Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Reducing Aerodynamic Drag on Empty Open Cargo Vehicles

Some simple structural modifications have been demonstrated to be effective in reducing aerodynamic drag on vehicles that have empty open cargo bays. The modifications were originally...

The term “rotary percussive autogopher” denotes a proposed addition to a family of apparatuses, based on ultrasonic/sonic drill corers (USDCs), that have been described in...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Thermostatic Valves Containing Silicone-Oil Actuators

Flow-splitting and flow-mixing thermally actuated spool valves have been developed for controlling flows of a heat-transfer fluid in a temperature-regulation system aboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover. Valves like these could also be useful in terrestrial temperature-regulation...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Assembly Machines Produce Optics for NASA’s NuSTAR Telescope
Cylindrical optics module assembly machines
ABTech
Swanzey, NH
603-358-6431
www.abtechmfg.com

ABTech has completed the first of two cylindrical optics module assembly machines for Columbia University’s Nevis Astrophysics Laboratory. The multi-axis air...

Application Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
CCD Imaging Sensors Aid Hubble in Exploring the Universe
Charge coupled device (CCD) imaging sensors
e2v
Chelmsford, UK
44 (0)1245 493493
www.e2v.com

e2v CCD imaging sensors were launched recently on the Space Shuttle Atlantis as part of a mission to upgrade and repair the Hubble Space Telescope. The imaging sensors...

John C. Stennis Space Center is embarking on a very ambitious era in its rocket engine propulsion test history. The first new large rocket engine test stand to be built at Stennis Space Center...

Techs for License
Fluorinated ZDDP Improves Mileage and Reduces Engine Wear

This technology takes ZDDP — Zinc Dialkyl Dithiophos - phate, an anti-wear oil additive — and enhances it by adding fluorine to the chemical backbone. The resulting new molecule improves engine fuel economy by 3%, reduces engine wear from that available with conventional ZDDP, and...

Techs for License
Real-Time Dogfight Guiding System

Successful performance of BFM (Basic Flight Maneuvers) presents the greatest challenge facing combat pilots. Acquiring and maintaining the required skills for dogfights is a long, complicated and costly process. The solution is a system that provides automatic assessment of a situation and automatic...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
More About Reconfigurable Exploratory Robotic Vehicles

Modular exploratory robotic vehicles that will be able to reconfigure themselves in the field are undergoing development. These vehicles at the initial concept stage were described in...

Tech Needs
Anchoring Technology to Hold an Active Ingredient Within a Targeted Depth of Soil

A company seeks technologies that enhance the duration that herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and similar products are held at a targeted depth within the top layers of soil. Duration should be between 30 and 60 days. The targeted depth varies with the crop...

Briefs: Materials
Cyclic Oxidation Behavior of CuCrAl Cold-Sprayed Coatings for Reusable Launch Vehicles

The next generation of reusable launch vehicles is likely to use GRCop-84 [Cu-8(at.%)Cr-4%Nb] copper alloy combustion liners. The application of protective coatings on GRCop-84 liners can minimize or eliminate many of the environmental problems experienced by...

Briefs: Materials
Ceramic Fiber Structures for Cryogenic Load-Bearing Applications

This invention is intended for use as a load-bearing device under cryogenic temperatures and/or abrasive conditions (i.e., during missions to the Moon). The innovation consists of small-diameter, ceramic fibers that are woven or braided into devices like ropes, belts, tracks, or...

Briefs: Materials
Elastomer Reinforced With Carbon Nanotubes

Elastomers are reinforced with functionalized, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) giving them high- breaking strain levels and low densities. Cross-linked elastomers are prepared using amine-terminated, poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS), with an average molecular weight of 5,000 daltons, and a...

Tech Needs
Dissolvable Paper/Packaging Material

A company is searching for a disruptive technology relating to dispersible packaging materials. The material should easily dissolve in cold water and be 100% biodegradable in a short space of time, without compromising the strength and performance of the material for its given application. While paper-based...

