December 2014

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Radiation Hard By Design (RHBD) Electronics

Current RHBD electronics are limited to speeds that approximate 250 MHz, regardless of the electronic process. The fact that determines the final speed is based on the nature of the current SEU (single-event upsets) radiation-tolerant latches, and the data flow between the latches through combinational...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Detecting Loss of Configuration Access of Reprogrammable FPGA Without External Circuitry

The configuration of the reprogrammable field-programmable gate array (FPGA) currently on the market is very susceptible to single event upset when it operates in radiation environments. The current state-of-the-art approach is to refresh the configuration...

This method of interconnecting ceramic integrated circuits to organic printed circuit boards (PCBs) is designed to substantially increase the life of the...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Method for Formal Verification of Polymorphic Heterogeneous Multicore Processors

Amethod was developed to model polymorphic heterogeneous multicore processors at a high level of abstraction, and formally verify them. The Bahurupi polymorphic heterogeneous multi-core architecture allows the combination of multiple simple processor cores — which...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
SEE Mitigation Technique for Self-Timed Circuits and Rad-Hard, Self-Timed Configurable Memory

To enable NASA’s next-generation missions, there is a critical need for a reconfigurable field programmable gate array (FPGA) that can withstand the wide temperature ranges and radiation of the space environment while consuming minimal power without...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Modeling for Partitioned and Multicore Flight Software Systems

The current flight software approach is monolithic in nature. Every module has tentacles that reach deep within dozens of other software modules. Because of these interdependencies between modules, functionality is difficult to extract and reuse for other missions.

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Process for Coating Substrates With Catalytic Materials

This invention relates to the process of coating substrates with one or more components to form a catalyst; specifically, the process of layering one or more catalytic components onto a honeycomb monolith to form a carbon monoxide oxidation that combines CO and O2 to form...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Portable Friction Stir Welding Machine

A preliminary design of a portable friction stir welding (FSW) machine for use in space has been developed. The in-space FSW machine takes the form of a handheld router tool that is historically used in woodworking applications. With the design of the in-space FSW machine, the FSW tool is directly connected...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Multimode, Fiber-Coupled, Tungsten Silicide, Superconducting Nanowire Single-Photon Detector Array

The superconducting nanowire single-photon detector (SNSPD) arrays created in this innovation were fabricated using a WSi nanowire process. A gold mirror layer is deposited on an oxidized silicon wafer, and amorphous-state WSi is sputtered from a...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Sidewall Passivation of GaN Avalanche Photodiodes via Atomic Layer Deposition

The visible-blind detection of UV light has important applications in planetary imaging and spectroscopy, astronomy, communications, and defense-related imaging. Future instruments for imaging in the ultraviolet will require improvements in detector capabilities. An...

A new type of projection schlieren camera system (schlierenscope) is more portable, easier to align, and more versatile than existing systems. The schlierenscope is a projection focusing...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Cryogenic and Non-Cryogenic Optical Liquid Level Instrument for Stratified Conditions

Typical cryogenic tank metering systems use a series of thermocouple, RTD, or other temperature or resistive devices in a rake or array configurations. Since these operate using the thermal change between the liquid and gas fluid phases, they are limited by...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Low-Pressure Ion Chromatography for Planetary Exploration

Ion chromatography is the state-of-the-art technique for anion separation and analysis on Earth, but it typically requires a large, powerful pump to operate at high pressures in order to speed up analysis time. The weight and power requirements of the pump interfere with creating an ideal...

News: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rosetta Begins Science on Comet

After more than a decade traveling through space, a robotic lander built by the European Space Agency has made the first-ever soft landing of a spacecraft on a comet. Mission controllers at ESA's mission...

The goals of this research are to develop a relatively inexpensive, compact, and modular power package for deep offshore oil drilling or other undersea applications that provides 2 to 5 MW...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Mars-Optimized Solar Cells

Commercial triple junction solar cell designs were modified in their junction thicknesses, contact grid densities, and anti-reflective (AR) coating thicknesses to better match the Mars surface solar spectrum. Resulting cells show up to approximately 8% relative improvement in efficiency under the Mars solar spectrum,...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Alternating Magnetic Field Forces for Satellite Formation Flying

Orbiting a large number of satellites in fixed formations will be critical to many future space missions, especially large-scale interferometers, telescopes, antennas, and gravity wave detectors. Consequently, extensive research has been devoted over the last 20 years to formation...

It has long been understood that acoustic nonlinearity is sensitive to many physical properties including material microstructure and mechanical damage. The lack of effective...

