Engineers have one very keen sense in life, and that is to ferret out usefulness from perceived buzz. Trained as such, unless we are reading the weather report, the word “cloud” sends...

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This miniature or micro-sized semi-conductor sensor design provides direct, nonintrusive measurement of skin friction or wall shear stress in fluid flow situations in a...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Amperometric Solid Electrolyte Oxygen Microsensors With Easy Batch Fabrication

There is a great need for oxygen microsensors for aerospace and commercial applications. Current bulk or thick-film solid electrolyte oxygen sensors have the disadvantages of being large in size, high in power consumption, difficult to batch-fabricate, and high in...

A compact and portable target assembly (Fig. 1) has been developed to measure the boresite alignment of LRO’s Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument at the spacecraft...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Virtual Sensor Test Instrumentation

Virtual Sensor Test Instrumentation is based on the concept of smart sensor technology for testing with intelligence needed to perform sell-diagnosis of health, and to participate in a hierarchy of health determination at sensor, process, and system levels. A virtual sensor test instrumentation consists of...

A proposed integrated circuit would translate (1) a pair of input signals having a low differential potential and a possibly high common-mode potential into (2) a pair of output signals...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Small Microprocessor for ASIC or FPGA Implementation

A small microprocessor, suitable for use in applications in which high reliability is required, was designed to be implemented in either an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) or a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). The design is based on commercial microprocessor architecture,...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Source-Coupled, N-Channel, JFET-Based Digital Logic Gate Structure Using Resistive Level Shifters

A circuit topography is used to create usable, digital logic gates using N (negatively doped) channel junction field effect transistors (JFETs), load resistors, level shifting resistors, and supply rails whose values are based on the DC parametric...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Monitoring Digital Closed-Loop Feedback Systems

A technique of monitoring digital closed-loop feedback systems has been conceived. The basic idea is to obtain information on the performances of closed-loop feedback circuits in such systems to aid in the determination of the functionality and integrity of the circuits and of performance...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Evaluation of the Reflection Coefficient of Microstrip Elements for Reflectarray Antennas

Basis functions were studied and identified that provide efficient and accurate solutions for the induced patch currents and the reflection phase in microstrip reflectarrays. The integral equation of an infinite array of microstrip elements in the form of...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Miniaturized Ka-Band Dual-Channel Radar

Smaller (volume, mass, power) electronics for a Ka-band (36 GHz) radar interferometer were required. To reduce size and achieve better control over RF-phase versus temperature, fully hybrid electronics...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Radiation-Tolerant, SpaceWire-Compatible Switching Fabric

Current and future near-Earth and deep space exploration programs and space defense programs require the development of robust intra-spacecraft serial data transfer electronics that must be reconfigurable, fault-tolerant, and have the ability to operate effectively for long periods of...

Briefs: Software
MASCOT — MATLAB Stability and Control Toolbox

MASCOT software was created to provide the conceptual aircraft designer accurate predictions of air vehicle stability and control characteristics. The code takes as input mass property data in the form of an inertia tensor, aerodynamic loading data, and propulsion (i.e. thrust) loading data. Using...

Briefs: Software
MIRO Continuum Calibration for Asteroid Mode

MIRO (Microwave Instrument for the Rosetta Orbiter) is a lightweight, uncooled, dual-frequency heterodyne radiometer. The MIRO encountered asteroid Steins in 2008, and during the flyby, MIRO used the Asteroid Mode to measure the emission spectrum of Steins. The Asteroid Mode is one of the seven modes...

Briefs: Software
GOATS Image Projection Component

When doing mission analysis and design of an imaging system in orbit around the Earth, answering the fundamental question of imaging performance requires an understanding of the image products that will be produced by the imaging system. At the highest level, this understanding can be gained by a first-principles...

Briefs: Software
Coded Modulation in C and MATLAB

This software, written separately in C and MATLAB as stand-alone packages with equivalent functionality, implements encoders and decoders for a set of nine error-correcting codes and modulators and demodulators for five modulation types. The software can be used as a single program to simulate the performance of...

Stennis Space Center (SSC) has performed extensive large-scale (200 klbf to 7 Mlbf thrust) rocket engine propulsion testing beginning with the Apollo program, extending through the Shuttle program, and...

Techs for License
Flexible Absorbent Binder for Packaging Applications

Flexible Absorbent Binder (FAB) is a transparent polymer cured from a water-based solution. It is ideal for maintaining in-package humidity during shelf life and transport without drying out the package contents. FAB can make a new product with unique liquid-and vapor-handling capabilities, or...

Techs for License
LED-Based Lighting is Two Times Brighter Than Other Technology

Code 3’s TriCore is an LED-based optical lighting technology that is two times brighter than other technology currently on the market, according to the company. It uses only one-third the power of conventional lighting systems, yielding higher watt-for-watt efficiency. The...

Tech Needs
Rendering 3D Simulations from Commercial Geographic Databases

A company needs to quickly and realistically render a 4 × 4 km landscape, complete with accurate roads, buildings, and similar landmarks in accurate colors, based on data from commercially available source databases. Quickly means much faster than the time required for the manual...

Tech Needs
Lightweight Material as a Replacement for Steel Containers

An organization seeks a low-weight material that can replace the heavy weight of steel, but withstand the physical and chemical demands of automotive applications. The alternative material can withstand a high-pressure fluid environment and replace steel used in hydraulic accumulators....

VTI Instruments Corp., Irvine, CA, has released the EX1200-1538 multifunction I/O card that delivers eight channels of independent 1-MHz frequency/32-bit counter inputs, 16 channels of isolated digital...

The 16th annual NASA Tech Briefs’ Readers’ Choice Products of the Year have been chosen.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Low-Dead-Volume Inlet for Vacuum Chamber

Gas introduction from near-ambient pressures to high vacuum traditionally is accomplished either by multi-stage differential pumping that allows for very rapid response, or by a capillary method that allows for a simple, single-stage introduction, but which often has a delayed response. Another means to...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Infrared-Bolometer Arrays With Reflective Backshorts

Integrated circuits that incorporate square arrays of superconducting-transition-edge bolometers with optically reflective backshorts are being developed for use in image sensors in the spectral range from far infrared to millimeter wavelengths. To maximize the optical efficiency (and, thus,...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Method for Selective Cleaning of Mold Release From Composite Honeycomb Surfaces

Honeycomb structures are commonly employed as load- and force-bearing structures as they are structurally strong and lightweight. These structures include many aircraft and spacecraft surfaces, including aircraft wings and fuselages, spacecraft pressure vessels, and...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Thermal Control Method for High-Current Wire Bundles by Injecting a Thermally Conductive Filler

A procedure was developed to inject thermal filler material (a paste-like substance) inside the power wire bundle coming from solar arrays. This substance fills in voids between wires, which enhances the heat path and reduces wire temperature. This...

Briefs: Materials
Commercialization of LARC™-SI Polyimide Technology

LARC™-SI, Langley Research Center-Soluble Imide, was developed in 1992, with the first patent issuing in 1997, and then subsequent patents issued in 1998 and 2000. Currently, this polymer has been successfully licensed by NASA, and has generated revenues, at the time of this reporting,...

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