts, but also for electronics and structural materials....

Briefs: Medical
Hydrostatic Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment Chamber

A hyperbaric chamber has been designed to achieve the goals of maximizing safety, minimizing complexity, and minimizing cost of hyperbaric chamber therapy. This design minimizes the volume of compressed gas in the chamber, and eliminates the need for complex gas mixing, carbon dioxide scrubbing,...

Briefs: Medical
Reagent and Method of Using a Microfluidic Cytometer for Leukocyte Differential Count

Leukocytes respond to toxic, infectious, and inflammatory processes to defend tissues and eliminate disease process or toxic challenge. Accurate and prompt counting and differentiation of leukocytes is critical for diagnoses of infection, leukemia, or allergy;...

Briefs: Medical
Intravehicular Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter (TEPC) Flight Software

The ISS (International Space Station) Medical Operations Requirements Document (MORD) establishes the medical support requirements for ionizing radiation exposure, including common dose limits, radiation monitoring, recordkeeping, and management of radiation exposure...

Briefs: Medical
Wet Waste Drying Bag

This invention facilitates collection, storage, concentration, and drying of liquid or mixed liquid/solid waste material. The invention may serve as a portable toilet or may be used to dry biological specimens or concentrate water samples for analysis. It can replace diapers, special plastic bags, and airflow waste disposal...

Briefs: Medical
Combinatorial Multidomain Mesoporous Chips for Fractionation of Biomolecules

A promising strategy of early diagnosis is the detection of biological signatures (molecular biomarkers) from readily available body fluids, such as blood. However, the onset of most human diseases cannot be univocally identified on the basis of a single biomarker....

Briefs: Information Technology
Software Framework for Control and Observation in Distributed Environments (CODE)

CODE is a framework for control and observation in distributed environments. The framework enables the observation of resources (computer systems, storage systems, networks, and so on), services (database servers, application execution, servers, file transfer...

Briefs: Software
Simple RunTime eXecutive (SRTX)

Simple RunTime eXecutive (SRTX) software provides scheduling and publish/subscribe data transfer services. The scheduler allows dynamic allocation of real-time periodic and asynchronous tasks across homogeneous multi core/multiprocessor systems. Most real-time systems assign tasks to specific cores on an a priori...

Briefs: Information Technology
v-Anomica: A Fast Support Vector-Based Novelty Detection Technique

Outlier or anomaly detection refers to the task of identifying abnormal or inconsistent patterns from a dataset. While they may seem to be undesirable entities, identifying them has many potential applications in fraud and intrusion detection, medical research, and...

Briefs: Information Technology
Self-Stabilizing Distributed Clock Synchronization Protocol for Arbitrary Digraphs

A report describes a self-stabilizing distributed clock synchronization protocol in the absence of faults in the system. It is focused on the distributed clock synchronization of an arbitrary, non-partitioned digraph ranging from fully connected to 1-connected...

Briefs: Information Technology
Precision Navigation Strategies for Primitive Solar-System-Body Sample Return Missions

This project investigated advanced navigation strategies required to approach, perform proximity operations, and return a sample from an asteroid or comet. An optimized navigation strategy for a notional mission to a near-Earth asteroid was developed to serve...

Briefs: Software
Orbit Determination Toolbox 2012a (v5.0)

The Orbit Determination Toolbox (ODTBX) 2012a (v5.0) is an advanced mission simulation and analysis tool used for concept exploration, proposal, early design phase, or rapid design center environments: the emphasis is on flexibility, but it has enough fidelity to produce credible results. ODTBX v5.0...

Briefs: Information Technology
Design and Construction of Protograph-Based LDPC Codes

Writing (recording) to a storage device and reading from it can be considered as a noisy channel. A storage device such as magnetic recoding and optical recording can be modeled as a partial response channel. Partial-response techniques are a special case of precoding technique where the...

Briefs: Information Technology
Spitzer Integrated Resource Planning and Scheduling System (SIRPASS)

This decision support system provides an integrated platform for assessing the quality of Spitzer scheduling options. The application aids in scheduling instrument selection, assigns schedule times to specific observation requests, and generates stored sequence products...

Briefs: Information Technology
Tracking a Scene on Earth from Space Using the Adaptive Cross-Correlation Algorithm

A software program enables a user to track a scene or a spot on Earth from space (such as from the ISS) using an innovative algorithm. This robust and highly accurate software allows a scene to be tracked that can be not only the shifted version of a previous...

Briefs: Software
Automated Scheduling of Personnel to Staff Operations for the Mars Science Laboratory

The task of producing Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) personnel schedules is daunting. Through automation, the labor and number of mistakes made are reduced when compared to the manual process. This software not only allows for common constraints to be expressed,...

