Briefs: Electronics & Computers
High-Speed, Multi-Channel Serial ADC LVDS Interface for Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA

Analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) are used in scientific and communications instruments on all spacecraft. As data rates get higher, and as the transition is made from parallel ADC designs to high-speed, serial, low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS) designs, the...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

The GeoLab glovebox was designed to enable the preliminary examination, by astronauts, of geological samples collected from the surface of another planetary body. The collected information would then...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Modified Process Reduces Porosity When Soldering in Reduced Gravity Environments

A modified process yields lower levels of internal porosity for solder joints produced in reduced-gravity environments. The process incorporates both alternative materials and a modified procedure. The process provides the necessary cleaning action to enable...

Briefs: Materials
Three Dimensionally Interlinked, Dense, Solid Form of Single-Walled CNT Ropes

A 3D networked, dense form of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) has been made through isotropic shrinking of a gel-like SWNT-water paste by very slow evaporation. Approximately 35 g of Raw HiPco nanotubes were cleaned by the method of soft baking (250 °C for 15...

Briefs: Materials
Flexible Plug Repair for Shuttle Wing Leading Edge

In response to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board report, a plug repair kit has been developed to enable astronauts to repair the space shuttle’s wing leading edge (WLE) during orbit. The plug repair kit consists of several 17.78-cm-diameter carbon/ silicon carbide (C/SiC) cover plates...

Briefs: Materials
Use of Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes for Covalent Attachment of Nanotubes to Silicon

The purpose of the invention is to covalently attach functionalized carbon nanotubes to silicon. This step allows for the introduction of carbon nanotubes onto all manner of silicon surfaces, and thereby introduction of carbon nanotubes covalently into...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Magnetic Interface for Segmented Mirror Assembly

Newly developed magnetic devices are used to create an interface between adjacent mirror segments so that once assembled, aligned, and phased, the multiple segments will behave functionally equivalent to a monolithic aperture mirror. One embodiment might be a kinematic interface that is reversible...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

To be able to conduct science investigations on highly sloped and challenging terrains, it is necessary to deploy science payloads to such locations and collect and process in...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Transpiration-Cooled Spacecraft-Insulation-Repair Fasteners

Transpiration-cooled fasteners are proposed that operate like an open-loop heat pipe (self-tapping screws, bolts, and spikes) for use in on-orbit repair of thermal-insulation of a space shuttle or other spacecraft. By limiting the temperature rise of such a fastener and of the adjacent...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A non-actuated tool has been developed for preparing regolith for in situ measurement by smoothing uneven surfaces and excavating fresher subsurface material for planetary exploration. The STAMP...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

This sensor unit is designed to determine the level of activation of lunar dust or simulant particles using a fluorescent technique. Activation of the surface of a lunar soil...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Aperture Ion Source

The aperture ion source was conceived to eliminate distortion in measurements of angular distributions of neutral atoms and molecules that require electronimpact ion sources. The approach simplifies the coupling between ion source and spectrometer while providing virtually distortion-free angular distributions and improved...

Briefs: Information Technology
Model-Based Fault Diagnosis: Performing Root Cause and Impact Analyses in Real Time

Generic, object-oriented fault models, built according to causal-directed graph theory, have been integrated into an overall software architecture dedicated to monitoring and predicting the health of mission- critical systems. Processing over the generic fault...

Briefs: Information Technology
Interactive Schematic Integration Within the Propellant System Modeling Environment

Task requirements for rocket propulsion test preparations of the test stand facilities drive the need to model the test facility propellant systems prior to constructing physical modifications. The Propellant System Modeling Environment (PSME) is an initiative...

Briefs: Information Technology
Magnetic and Electric Field Polarizations of Oblique Magnetospheric Chorus Waves

A theory was developed to explain the properties of the chorus magnetic and electric field components in the case of an arbitrary propagation angle. The new theory shows that a whistler wave has circularly polarized magnetic fields for oblique propagation. This...

Briefs: Information Technology
Variable Sampling Mapping

The performance of an optical system (for example, a telescope) is limited by the misalignments and manufacturing imperfections of the optical elements in the system. The impact of these misalignments and imperfections can be quantified by the phase variations imparted on light traveling through the system. Phase...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control

The United States has set 2015 as a goal to reach grid parity (that point where solar electricity is equal to grid electricity). No matter your thoughts on regulatory...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Rover “Curiosity” is the biggest rover to roam the Red Planet, measuring almost the size of a standard car. The rover is expected to land...

Application Briefs: Software

Engineers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA, needed to redesign the engine cowling of their Systems Integration Evaluation Remote Research...

NASA Tech Needs

Ensuring the health, safety, and effective performance of astronauts is critical to the human exploration of space. During missions to the Moon, Mars, or asteroids, crewmembers must have access to...

Techs for License
Synthetic Material Offers Touch-Feel of Genuine Leather

A synthetic leather material delivers a durable touch-feel. The design is based on the way that the human fingertip interacts with surfaces along four different axes of material properties. The fingertip determines whether a surface is soft or hard, smooth or coarse, wet or dry, and warm or...

Techs for License
Piezoelectric-Actuated Valves Bring Accuracy to Process Control Systems

The PACE Hf, a high-flow proportional valve utilizing a Parker Advanced Technology actuator, delivers 180 slpm of air at 30 psi. The product has low power requirements: steadystate 0.6 Watts max, cycling 15 Hz, 1.2 Watts. The Viva piezoelectric actuator provides...

Tech Needs
Increased Steel Surface Friction

An organization seeks innovative processes or coatings for steel. The application requires that a normal force be applied between two lubricated steel surfaces. Excessive normal force results in system power losses and increase in wear; the desired solution will permanently increase the coefficient of friction so...

Tech Needs
Halogen-Free Fire Retardants

A company must achieve standard, non-halogenated fire retardancy on cabling. Methods may include plastic compounds, coatings, polymers, or additives. The UL tests define the fire-retardant properties that the cable must exhibit after treatment — notably, ignition resistance, flame spread resistance after ignition,...

Articles: Motion Control

Motion control choices are best made in light of the whole system architecture, as the selection of system architecture will drive not only the implementation and integration stages of the...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Mechatronics can be defined as the science to optimize the performance and capabilities of machines using a multi-domain synergistic design approach. It is also...

Products: Motion Control

Parker’s Electromechanical Automation Division (Irwin, PA) announced the Light Capacity Rodless (LCR) actuator series that offers the ability to purchase a complete engineered motion solution with an optional onboard...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control

Industrial Clutch (Waukesha, WI) has introduced the Model HC/CH clutch designed for use in marine applications including drawworks, winches, and propulsion. The clutches feature a key seal that allows the use of standard O-rings and...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control

Maxon Motor (Fall River, MA) offers a 70- Watt flat brushless motor that delivers a maximum continuous torque of 130 mNm at an efficiency of up to 85%. The motor measures 45 mm in diameter and is available with Hall sensors....

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