Briefs: Physical Sciences
Phase-Conjugate Receiver for Gaussian-State Quantum Illumination

An active optical sensor probes a region of free space that is engulfed in bright thermal noise to determine the presence (or absence) of a weakly reflecting target. The returned light (which is just thermal noise if no target is present, and thermal noise plus a weak reflection of...

An improved method of making an electronic oscillator track the frequency of an atomic-clock resonance transition is based on fitting a theoretical nonlinear curve to measurements at...

Leak detection and location remain a common problem in NASA and industry, where gas leaks can create hazardous conditions if not quickly detected and corrected. In order to...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Submonolayer Quantum Dot Infrared Photodetector

A method has been developed for inserting submonolayer (SML) quantum dots (QDs) or SML QD stacks, instead of conventional Stranski-Krastanov (S-K) QDs, into the active region of intersubband photodetectors. A typical configuration would be InAs SML QDs embedded in thin layers of GaAs, surrounded by...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Ionization-Assisted Getter Pumping for Ultra-Stable Trapped Ion Frequency Standards

A method eliminates (or recovers from) residual methane buildup in getter-pumped atomic frequency standard systems by applying ionizing assistance. Ultra-high stability trapped ion frequency standards for applications requiring very high reliability, and/or low...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Phase-Array Approach to Optical Whispering Gallery Modulators

This technology leverages the well-defined orbital number of a whispering gallery modulator (WGM) to expand the range of applications for such resonators. This property rigidly connects the phase variation of the field in this mode with the azimuthal angle between the coupling...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Fiber-Optic Continuous Liquid Sensor for Cryogenic Propellant Gauging

An innovative fiber-optic sensor has been developed for low-thrust-level settled mass gauging with measurement uncertainty

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Measurement of the Length of an Optical Trap

NASA Glenn has been involved in developing optical trapping and optical micromanipulation techniques in order to develop a tool that can be used to probe, characterize, and assemble nano and microscale materials to create microscale sensors for harsh flight environments. In order to be able to...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Mode Tracker for Mode-Hop-Free Operation of a Laser

A mode-tracking system that includes a mode-controlling subsystem has been incorporated into an external-cavity (EC) quantum cascade laser that operates in a mid-infrared wavelength range. The mode-tracking system makes it possible to perform mode-hop-free wavelength scans, as needed for...

Briefs: Information Technology
Physical Invariants of Intelligence

A program of research is dedicated to development of a mathematical formalism that could provide, among other things, means by which living systems could be distinguished from non-living ones. A major issue that arises in this research is the following question: What invariants of mathematical models of the...

Briefs: Information Technology
Rocket-Plume Spectroscopy Simulation for Hydrocarbon-Fueled Rocket Engines

The UV-Vis spectroscopic system for plume diagnostics monitors rocket engine health by using several analytical tools developed at Stennis Space Center (SSC), including the rocket plume spectroscopy simulation code (RPSSC), to identify and quantify the alloys from the...

Briefs: Information Technology
Research on Spoken Dialogue Systems

Research in the field of spoken dialogue systems has been performed with the goal of making such systems more robust and easier to use in demanding situations. The term “spoken dialogue systems” signifies unified software systems containing speech-recognition, speech-synthesis, dialogue management, and...

Briefs: Information Technology
Injecting Errors for Testing Built-in Test Software

Two algorithms have been conceived to enable automated, thorough testing of Built-in test (BIT) software. The first algorithm applies to BIT routines that define pass/fail criteria based on values of data read from such hardware devices as memories, input ports, or registers. This algorithm...

Briefs: Information Technology
Guidance and Control System for a Satellite Constellation

A distributed guidance and control algorithm was developed for a constellation of satellites. The system repositions satellites as required, regulates satellites to desired orbits, and prevents collisions.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Dedicated Deployable Aerobraking Structure

A dedicated deployable aerobraking structure concept was developed that significantly increases the effective area of a spacecraft during aerobraking by up to a factor of 5 or more (depending on spacecraft size) without substantially increasing total spacecraft mass. Increasing the effective aerobraking...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Portable Health Algorithms Test System

A document discusses the Portable Health Algorithms Test (PHALT) System, which has been designed as a means for evolving the maturity and credibility of algorithms developed to assess the health of aerospace systems. Comprising an integrated hardware-software environment, the PHALT system allows systems...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Technique for Performing Dielectric Property Measurements at Microwave Frequencies

A paper discusses the need to perform accurate dielectric property measurements on larger sized samples, particularly liquids at microwave frequencies. These types of measurements cannot be obtained using conventional cavity perturbation methods, particularly for...

Dr. William Ko joined NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in 1977 after receiving a PhD in aeronautics from California...

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Dr. William Ko, Aerospace Engineer, Engineering Directorate, Aerostructures Branch, Dryden Flight Research Center

Dr. William Ko joined NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in 1977 after receiving a PhD in aeronautics from California Institute of Technology and conducting research at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas....

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Controlling Robotics Precisely With Haptic Technology

Robots are capable of very precise motion, but must be guided with precision in order to fulfill their potential. Consider the task of guiding a robotic surgeon’s arm to suture a wound...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Control System Safely Moves a Robot During Invasive Neurosurgery

Robotic devices have been used in the medical industry for more than 40 years. Despite the advantages, researchers have faced unique challenges in developing effective, safe...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Progress in Development of the Axel Rovers

Progress has been made in the development of a family of robotic land vehicles having modular and minimalist design features chosen to impart a combination of robustness, reliability, and...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Compact, Lightweight Servo-Controllable Brakes

Compact, lightweight servo-controllable brakes capable of high torques are being developed for incorporation into robot joints. A brake of this type is based partly on the capstan effect of tension elements, which is described by the well known equation

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Robotic Arm Manipulator Using Active Control for Sample Acquisition and Transfer, and Passive Mode for Surface Compliance

A robotic arm that consists of three joints with four degrees of freedom (DOF) has been developed. It can carry an end-effector to acquire and transfer samples by using active control and comply with surface topology in a...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Alignment System

PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P. (Auburn, MA) offers the F206.S six-axis Hexapod alignment system that provides 6D motion with 33-nanometer resolution and alignment software for optics and photonics components. The system...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rail System

Thomson (Wood Dale, IL) has introduced the 500 Series Profile rails with an optional ball spacer carriage that reduces carriage running noise by up to 6 dB. The rails' design optimizes the surface interfaces between steel and...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Controller

QuickSilver Controls (Covina, CA) offers the SilverSterling™ controller for NEMA 11, 17, and 23 frame brushless servo motors; DC brush motors; and voice coil actuators, providing a 5A RMS continuous drive with 7A peak at 12V to...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Screw-Driven Linear Actuator

Bishop-Wisecarver Corp. (Pittsburg, CA) has introduced the HepcoMotion® PSD80 Profile screw-driven linear actuator with Herculane® wheel technology. Housed on an aluminum beam and fitted with a stainless steel...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Vibration Monitor

SKF Group (San Diego, CA) has introduced the Multilog Online System DMx, a multi-featured vibration monitor for conventional and hazardous environments. It can be directly installed within a hazardous area, removing or...

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