Briefs: Software
Area Coverage Path Planning Using Divided Grid-Graphs

Planning area coverage observations is a challenge in an architecture with a framing imager affixed to a bus that can be moved, and a mirror or other device that allows for small, but fast, observation of adjacent areas along the boresight of a telescope. The telescope boresight can slew...

Briefs: Information Technology
Shape Sensing Using Multicore Fiber Optic Cable and Parametric Curve Solutions

Apaper reports a method of converting distributed curvature measurements into a three-dimensional shape by combining elastic rod theory and differential geometry to arrive at a three-dimensional solution of the Frenet-Serret formulas. A new method of calculating the...

Briefs: Information Technology
Encoders and Decoders for the AR4JA LDPC Codes

Low-Density Parity-Check (LDPC) codes are the best error-correcting codes known for a wide variety of communications applications. The AR4JA code family encompasses encoders and decoders for nine error-correcting codes. These include Accumulate, Repeat-by-4, and Jagged Accumulate (AR4JA) codes...

Briefs: Information Technology
Explicitly Filtered Large Eddy Simulation for Prediction of a Conserved Scalar

The prediction of a conserved scalar is important in many fields of study. For example, in modeling of combustion processes, if a conserved scalar exists, the mathematical problem can be greatly simplified. Inert gases transported in mixtures of other gases are also...

Briefs: Information Technology
Dictionary Management System

The Dictionary Management System (DMS) is a Web-based tool to develop and store a project command and telemetry dictionary. The dictionary defines a project’s flight/ground interface. In recent years, dictionaries have become very large, making it hard to maintain traditional methods of flat-file storage and manual...

Briefs: Software
National Vulnerability Database (NVD) Query Tool

Currently, there are no programmatic methods to query the NIST National Vulnerability Database (NVD) without downloading the entire database in XML format, parsing the content, loading the resulting data into a self-hosted database, and then developing an interface for querying the content. This...

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft...

Many users of CCD sensors are asking about the advantages of the latest CMOS sensors, particularly if they have been using CCD-based cameras. The two sensor technologies, a comparison of...

Custom linear guide rails
NB Corporation of America
Hanover Park, IL
1-800-521-2045
www.nbcorporation.com

ADC USA, Inc. (Ithaca, NY) develops and supplies high-precision...

Podcasts
Amy Keith, Environmental Engineer, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Environmental engineer Amy Keith and her team developed a low-cost detector of contaminants in plants and surrounding groundwater. The non-destructive technology scans the surface of a leaf for spectral signatures. NASA currently seeks a development partner for the...

NASA Technology

B y the time the gas you fill your car with hits the engine, it’s been through quite a journey. Even apart from its transformation from organic matter into...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Product of the Month: October 2015

National Instruments, Austin, TX, has released the PXI-based Wireless Test System (WTS) that combines a PXI vector signal transceiver (VST) and multicore processing technologies to offer a single platform...

Unlike industrial robots for manufacturing, service robots come with their own specification requirements aimed specifically at the end user, and the most discriminating user at...

Instron (Norwood, MA) manufactures materials testing equipment and accessories that are used to test samples ranging from components for jet engines to medical syringes. The...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Piezo Drive

The Ensemble QDe™ desktop nanopositioning piezo drive from Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) was designed for seamless use with the Ensemble family of drives and controllers. The QDe connects to any Ensemble controller network,...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Stage

Bell-Everman (Goleta, CA) offers the SLS Light sealed linear stage that keeps contamination such as manufacturing debris, particulate, or liquid contaminants outside of the stage housing. The stage measures 80 x 120 mm, and has...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Position and Angle Measurement

The BML series from Balluff (Florence, KY) offers absolute position and angle measurement for installation or direct integration into drive and positioning systems. The magnetically encoded systems with...

Products: Motion Control
Linear Guide System

PBC Linear (Roscoe, IL) released the Compact Series low-profile linear guide system for repeatable linear motion in tight spaces. The system features a 23-mm standard height, and can be configured to adapt to specific...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Encoder

MICRONOR (Newbury Park, CA) introduced the MR303 linear position sensor system for OEM motion control applications. With 100-μm resolution and 50-μm accuracy, the encoder is suitable for medical, MRI, robotic, and industrial...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Encoders

POSITAL (Hamilton, NJ) released programmable incremental rotary encoders, enabling performance characteristics such as resolution (number of pulses per turn) and incremental pulse direction (A before B or B before A) to be...

