Special Coverage

Soft Robot “Walks” on Any Terrain
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Using Microwaves to Produce High-Quality Graphene
Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines

Method for Thermal Spraying of Coatings Using Resonant-Pulsed Combustion

High-volume, high-velocity surface deposition allows protective metal coatings to be applied to otherwise vulnerable surfaces.

A method has been devised for high-volume, high-velocity surface deposition of protective metallic coatings on otherwise vulnerable surfaces. Thermal spraying is used whereby the material to be deposited is heated to the melting point by passing through a flame. Rather than the usual method of deposition from the jet formed from the combustion products, this innovation uses non-steady combustion (i.e. high- frequency, periodic, confined bursts), which generates not only higher temperatures and heat transfer rates, but exceedingly high impingement velocities an order of magnitude higher than conventional thermal systems. Higher impingement rates make for better adhesion. The high heat transfer rates developed here allow the deposition material to be introduced, not as an expensive powder with high surface-area-to-volume, but in convenient rod form, which is also easier and simpler to feed into the system. The nonsteady, resonant combustion process is self-aspirating and requires no external actuation or control and no high-pressure supply of fuel or air.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Heat transfer, Heat transfer, Spraying, Metals, Combustion and combustion processes
Read More >>

Coating Reduces Ice Adhesion

Developed for the space shuttle, this coating may be used on aircraft and automobiles.

The Shuttle Ice Liberation Coating (SILC) has been developed to reduce the adhesion of ice to surfaces on the space shuttle. SILC, when coated on a surface (foam, metal, epoxy primer, polymer surfaces), will reduce the adhesion of ice by as much as 90 percent as compared to the corresponding uncoated surface. This innovation is a durable coating that can withstand several cycles of ice growth and removal without loss of anti-adhesion properties.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Coatings Colorants and Finishes, Coatings, colorants, and finishes, Durability, Durability, Icing and ice detection, Reusable launch vehicles and shuttles
Read More >>

Hybrid Multifoil Aerogel Thermal Insulation

Aerogel used in place of astroquartz makes lighter, more efficient insulation.

This innovation blends the merits of multifoil insulation (MFI) with aerogel-based insulation to develop a highly versatile, ultra-low thermally conductive material called hybrid multifoil aerogel thermal insulation (HyMATI). The density of the opacified aerogel is 240 mg/cm3 and has thermal conductivity in the 20 mW/mK range in high vacuum and 25 mW/mK in 1 atmosphere of gas (such as argon) up to 800 ºC. It is stable up to 1,000 ºC. This is equal to commercially available high-temperature thermal insulation. The thermal conductivity of the aerogel is 36 percent lower compared to several commercially available insulations when tested in 1 atmosphere of argon gas up to 800 ºC.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Materials, Conductivity, Insulation, Nanomaterials
Read More >>

XML-Based SHINE Knowledge Base Interchange Language

The SHINE Knowledge Base Interchange Language software has been designed to more efficiently send new knowledge bases to spacecraft that have been embedded with the Spacecraft Health Inference Engine (SHINE) tool. The intention of the behavioral model is to capture most of the information generally associated with a spacecraft functional model, while specifically addressing the needs of execution within SHINE and Livingstone. As such, it has some constructs that are based on one or the other.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences, Communication protocols, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Data exchange, Communication protocols, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Data exchange
Read More >>

SHINE Virtual Machine Model for In-flight Updates of Critical Mission Software

This software is a new target for the Spacecraft Health Inference Engine (SHINE) knowledge base that compiles a knowledge base to a language called Tiny C — an interpreted version of C that can be embedded on flight processors. This new target allows portions of a running SHINE knowledge base to be updated on a “live” system without needing to halt and restart the containing SHINE application. This enhancement will directly provide this capability without the risk of software validation problems and can also enable complete integration of BEAM and SHINE into a single application.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Spacecraft
Read More >>

Mars Image Collection Mosaic Builder

A computer program assembles images from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Observer Camera Narrow Angle (MOCNA) collection to generate a uniform-high-resolution, georeferenced, uncontrolled mosaic image of the Martian surface. At the time of reporting the information for this article, the mosaic covered 7 percent of the Martian surface and contained data from more than 50,000 source images acquired under various light conditions at various resolutions.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Cartography, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Cartography, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Imaging, Imaging and visualization
Read More >>

Providing Internet Access to High-Resolution Mars Images

The OnMars server is a computer program that provides Internet access to high-resolution Mars images, maps, and elevation data, all suitable for use in geographical information system (GIS) software for generating images, maps, and computational models of Mars. The OnMars server is an implementation of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Map Service (WMS) server. Unlike other Mars Internet map servers that provide Martian data using an Earth coordinate system, the OnMars WMS server supports encoding of data in Mars-specific coordinate systems.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Cartography, Data exchange, Internet of things, Cartography, Data exchange, Internet of things
Read More >>

Providing Internet Access to High-Resolution Lunar Images

The OnMoon server is a computer program that provides Internet access to high-resolution Lunar images, maps, and elevation data, all suitable for use in geographical information system (GIS) software for generating images, maps, and computational models of the Moon. The OnMoon server implements the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Map Service (WMS) server protocol and supports Moon-specific extensions. Unlike other Internet map servers that provide Lunar data using an Earth coordinate system, the OnMoon server supports encoding of data in Moon-specific coordinate systems.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Cartography, Data exchange, Internet of things, Cartography, Data exchange, Internet of things
Read More >>

Expressions Module for the Satellite Orbit Analysis Program

The Expressions Module is a software module that has been incorporated into the Satellite Orbit Analysis Program (SOAP). The module includes an expressions-parser submodule built on top of an analytical system, enabling the user to define logical and numerical variables and constants. The variables can capture output from SOAP orbital-prediction and geometric-engine computations. The module can combine variables and constants with built-in logical operators (such as Boolean AND, OR, and NOT), relational operators (such as >, <, or =), and mathematical operators (such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, modulus, exponentiation, differentiation, and integration). Parentheses can be used to specify precedence of operations.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Trajectory control, Mathematical analysis, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Satellites
Read More >>

Virtual Satellite

Virtual Satellite (VirtualSat) is a computer program that creates an environment that facilitates the development, verification, and validation of flight software for a single spacecraft or for multiple spacecraft flying in formation. In this environment, enhanced functionality and autonomy of navigation, guidance, and control systems of a spacecraft are provided by a virtual satellite — that is, a computational model that simulates the dynamic behavior of the spacecraft.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences, Computer simulation, Flight control systems, Navigation and guidance systems, Flight control systems, Navigation and guidance systems, Satellites, Spacecraft, Vehicle dynamics
Read More >>

The U.S. Government does not endorse any commercial product, process, or activity identified on this web site.