Briefs: Materials
Improving Heat Flux Performance of Flat Surface in Spray-Cooling Systems

A method has been developed for improving heat flux performance relative to flat surfaces in spray-cooling systems. Similar enhancement techniques have been used for convective heat transfer, but, to the best knowledge at the time of this reporting, never spray cooling of...

Briefs: Materials
Treating Fibrous Insulation To Reduce Thermal Conductivity

A chemical treatment reduces the convective and radiative contributions to the effective thermal conductivity of porous fibrous thermal-insulation tile. The net effect of the treatment is to coat the surfaces of fibers with a mixture of transition-metal oxides (TMOs) without filling the...

Briefs: Materials
Silica-Aerogel Composites Opacified With La0.7Sr0.3MnO3

As part of an effort to develop improved lightweight thermal-insulation tiles to withstand temperatures up to 1,000 °C, silica aerogel/fused-quartz- fiber composite materials containing La0.7Sr0.3MnO3 particles as opacifiers have been investigated as...

Briefs: Materials
Biologically Inspired Purification and Dispersion of SWCNTs

A biologically inspired method has been developed for (1) separating single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) from other materials (principally, amorphous carbon and metal catalysts) in raw production batches and (2) dispersing the SWCNTs as individual particles (in contradistinction to...

Allen Parker is a systems engineer with expertise in the areas of fiber optics and data acquisition. He is currently part of the team...

Briefs: Materials
Quantifying Airborne Hydrogen in Nearly Real Time

An indirect method of measuring small concentrations of hydrogen gas in air in nearly real time has been devised to circumvent the difficulty of performing such measurements directly. In this method, a sample of air suspected of containing hydrogen is first enclosed in a suitable container, and...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
A Technique for Adjusting Eigenfrequencies of WGM Resonators

A simple technique has been devised for making small, permanent changes in the eigenfrequencies (resonance frequencies) of whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) dielectric optical resonators that have high values of the resonance quality factor (Q). The essence of the technique is to coat the...

A small mass spectrometer utilizing a miniature field ionization source is now undergoing development. It is designed for use in a variety of applications in which there are requirements for a...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Modifying Operating Cycles To Increase Stability in a LITS

The short-term instability in the frequency of a linear-ion-trap frequency standard (LITS) can be reduced by modifying two cycles involved in its operation: (1) the bimodal (bright/dim) cycle of a plasma discharge lamp used for state preparation and detection and (2) a...

An apparatus for simulating the environment at the surface of Mars has been developed. Within the apparatus, the pressure, gas composition, and temperature of the atmosphere; the...

Briefs: Information Technology
Algorithm for Detecting a Bright Spot in an Image

An algorithm processes the pixel intensities of a digitized image to detect and locate a circular bright spot, the approximate size of which is known in advance. The algorithm is used to find images of the Sun in cameras aboard the Mars Exploration Rovers. (The images are used in estimating...

Briefs: Information Technology
Extreme Programming: Maestro Style

“Extreme Programming: Maestro Style” is the name of a computer-programming methodology that has evolved as a custom version of a methodology, called “extreme programming” that has been practiced in the software industry since the late 1990s. The name of this version reflects its origin in the work of...

Briefs: Information Technology
Adaptive Behavior for Mobile Robots

The term “System for Mobility and Access to Rough Terrain” (SMART) denotes a theoretical framework, a control architecture, and an algorithm that implements the framework and architecture, for enabling...

An application-layer protocol and a network architecture have been proposed for data communications among multiple autonomous spacecraft that are required to fly in a precise...

Briefs: Information Technology
Planning Complex Sequences Using Compressed Representations

A method that notably includes the use of compressed representations interleaved with non-compressed (time-line) representations of a general scheduling problem has been conceived as a means of increasing, by orders of magnitude, the speeds of computations needed for scheduling complex...

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