Products: Motion Control
PWM Servo Drives

ACS Motion Control (Bloomington, MN) offers the NPMPM Series of dualaxis EtherCAT NanoPWM™ pulse width modulation servo drives. When utilized with the optional 10-MHz laser encoder interface and ServoBoost™ control...

Products: Motion Control
Brushless DC Motors

PITTMAN® Motors, a business unit of AMETEK Precision Motion Control (Harleysville, PA), introduced the EC042B brushless DC motor series. The high-torque-density model is designed as a general-purpose servomotor. Its NEMA...

Products: Motion Control
Drives

NORD Gear Corp. (Waunakee, WI) offers the SK 180E drives for applications that do not utilize the scope of functionality found in frequency inverters. The drives focus on the functionality necessary for pumps and conveyor technology....

The deleterious effects of microgravity are undeniable: reduced bone mineral density, muscle atrophy, vascular remodeling, etc. These health...

The primary function of a window is to allow observation of, and protection from, a potentially hazardous environment. Yet, from the window designer’s point of view,...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Measurement of O-phthalaldehyde (OPA)

O-phthalaldehyde (OPA) is a high-level disinfectant commonly used, for example, for sterilization of heat-sensitive medical instruments; it demonstrates effective microbicidal activity against a wide range of microorganisms (including mycobacteria, gramnegative bacteria, and spores). On the International...

Fire safety in space vehicles is of utmost importance, especially for manned flight. On the International Space Station (ISS), events that may lead to fires, especially smoldering, must be...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Decomposition Technique for Remaining Useful Life Prediction

Technology has been developed that provides a way to compute the remaining useful life (RUL) of a component or system. The estimation of the RUL of a degraded or faulty component is at the center of condition-based maintenance, and prognostics and health management. It gives operators...

Researchers at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center have developed and tested a new strain gage that makes significant strides in the state of the art, particularly salient given the...

Additive manufacturing (AM, also informally known as 3D printing) is a relatively new process for fabricating net- shaped parts from a...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Electropolishing in Pneumatics and Hydraulics

Manufacturing reliable, high-performing parts and components that have extended lifecycles is crucial for the pneumatics and hydraulics industry. From springs to fittings, the performance of each...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
NUMIT2.0

Internal electrostatic discharge (IESD) can cause spacecraft failure and anomalies related to the space environment, but it is very hard to predict when IESD might happen. Therefore, assessment of the IESD at a given space environment and a given dielectric geometry is important for spacecraft reliability.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Reusable Integrated Instrument Control and Computing Platform

ISAAC (Instrument Shared Artifact for Computing) offers adaptability, computation power, I/O bandwidth, digital interface standards, and data processing capability in a single, common, low-mass/power, and small-form-factor platform with significantly reduced, nonrecurring cost and...

Next-generation synthetic aperture radar (SAR) remote sensing platforms utilize new concepts such as the SweepSAR techniques that provide increased swath size,...

Making electrical connections inside a vacuum chamber to a stack of electron and ion optical components using the conventional approach of...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Graphene Composite Materials for Supercapacitor Electrodes

In recent years, electrochemical capacitors, or supercapacitors, have gained the most intense interest as an alternative to traditional energy storage devices such as batteries. The demands of the potential supercapacitor applications range from plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs)...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Integrated, Radiation-Hardened Radio Frequency Digitizer and Signal Processing Electronics

Imaging LiDAR systems such as Goddard’s Reconfigurable Solid-state LiDAR (GRSSLi) must collect and process reflected pulses of light in order to correctly assemble a three-dimensional image of the scene. These pulses of light generally range from 2-5...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Understanding Lens Design Limitations

Every lens has an absolute upper performance limit dictated by the laws of physics. This limitation is controlled by the working f/# of the lens and the wavelength( s) of light that pass through the...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Megahertz-Rate Molecular Tagging Velocimetry

In recent years, a large number of Lagrangian-based optical velocimetry techniques have been developed that are known, collectively, as either flow tagging velocimetry or molecular tagging velocimetry. In either case, the method is based on the use of an optical resonance to “tag” a pattern into a...

A method was developed that allows water recycling, air treatment, thermal control, and solid residuals treatment and recycle to be removed from the usable habitat volume...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Novel Feedthrough for Instrumentation Lead Wires

This invention is a method and design for the conveyance of instrumentation lead wires from one pressure boundary to another pressure boundary in cryogenic process systems. Such a device or article is commonly referred to as a feedthrough. The novelty of the present invention is the extreme...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Pneumatic Conveying of Lunar Regolith Simulant

Planetary regolith (dust) is an aggregation of various minerals and different particle sizes. Collection, storage, processing, and disposal of this material are very challenging in the harsh planetary environment. Extraterrestrial operations involving In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) require...

