Briefs: Physical Sciences
Real-Time, Non-Intrusive Detection of Liquid Nitrogen in Liquid Oxygen at High Pressure and High Flow

An integrated fiber-optic Raman sensor has been designed for real-time, nonintrusive detection of liquid nitrogen in liquid oxygen (LOX) at high pressures and high flow rates in order to monitor the quality of LOX used during rocket engine...

Microwave imaging radiometers operating in the 50–183 GHz range for retrieving atmospheric temperature and water vapor profiles from airborne platforms have...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Laser Ablation Electrodynamic Ion Funnel for 'In Situ' Mass Spectrometry on Mars

A front-end instrument, the laser ablation ion funnel, was developed, which would ionize rock and soil samples in the ambient Martian atmosphere, and efficiently transport the product ions into a mass spectrometer for in situ analysis.

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Mid- and Long-IR Broadband Quantum Well Photodetector

A single-stack broadband quantum well infrared photodetector (QWIP) has been developed that consists of stacked layers of GaAs/AlGaAs quantum wells with absorption peaks centered at various wavelengths spanning across the 9-to-11-μm spectral regions. The correct design of broadband QWIPs was...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Dual-Compartment Inflatable Suitlock

A paper discusses a dual-compartment inflatable suitlock (DCIS) for Extra-vehicular Activity (EVA) that will allow for dust control, suit maintenance, and efficient EVA egress/ingress. The expandable (inflatable technologies) aspect of the design will allow the unit to stow in a compact package for...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Techniques for Solution-Assisted Optical Contacting

A document discusses a “solutionassisted contacting” technique for optical contacting. An optic of surface flatness Lambda/20 was successfully contacted with one of “moderate” surface quality, or Lambda/4. Optics used were both ultra-low expansion (ULE) glass (Lambda/4 and Lambda/20)...

Briefs: Materials
Large-Strain Transparent Magnetoactive Polymer Nanocomposites

A document discusses polymer nanocomposite superparamagnetic actuators that were prepared by the addition of organically modified superparamagnetic nanoparticles to the polymer matrix. The nanocomposite films exhibited large deformations under a magnetostatic field with a low loading...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Thermodynamic Vent System for an On-Orbit Cryogenic Reaction Control Engine

A report discusses a cryogenic reaction control system (RCS) that integrates a Joule-Thompson (JT) device (expansion valve) and thermodynamic vent system (TVS) with a cryogenic distribution system to allow fine control of the propellant quality (subcooled liquid) during...

Briefs: Information Technology
Time Distribution Using SpaceWire in the SCaN Testbed on ISS

A paper describes an approach for timekeeping and time transfer among the devices on the CoNNeCT project’s SCaN Testbed. It also describes how the clocks may be synchronized with an external time reference; e.g., time tags from the International Space Station (ISS) or RF signals...

Pressure controllers from Alicat Scientific have been selected for use in NASA sounding rockets to control payload attitude. The payload sections of some NASA...

Application Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Curiosity Rover Uses CCD Sensors to Navigate Surface of Mars

Currently cruising through space at more than 10,000 mph, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is scheduled to touch down on the red planet in August. The Mars Science Laboratory was...

Faults in wiring systems are a serious concern for the aerospace and aeronautic (commercial, military, and civil) industries. Circuit failures and vehicle accidents have...

Techs for License
Indoor Positioning System Utilizes Wireless LAN Network

A positioning system utilizes ZigBee™, a wireless sensor network on the 2.4-GHz ISM band. The technology applies stochastic reasoning in analyzing the ID and received signal strength indication (RSSI) of received wireless signals. Due to multipath interference, the position of people or...

Techs for License
Square Piston Engine Reduces Emissions

The Square Piston Engine (SPEC), a two-stroke engine with a square piston, has an improved power-to-weight ratio compared to existing engines. The engine features the same three moving parts as a conventional two-stroke engine: crank, gudgeon, and piston. The delayed opening of the exhaust port on the power...

