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...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Extracting Zero-Gravity Surface Figure of a Mirror

The technical innovation involves refinement of the classic optical technique of averaging surface measurements made in different orientations with respect to gravity, so the effects of gravity cancel in the averaged image. Particularly for large, thin mirrors subject to substantial deformation,...

Briefs: Information Technology
Visual SLAM Using Variance Grid Maps

An algorithm denoted “Gamma-SLAM” performs further processing, in real time, of preprocessed digitized images acquired by a stereoscopic pair of electronic cameras aboard an off-road robotic ground vehicle to build accurate maps of the terrain and determine the location of the vehicle with respect to the...

Briefs: Information Technology
Modeling Electromagnetic Scattering From Complex Inhomogeneous Objects

This software innovation is designed to develop a mathematical formulation to estimate the electromagnetic scattering characteristics of complex, inhomogeneous objects using the finite-element-method (FEM) and method-of-moments (MoM) concepts, as well as to develop a FORTRAN...

Briefs: Information Technology
Visual Object Recognition and Tracking of Tools

A method has been created to automatically build an algorithm off-line, using computer-aided design (CAD) models, and to apply this at runtime. The object type is discriminated, and the position and orientation are identified. This system can work with a single image and can provide improved...

Briefs: Information Technology
Predicting Spacecraft Trajectories by the WeavEncke Method

A combination of methods is proposed of predicting spacecraft trajectories that possibly include multiple maneuvers and/or perturbing accelerations, with greater speed, accuracy, and repeatability than were heretofore achievable. The combination is denoted the WeavEncke method because it...

Briefs: Information Technology
An Augmentation of G-Guidance Algorithms

The original G-Guidance algorithm provided an autonomous guidance and control policy for small-body proximity operations that took into account uncertainty and dynamics disturbances. However, there was a lack of robustness in regards to object proximity while in autonomous mode. The modified G-Guidance...

Briefs: Information Technology
Rapid Calculation of Spacecraft Trajectories Using Efficient Taylor Series Integration

A variable-order, variable-step Taylor series integration algorithm was implemented in NASA Glenn’s SNAP (Spacecraft N-body Analysis Program) code. SNAP is a high-fidelity trajectory propagation program that can propagate the trajectory of a spacecraft about...

Briefs: Information Technology
Comparison of Aircraft Icing Growth Assessment Software

A research project is underway to produce computer software that can accurately predict ice growth under any meteorological conditions for any aircraft surface. An extensive comparison of the results in a quantifiable manner against the database of ice shapes that have been generated in the...

Briefs: Information Technology
Efficient Kriging Algorithms

More efficient versions of an interpolation method, called kriging, have been introduced in order to reduce its traditionally high computational cost. Written in C++, these approaches were tested on both synthetic and real data.

Briefs: Information Technology
Estimation of Coriolis Force and Torque Acting on Ares-1

A document describes work on the origin of Coriolis force and estimating Coriolis force and torque applied to the Ares-1 vehicle during its ascent, based on an internal ballistics model for a multi-segmented solid rocket booster (SRB).

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Null Lens Assembly for X-Ray Mirror Segments

A document discusses a null lens assembly that allows laser interferometry of 60° slumped glass mirror segments used in x-ray mirrors. The assembly consists of four lenses in precise alignment to each other, with incorporated piezoelectric nanometer stepping actuators to position the lenses in six...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
High-Precision Pulse Generator

A document discusses a pulse generator with subnanosecond resolution implemented with a low-cost field-programmable gate array (FPGA) at low power levels. The method used exploits the fast carry chains of certain FPGAs. Prototypes have been built and tested in both Actel AX and Xilinx Virtex 4 technologies....

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Silicon-Germanium Voltage-Controlled Oscillator at 105 GHz

A group at UCLA, in collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has designed a voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) created specifically for a compact, integrated, electronically tunable frequency generator useable for submillimeter-wave science instruments operating in extreme cold...

Application Briefs: Aerospace
Extra-Vehicular Activity Space Suit Simulator (S3)
Aurora Flight Sciences
Cambridge, MA
703-396-6304
www.aurora.aero

Aurora Flight Sciences has teamed up with...

Application Briefs: Software
Engineering Review Board Information System (ERBIS)
a.i. solutions
Lanham, MD
301-306-1756
www.ai-solutions.com

Managing the people, data, and activities...

NASA Tech Needs

Innovations in materials, structures, and systems concepts have enabled buoyant vehicles to play an expanding role in planning NASA’s future Solar System Exploration Program. Balloons and aerobots...

Products

Siemens PLM Software, Plano, TX, has released Solid Edge® software ST3, a hybrid 2D/3D design tool that features the company’s Synchronous Technology (ST), which accelerates product design, streamlines...

Articles: Software
A Stagnant Market?

A number of the executives we polled indicated that the CAD market has become a “mature” market, meaning that the number of truly innovative improvements in the...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

An innovation reported in “Two-Camera Acquisition and Tracking of a Flying Target,” NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 32, No. 8 (August 2008), p. 20, used a commercial fish-eye lens and an...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Method for Implementing Optical Phase Adjustment

A method has been developed to mechanically implement the optical phase shift by adjusting the polarization of the pump and probe beams in an NMOR (nonlinear magneto-optical rotation) magnetometer as the proper phase shift is necessary to induce self-oscillation. This innovation consists of...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

A diffractive optic element (DOE) can be used as a beam splitter to generate multiple laser beams from a single input laser beam. This technology has been recently used...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

The simplified architecture is a minimal system for a deep-space optical communications transceiver. For a deep-space optical communications link the...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

A new optical beam tracking approach for free-space optical communication links using two-photon absorption (TPA) in a high-bandgap detector material was demonstrated. This tracking...

Who's Who: Aerospace

Steven Schmidt joined NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in 1994 as a project engineer and manager on programs such as the X-33, X-38, X-43A, F-15...

Podcasts
Steven Schmidt, Director, Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility (DAOF), Palmdale, CA

Steven Schmidt joined NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in 1994 as a project engineer and manager on programs such as the X-33, X-38, X-43A, F-15 Advanced Control Technology for Integrated Vehicles, and the SR-71. Between January 2002 and August 2004...

Articles: Photonics/Optics

Titanium:Sapphire (Ti:S)-based laser systems have revolutionized ultrafast research from biological imaging to high energy physics. Ti:S has a very broad gain bandwidth (680-1080 nm) but many...

Videos