Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
FPGA Sequencer for Radar Altimeter Applications

A sequencer for a radar altimeter provides accurate attitude information for a reliable soft landing of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). This is a field-programmable-gate-array (FPGA)-only implementation. A table loaded externally into the FPGA controls timing, processing, and decision...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
SAD5 Stereo Correlation Line-Striping in an FPGA

High precision SAD5 stereo computations can be performed in an FPGA (field-programmable gate array) at much higher speeds than possible in a conventional CPU (central processing unit), but this uses large amounts of FPGA resources that scale with image size. Of the two key resources in an FPGA,...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Miniature Sapphire Acoustic Resonator — MSAR

A room temperature sapphire acoustics resonator incorporated into an oscillator represents a possible opportunity to improve on quartz ultrastable oscillator (USO) performance, which has been a staple for NASA missions since the inception of spaceflight. Where quartz technology is very mature and...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Process-Hardened, Multi-Analyte Sensor for Characterizing Rocket Plume Constituents

A multi-analyte sensor was developed that enables simultaneous detection of rocket engine combustion-product molecules in a launch-vehicle ground test stand. The sensor was developed using a pin-printing method by incorporating multiple sensor elements on a...

Briefs: Software
Marsviewer 2008

Marsviewer 2008 is designed for quality control, browsing, and operational and science analysis of images and derived image products returned by spacecraft. This program allows all derived products (reduced data records, or RDRs) associated with each original image (experiment data record, or EDR) to be viewed in various ways,...

Briefs: Software
Mission Services Evolution Center Message Bus

The Goddard Mission Services Evolution Center (GMSEC) Message Bus is a robust, lightweight, fault-tolerant middleware implementation that supports all messaging capabilities of the GMSEC API, including publish/subscribe and request/reply. The Message Bus enables NASA to provide an open-source...

Briefs: Software
Major Constituents Analysis for the Vehicle Cabin Atmosphere Monitor

Vehicle Cabin Atmosphere Monitor (VCAM) can provide a means for monitoring the air within enclosed environments such as the International Space Station, the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), a Lunar habitat, or another vehicle traveling to Mars. Its miniature preconcentrator, gas...

Briefs: Software
Astronaut Health Participant Summary Application

The Longitudinal Study of Astronaut Health (LSAH) Participant Summary software captures data based on a custom information model designed to gather all relevant, discrete medical events for its study participants. This software provides a summarized view of the study participant’s entire medical...

Briefs: Software
Natural Language Interface for Safety Certification of Safety-Critical Software

Model-based design and automated code generation are being used increasingly at NASA. The trend is to move beyond simulation and prototyping to actual flight code, particularly in the guidance, navigation, and control domain. However, there are substantial obstacles...

Briefs: Software
Adaption of the AMDIS Method to Flight Status on the VCAM Instrument

Software has been developed to function onboard the International Space Station (ISS) to help safeguard human health by detecting compounds of concern in the cabin atmosphere, both in identity and concentration. This software calibrates and processes a standard 2D dataset (mass...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Hybrid Composite Cryogenic Tank Structure

A hybrid lightweight composite tank has been created using specially designed materials and manufacturing processes. The tank is produced by using a hybrid structure consisting of at least two reinforced composite material systems. The inner composite layer comprises a distinct fiber and resin matrix...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Nanoscale Deformable Optics

Several missions and instruments in the conceptual design phase rely on the technique of interferometry to create detectable fringe patterns. The intimate emplacement of reflective material upon electron device cells based upon chalcogenide material technology permits high-speed, predictable deformation of the...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Zinc Oxide Nanowire Interphase for Enhanced Lightweight Polymer Fiber Composites

The objective of this work was to increase the interfacial strength between aramid fiber and epoxy matrix. This was achieved by functionalizing the aramid fiber followed by growth of a layer of ZnO nanowires on the fiber surface such that when embedded into the...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Reliability-Based Design Optimization of a Composite Airframe Component

A stochastic optimization methodology (SDO) has been developed to design air-frame structural components made of metallic and composite materials. The design method accommodates uncertainties in load, strength, and material properties that are defined by distribution...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Plasma Igniter for Reliable Ignition of Combustion in Rocket Engines

A plasma igniter has been developed for initiating combustion in liquid-propellant rocket engines. The device propels a hot, dense plasma jet, consisting of elemental fluorine and fluorine compounds, into the combustion chamber to ignite the cold propellant mixture. The igniter...