After 116 days of being subjected to extremely frigid temperatures like those in space, the heart of the James Webb Space Telescope, the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) and its...

Stanford engineers have invented a wireless pressure sensor that has already been used to measure brain pressure in lab mice with brain injuries. The underlying technology has such...

Briefs: Information Technology
Peak-Seeking Control Method

Peak-seeking algorithms optimize physical processes in real time and are widely used throughout a variety of industries. However, measuring associated parameters in changing conditions, and responding to them appropriately, is difficult because the measurements are typically distorted by noise. This technology...

Briefs: Information Technology
Enterprise Middleware Solution

An enterprise middleware solution allows disparate information technology (IT) systems to be integrated into one seamless, efficient system. As software and database platforms continue to develop at an accelerated pace, legacy systems can be a drain on resources, requiring complex workarounds and major code...

Briefs: Software
Processing Time History Data for Display and Analysis

A suite of software tools was developed that enables powerful and efficient processing of time history data. These tools can be used together or independently, offering a variety of capabilities including comparison of time history data files to validate pre-processing activities, conversion...

Briefs: Software
Prototype Genomics-Based Keyed-Hash Message Authentication Code Protocol

Cryptography and molecular biology share certain aspects and operations that allow for a set of unified principles to be applied to problems in either venue. A DNA-inspired hash code system is presented that utilizes concepts from molecular biology. It is a keyed-Hash...

Briefs: Information Technology
Station Spacewalk

The Station Spacewalk game enables players to virtually conduct NASA repair work on the International Space Station, including jobs critical to help power up the space station so it can continue to operate. Players are provided with a limited quantity of oxygen during which they must complete extravehicular activities (EVAs)...

Stanford engineers have invented a revolutionary coating material that can help cool buildings, even on sunny days, by radiating heat away from the buildings and sending it directly into...

The first detailed, high-resolution 3D maps of Antarctic sea ice have been developed using an underwater robot. Scientists from the UK, US, and Australia say the new technology provides...

Question of the Week
Are we moving toward pilotless airliners?

This week's Question: NASA has worked with industry to help create the Synthetic Vision System (SVS), a virtual reality display system for cockpits. The SVS uses 3D to provide pilots with intuitive means of understanding their flying environment, including graphical displays of terrain and hazards. In...

COMSOL, Burlington, MA, announced COMSOL Multiphysics® software version 5.0 that features product updates, three new add-on products, and the new Application Builder. The Application Builder...

Let’s say you’re a prospective buyer touring an older home that you suspect has some weatherization issues. What if you could verify your hunch by literally seeing cold air seeping under doors...

Researchers have developed new organic compounds characterized by higher modularity, stability, and efficiency that could be applicable for use in electronics or lighting. A...

PCB manufacturing is a very competitive market, and manufacturers must be able to confidently ship accurate printed circuit board (PCB) products. Delivery of incorrect boards may...

A new medical imaging method being developed at Rutgers University could help physicians detect cancer and other diseases earlier than before, speeding treatment and reducing the need...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Top Prizes Awarded in the Create the Future Design Contest

On November 7, the top prizes in the 2014 Create the Future Design Contest were presented in New York City. Winners in seven categories, as well as the Grand Prize winner,...

In our annual poll of executives at leading analysis and simulation software vendors, we found that both 3D printing and the cloud will have increasing impact on CAE in 2015, and users will...

ROMER Absolute Arm with integrated laser scanner
Hexagon Metrology
North Kingstown, RI
800-274-9433
www.hexagonmetrology.us

While air travel is considered the...

Application Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Data Acquisition System Helps NASA Improve Aircraft Crash Performance
Data acquisition system
DTS (Diversified Technical Systems)
Seal Beach, CA
562-493-0158
www.dtsweb.com

Aircraft impact testing and hard landing...

Most of us cannot comprehend the task of building something to withstand temperatures over 4,000 °F, but NASA can. The space shuttles endured such temperatures when returning to...

Selecting the right actuator for use in any manufacturing operation involves a host of application-specific variables, including aspects such as the required stroke length, load capacity,...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Naval Shipyard Automates Dry Dock Operation

Pearl Harbor Naval Station and Hickam Air Force Base have grown up together around the historic port known as Wai’Momi, adjacent to Honolulu. Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard (PHNSY), located at Joint...