Tech Needs
Materials that Form Mesh-Based Sheets

Materials exist that provide optical clarity, but the fabricmaking process drives the costs too high. A company seeks cost-effective materials and technologies that will form meshbased sheets exhibiting high optical clarity and low haze. The resulting sheet/film/fabric will also be evaluated based on cost...

Tech Needs
Packaging Defect Detection

Consumers desire dent-free packages and properly affixed labels on 3D rigid packaging. A client seeks an automated system that will check the quality of these labels, and will detect, measure, and record critical information. The detection procedure will inform changes in processes, materials, or equipment to reduce or...

SpaceClaim, Concord, MA, has released SpaceClaim Engineer 2012 3D direct modeling software with new capabilities in reverse engineering, model preparation for...

Articles: Electronics & Computers
Battery Options for Uninterruptible Power Supplies

The lead-acid battery was invented by the French physicist Gaston Planté in 1859, and is one of the oldest rechargeable battery technologies. For over 150 years, it has been the mainstay...

Fiber optic oxygen sensors use the fluorescence of a chemical complex in a sol-gel to measure the partial pressure of oxygen. The pulsed blue LED sends light, at ~475 nm, to an optical...

Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Has the Ultimate Camera Interface Finally Arrived?

In the early days of machine vision, like with all new technology, there was a lot of confusion as to what constituted a video interface between camera and computer. It was known that a...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Method of Bonding Optical Elements With Near-Zero Displacement

The International X-ray Project seeks to build an x-ray telescope using thousands of pieces of thin and flexible glass mirror segments. Each mirror segment must be bonded into a housing in nearly perfect optical alignment without distortion. Forces greater than 0.001 Newton, or...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Optical Phase Recovery and Locking in a PPM Laser Communication Link

Free-space optical communication holds great promise for future space missions requiring high data rates. For data communication in deep space, the current architecture employs pulse position modulation (PPM). In this scheme, the light is transmitted and detected as pulses...

The design and initial demonstration of a laser pump module (LPM) incorporating single-mode, grating-stabilized 808- nm diode lasers and a...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Method to Enhance the Operation of an Optical Inspection Instrument Using Spatial Light Modulators

For many aspheric and freeform optical components, existing interferometric solutions require a custom computer-generated hologram (CGH) to characterize the part. The overall objective of this research is to develop hardware and a procedure to...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
High-Speed Edge-Detecting Line Scan Smart Camera

A high-speed edge-detecting line scan smart camera was developed. The camera is designed to operate as a component in a NASA Glenn Research Center developed inlet shock detection system. The inlet shock is detected by projecting a laser sheet through the airflow. The shock within the airflow is...

In a photon counting detector array, each pixel in the array produces an electrical pulse when an incident photon on that pixel is detected. Detection and demodulation of an optical...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Optical Communications Channel Combiner

NASA has identified deep-space optical communications links as an integral part of a unified space communication network in order to provide data rates in excess of 100 Mb/s. The distances and limited power inherent in a deep-space optical downlink necessitate the use of photon-counting detectors and a...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Development of Thermal Infrared Sensor To Supplement Operational Land Imager

The thermal infrared sensor (TIRS) is a quantum well infrared photodetector (QWIP)-based instrument intended to supplement the Operational Land Imager (OLI) for the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM). The TIRS instrument is a far-infrared imager operating in the...

Question of the Week
Will asteroid-mining missions pay off?

Last week, a space startup called Planetary Resources announced its plan for the future: asteroid mining. With diminishing resources on Earth, the company's founders believe that space offers the next logical frontier. They will use small satellites to scan near-Earth asteroids for rare materials, perhaps...

Trending Stories

NASA Spinoff: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Nanotechnology Repairs Engine Damage in Cars

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control

Linear Motors and Actuators Meets Automation Needs

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Radiation-Tolerant DC-DC Converters

Application Briefs: Energy

Lithium-Ion Batteries Critical to Mars Spacecraft

Application Briefs: Aerospace

System Recycles and Purifies Large Volumes of Helium for SLS

Briefs: Medical

Cytometer on a Chip

Videos