One of the major technical problems deep-space optical communication (DSOC) systems need to solve is the isolation of the optical terminal from vibrations produced by the spacecraft...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Wire Test Grip Fixture

Wire-testing issues, such as the gripping strains imposed on the wire, play a critical role in obtaining clean data. In a standard test frame fitted with flat wedge grips, the gripping action alone creates stresses on the wire specimen that cause the wire to fail at the grip location. When conventional wire grip fixtures...

A plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) growth technique has been developed where the choice of starting substrate was found to...

Briefs: Materials
Nanoparticle/Polymer Nanocomposite Bond Coat or Coating

This innovation addresses the problem of coatings (meant to reduce gas permeation) applied to polymer matrix composites spalling off in service due to incompatibility with the polymer matrix. A bond coat/coating has been created that uses chemically functionalized nanoparticles (either clay...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Cryogenic Caging for Science Instrumentation

A method has been developed for caging science instrumentation to protect from pyro-shock and EDL (entry, descent, and landing) acceleration damage. Caging can be achieved by immersing the instrument (or its critical parts) in a liquid and solidifying the liquid by cooling. After the launch shock...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Wide-Range Neutron Detector for Space Nuclear Applications

A digital, wide-range, neutron detection (WRND) system in a compact, VME form factor monitors neutron activity within the core of a nuclear reactor across the reactor’s entire operating range, from 1.0 n/cm2/s up to 1010 n/cm2/s. This allows for a...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
In Situ Guided Wave Structural Health Monitoring System

Aircraft engine rotating equipment operates at high temperatures and stresses. Noninvasive inspection of microcracks in those components poses a challenge for nondestructive evaluation. A low-cost, low-profile, high-temperature ultrasonic guided wave sensor was developed that detects cracks...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Multiplexed Energy Coupler for Rotating Equipment

A multiplexing antenna assembly can efficiently couple AC signal/energy into, or out of, rotating equipment. The unit only passes AC energy while blocking DC energy. Concentric tubes that are sliced into multiple pieces are assembled together so that, when a piece from an outer tube aligns well...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Attitude Estimation in Fractionated Spacecraft Cluster Systems

An attitude estimation was examined in fractioned free-flying spacecraft. Instead of a single, monolithic spacecraft, a fractionated free-flying spacecraft uses multiple spacecraft modules. These modules are connected only through wireless communication links and, potentially,...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Method and System for Temporal Filtering in Video Compression Systems

Three related innovations combine improved non-linear motion estimation, video coding, and video compression. The first system comprises a method in which side information is generated using an adaptive, non-linear motion model. This method enables extrapolating and...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Apparatus for Measuring Total Emissivity of Small, Low-Emissivity Samples

An apparatus was developed for measuring total emissivity of small, lightweight, low-emissivity samples at low temperatures. The entire apparatus fits inside a small laboratory cryostat. Sample installation and removal are relatively quick, allowing for faster testing.

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Active Flow Effectors for Noise and Separation Control

New flow effector technology for separation control and enhanced mixing is based upon shape memory alloy hybrid composite (SMAHC) technology. The technology allows for variable shape control of aircraft structures through actively deformable surfaces. The flow effectors are made by embedding...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
High-Sensitivity, Broad-Range Vacuum Gauge Using Nanotubes for Micromachined Cavities

A broad-range vacuum gauge has been created by suspending a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) (metallic or semiconducting) in a Schottky diode format or in a bridge conductor format, between two electrically charged mesas. SWNTs are highly sensitive to...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Full Piezoelectric Multilayer-Stacked Hybrid Actuation/ Transduction Systems

The Stacked HYBATS (Hybrid Actuation/Transduction system) demonstrates significantly enhanced electromechanical performance by using the cooperative contributions of the electromechanical responses of multilayer, stacked negative strain components and positive strain...

Question of the Week
Will Self-Erasing Chips Catch On?

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Metal Injection Molding’s Role in Automotive

Upcoming Webinars: Materials

Technical Ceramics: The Powerhouse of Advanced Materials

Upcoming Webinars: Software

PPAP Reviews Using AI and Machine Learning

Upcoming Webinars: Motion Control

Customizing Actuators Using COTS Drive Components for Martian...

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

2020 Create the Future Contest Awards

Upcoming Webinars: RF & Microwave Electronics

Advancement of Spectrum Analysis Techniques for Tracking,...

Videos