Researchers at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center have developed an innovative antenna-mounting platform that addresses an unmet need in the...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics
Making 3D Objects Disappear

Invisibility cloaks are a staple of science fiction and fantasy, from Star Trek to Harry Potter, but don’t exist in real life. Or do they? Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley...

A new spectroscopy method is bringing researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) closer to understanding – and artificially replicating – the solar water-splitting...

Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have developed a relatively inexpensive and simple way to split water into hydrogen and oxygen through a new...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics
IR Filter Sets

LASER COMPONENTS (Bedford, NH) has begun introducing pyroelectric and lead salt detectors to the market. With this in mind, they also now offer low-cost accessories such as new IR filter sets. Fourteen standard...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics
Lighting Test System

G&H Instruments (Orlando, FL) has introduced the new and improved OL 770-NVS Night Vision Display Test and Measurement System for the measurement of NVG-compatible lighting and displays. With all of the features of...

Question of the Week
Are video games good for the brain?

This week’s Question: A new study published from the Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences found action video games—which require players to navigate complex 3D settings, account for quick-moving targets, and switch between focused and distributed attention—are most beneficial to...

Researchers have developed a three-fingered soft robotic hand with embedded, stretchable fiber optic strain sensors. By using fiber optics, the researchers were able to embed 14...

A team of researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin has invented a method for producing inexpensive and high-performing wearable...

Researchers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) have developed a new sensor system that detects quickly and nondestructively the risk of corrosion in the...

News: Energy
Solar-Powered Water Purification System Supports Remote Village

For nearly two years, residents of the remote Mexican village of La Mancalona, most of whom are subsistence farmers, have operated and maintained a solar-powered water purification system engineered by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Question of the Week
Is "neuromarketing" valuable for consumers?

This week’s Question: Last week, Japanese retailer Uniqlo debuted UMood, a brain-wave analysis system designed to match the right T-shirt to a specific customer. After the shopper puts on an electroencephalography (EEG) headset, the technology's algorithm employs five metrics — interest, like,...

News: Robotics, Automation & Control
Researchers Test Robot's 'Light Touch'

Using an air-fluidized bed trackway filled with poppy seeds or glass spheres, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology systematically varied the stiffness of the ground to mimic a variety of surfaces, from hard-packed sand to powdery snow. By studying how running lizards, geckos, crabs, and a...

Question of the Week
Is robo-journalism valuable?

This week's Question: Lars Eidnes, a Norwegian developer, recently created software that uses Recurrent Neural Networks (RNN)—a form of “deep learning”—to write new "clickbait” headlines. After training the software with several million articles from BuzzFeed, Gawker, Jezebel, the Huffington Post, and...

The Biomechatronics Group at MIT is using a data-driven approach to study the mechanics and control of human walking, with the goal of applying the findings to hardware control. PhD...

When driving a car, the clutch mechanically carries the torque produced by the engine to the chassis of the vehicle – a coupling that has long been tested and optimized in such macroscopic...

The propulsion subsystem for NASA's Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) has been integrated onto the spacecraft, moving the mission another major step toward scheduled launch in...

There are two ways for pilots to gain proficiency in an airplane and evaluate its handling qualities: climb into the cockpit and take off, or practice in a ground-based...

Virginia Tech researchers are urging changes in how commercial aircraft engines are designed in the wake of a possible new threat to passenger aircraft safety: drones, or...

News: Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Sensor Peers Inside Fingertip

Scientists from The Langevin Institute, Paris, France, have constructed a new fingerprint imaging system that peers inside the finger to take a picture — a more reliable and secure way of identifying individuals. The fingerprint sensor, based on full field optical coherence tomography (FF-OCT), uses an...

Environmental engineer Amy Keith and her team developed a low-cost detector of contaminants in plants and surrounding groundwater. The non-destructive technology...

Question of the Week
Do the benefits of drone registration outweigh the drawbacks?

This week's Question: Last week, the U.S. Transportation Department and Federal Aviation Administration announced that drone hobbyists will have to register their aircraft or face unspecified penalties. The move is an attempt to prevent the unmanned aircraft from compromising air...

News: Motion Control
Engineers Put 'Spring' in Robots' Step

The ATRIAS robot model developed at Oregon State University uses a "spring-mass" walking approach. The natural-gait method gives human-sized bipedal robots the ability to blindly react to rough terrain, maintain balance, retain an efficiency of motion, and walk like humans.

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