Products: Motion Control
Robotic Arm

Global Specialties (Yorba Linda, CA) introduced the R700 Vector Robotic Arm that is fully assembled and ready to be programmed in the C language. The robot comes with pre-written example programs that can be downloaded to the...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Optical Encoders

Avago Technologies (San Jose, CA) announced the AEDR-87xx series of 3-channel reflective optical encoder devices for use in low-power miniaturized motion control systems such as stepper motors, electrical actuators,...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Motor Drive Controllers

ElectroCraft (Dover, NH) released the PRO Series integrated motor drive controllers that include brushless motor drives, stepper motor variants, and linear actuators, all incorporating a fully integrated drive with...

Products: Motion Control
Human-Machine Interface

Mitsubishi Electric Automation (Vernon Hills, IL) introduced the GOT2000 Series human machine interface (HMI) that monitors and controls machine components with a graphical touchscreen. It allows operators to interact...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Shaft Grounding Ring

Electro Static Technology (Mechanic Falls, ME) offers the AEGIS® iPRO-MR ring that combines shaft voltage bearing protection with continuous monitoring of shaft voltage levels from a remote location in real...

Products: Motion Control
Force Transducers

HBM (Marlborough, MA) introduced the C10 line of compressive force transducers. The stainless steel version is hermetically sealed, and they have an IP68 rating for use in environments where dirt and moisture can be a...

Products: Motion Control
Linear Position Sensors

Macro Sensors (Pennsauken, NJ) offers the CD 375 series of miniature LVDT linear position sensors that attach to a robotic arm to detect position change when an actuator moves the robotic arm, providing an analog...

Products: Motion Control
Shaft Locking Bushings

Zero-Max (Plymouth, MN) offers ETP Techno shaft locking bushings for bore sizes of 110, 120, and 130 mm. They are designed for locking components to large shafts with repeatable precision for applications requiring...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Digital Servo Drive

The SXD 15 digital servo drive from Allied Motion (Amherst, NY) is a compact, modular unit that can drive a DC brush, DC brushless, or AC brushless motor requiring up to 1 kW of power. It can be either panel- or DIN--...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Torquer

Qosina (Edgewood, NY) offers the 97339 one-handed green torquer. Made of ABS, polypropylene, and stainless steel, the torquer fits guide wires 0.018 to 0.038". It is operable with one hand by squeezing (instead of turning) the top...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Fasteners

Fixtureworks® (Fraser, MI) offers Imao® “One-Touch” pin-and-receptacle fasteners used to attach fixtures, plates, machine covers, and more, joining components with moderate clamping force. An alternative to...

Products: Motion Control
Motor Drive Software

Teledyne LeCroy (Chestnut Ridge, NY) announced three-phase Motor Drive Power Analyzer software for its HDO8000 oscilloscopes for motor drive embedded control and power section debug. With the addition of three-phase...

Products: Motion Control
Motor Gate Drivers

Microchip Technology (Chandler, AZ) offers the MCP8025 and MCP8026 3-phase brushless DC (BLDC) motor gate drivers with integrated power module, LIN transceiver, and sleep mode. The devices can power the dsPIC®...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
HEV Motors

Parker’s Electromechanical Automation Division (Rohnert Park, CA) announced the GVM142 HEV motors. The generator and auxiliary motor series is an electric machine intended for use in electric and hybrid electric vehicle (HEV)...

Products: Motion Control
Positioning System

Physik Instrumente (Auburn, MA) offers the H-850KMLD 6-axis hexapod positioning system with 1,000-pound load capacity that provides 1-μm minimum incremental motion over a 100-mm travel range in XY, and 0.5-μm in the Z...

Techs for License: Aerospace
NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Aeronautics
FACET: Future Air Traffic Management Concepts Evaluation Tool

FACET flexible software helps air traffic control centers improve airline safety and efficiency. It includes programs and databases that...

Electronic Firefighter Escape Trail

This technology uses recent advances in Radio Frequency Identification Devices, combined with smart software, to create an electronic firefighter evacuation...

Techs for License: Manufacturing & Prototyping
NASA's Hot 100 Technologies

NASA’s Technology Transfer Program is a true national asset. It brings together the space agency’s most capable problem-solvers with America’s brightest commercial and entrepreneurial leaders in partnerships...

Articles: Electronics & Computers
NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Electrical/Electronics
High-Field Superconducting Magnets

This technology represents a significant improvement over commercial state-of-the-art magnets. These superconducting magnets are very versatile and can...

Techs for License: Green Design & Manufacturing
NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Environment
Contaminated Water Treatment

This method offers a way of processing and recycling liquids to remove contaminants. The two-step process provides a contaminant treatment pouch, called a “urine...

Atomic Oxygen Texturing and Cleaning

Atomic oxygen oxidizes and removes biologically active contaminants, and reduces the contaminant to an inactive ash. Thus, the contaminant...

Enhanced Project Management Tool

This invention is a system for managing a project that includes multiple tasks and workers. Periodic monthly, task plan, schedule, and budget...

Powder Handling Device for Analytical Instruments

This technology provides automated sample handling and movement of coarse-grained powder or other solid materials to enable analysis by a...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Variable Power Handheld Laser Torch

A handheld laser torch was designed for welding and brazing metals to repair hard-to-reach space shuttle engine nozzles. It incorporates various...

Shape Memory Alloys

Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs) can be deformed at low temperature and recover their original shape upon heating. New alloys can operate up to ~300 °C, compared to ~80 °C...

Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Spring Joint Package with Overstrain Sensor

This flexible joint provides two degrees of freedom and a tremendous amount of compliance. The overstrain sensor joint has a passive and...

Automated Vision Test

The traditional test for visual acuity requires the patient to look and report which letters they see. A new invention provides an automated system to estimate visual acuity based...

Model-Based Prognostics For Batteries

Effective Battery Health Monitoring (BHM) technologies are needed to ensure that battery operation is optimal and, if not, that it stays within...

Techs for License: Aerospace
NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Propulsion
Fully Premixed, Low-Emission, High-Pressure, Multi-Fuel Burner

This burner is capable of operating on a variety of gaseous fuels and oxidizers, including hydrogen-air mixtures, with a low pressure...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Robotics, Automation & Control
Inductive Monitoring System

IMS software utilizes techniques from model-based reasoning, machine learning, and data mining to build system-monitoring knowledge bases from archived...

Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Sensors
Gas Sensors Based on Coated and Doped Carbon Nanotubes

Electronic, inexpensive, low-power gas sensors are based on single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) and provide a method for gas detection by...

Brian Trease, JPL Mechanical Engineer, uses origami principles to design large-scale and small-scaled deployable structures. In 2013, Trease collaborated...

News: Electronics & Computers
Ultrasound Creates 3D Haptic Shapes

Touch feedback, known as haptics, has been used in entertainment, rehabilitation, and even surgical training. University of Bristol researchers, using ultrasound, have developed an invisible 3D haptic shape that can be seen and felt.

Led by Dr Ben Long and colleagues Professor Sriram Subramanian, Sue Ann...

A new way of switching the magnetic properties of a material using just a small applied voltage, developed by researchers at MIT and collaborators elsewhere, could signal the...

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have discovered exceptional properties in a garnet material that could enable development of...

The holiday season is upon us and that means crowded airports and delayed flights. Researchers at NASA's Langley Research Center are working to change that. They are conducting studies to...

A new class of apps and wireless devices used by private pilots are vulnerable to a wide range of security attacks, which in some scenarios could lead to catastrophic outcomes,...

Researchers at Drexel University and Dalian University of Technology in China have chemically engineered a new, electrically conductive nanomaterial that is flexible enough to fold, but...

Building, fixing, and refueling space-based assets or rendezvousing with a comet or asteroid will require a robotic vehicle and a super-precise, high-resolution 3D imaging lidar that...

University of Washington electrical engineers have developed a way to automatically track people across moving and still cameras by using an algorithm that trains the networked...

MIT chemists have developed new nanoparticles that can simultaneously perform magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluorescent imaging in living animals. Such particles...

Researchers at the RIKEN Quantitative Biology Center in Japan and the University of Tokyo have developed a method that combines tissue decolorization and light-sheet fluorescent microscopy...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing
Researchers Fabricate Rewritable Paper

Chemists at the University of California, Riverside have fabricated novel rewritable paper, one that is based on the color-switching property of commercial chemicals called redox dyes.

The dye forms the imaging layer of the paper. Printing is achieved by using ultraviolet light to photobleach the...

Question of the Week
Will astronauts reach Mars by 2030?

This week's Question: Last week, NASA's 30,000-pound Orion capsule landed in the Pacific Ocean after going further than any spacecraft built for humans had reached in more than 40 years. Without astronauts aboard, Orion circled Earth for two orbits, eventually reaching an altitude of 3,600 miles so it could...

Researchers are developing a new transmission mechanism, with no touching parts, based on magnetic forces that prevent friction and wear, and make lubrication unnecessary. It can be applied in...

Researchers from the National University of Singapore have invented a novel robotic walker that helps patients carry out physical therapy sessions to regain their leg movements and natural...

Researchers have developed a new two-stroke engine notable for its low consumption and low level of pollutant emissions. The engine is the result of Powerful, a European project...

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