Briefs: Physical Sciences
Active and Passive Hybrid Sensor

A hybrid ocean wind sensor (HOWS) can map ocean vector wind in low to hurricane-level winds, and non-precipitating and precipitating conditions. It can acquire active and passive measurements through a single aperture at two wavelengths, two polarizations, and multiple incidence angles. Its low profile, compact...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Quick-Response Thermal Actuator for Use as a Heat Switch

This work improves the performance of a heat switch, or a thermal actuator, by delivering heat to the actuator in a more efficient manner. The method uses a heat pipe as the plunger or plug instead of just using a solid piece of metal. The heat pipe could be one tailored for fast transient...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
AlGaN Ultraviolet Detectors for Dual-Band UV Detection

This innovation comprises technology that has the ability to measure at least two ultraviolet (UV) bands using one detector without relying on any external optical filters. This allows users to build a miniature UVA and UVB monitor, as well as to develop compact, multicolor imaging...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

Perlite is the most typical insulating powder used to separate the inner and outer shells of cryogenic tanks. The inner tank holds the low-temperature commodity, while the...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

A proposed radiation-detecting apparatus would provide information on the kinetic energies, directions, and electric charges of highly energetic incident subatomic particles. The apparatus was...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Using Thin-Film Thermometers as Heaters in Thermal Control Applications

A cryogenic sensor maintains calibration at ≈4.2 K to better than 2 mK (

Briefs: Physical Sciences
System for Hydrogen Sensing

A low-power, wireless gas-sensing system is designed to safeguard the apparatus to which it is attached, as well as associated personnel. It also ensures the efficiency and operational integrity of the hydrogen-powered apparatus. This sensing system can be operated with lower power consumption (less than 30...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A new space-qualified, high-power, high-efficiency, K-band traveling-wave tube amplifier (TWTA), shown in the figure, will provide high-rate, high-capacity, direct-to-Earth communications for science data...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Sideband-Separating, Millimeter-Wave Heterodyne Receiver

Researchers have demonstrated a sub-millimeter-wave spectrometer that combines extremely broad bandwidth with extremely high sensitivity and spectral resolution to enable future spacecraft to measure the composition of the Earth’s troposphere in three dimensions many times per day at...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A simplified load-following control scheme has been proposed for a fuel cell power system. The scheme could be used to control devices that are important parts of a fuel cell system...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Loosely Coupled GPS-Aided Inertial Navigation System for Range Safety

The Autonomous Flight Safety System (AFSS) aims to replace the human element of range safety operations, as well as reduce reliance on expensive, downrange assets for launches of expendable launch vehicles (ELVs). The system consists of multiple navigation sensors and flight...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Modified Phasemeter for a Heterodyne Laser Interferometer

Modifications have been made in the design of instruments of the type described in “Digital Averaging Phasemeter for Heterodyne Interferometry” (NPO-30866), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 9 (September 2004), page 6a. To recapitulate: A phasemeter of this type measures the difference...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

An improved design concept for coaxial propellant injectors for a rocket engine (or perhaps for a non-rocket combustion chamber) offers advantages of greater robustness, less...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Adaptable Diffraction Gratings With Wavefront Transformation

Diffraction gratings are optical components with regular patterns of grooves, which angularly disperse incoming light by wavelength. Traditional diffraction gratings have static planar, concave, or convex surfaces. However, if they could be made so that they can change the surface...

Briefs: Software
Natural-Language Parser for PBEM

A computer program called “Hunter” accepts, as input, a colloquial-English description of a set of policy-based-management rules, and parses that description into a form useable by policy-based enterprise management (PBEM) software.

Briefs: Software
Policy Process Editor for P³BM Software

A computer program enables generation, in the form of graphical representations of process flows with embedded natural-language policy statements, input to a suite of policy-, process-, and performancebased management (P3BM) software developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Like the...

Briefs: Software
A Quality System Database

A quality system database (QSD), and software to administer the database, were developed to support recording of administrative nonconformance activities that involve requirements for documentation of corrective and/or preventive actions, which can include ISO 9000 internal quality audits and customer complaints....

Briefs: Software
Trajectory Optimization: OTIS 4

The latest release of the Optimal Trajectories by Implicit Simulation (OTIS4) allows users to simulate and optimize aerospace vehicle trajectories. With OTIS4, one can seamlessly generate optimal trajectories and parametric vehicle designs simultaneously. New features also allow OTIS4 to solve non-aerospace...

Briefs: Software
Computer Software Configuration Item-Specific Flight Software Image Transfer Script Generator

A K-shell UNIX script enables the International Space Station (ISS) Flight Control Team (FCT) operators in NASA’s Mission Control Center (MCC) in Houston to transfer an entire or partial computer software configuration item (CSCI) from a flight...

Briefs: Materials

A systematic experimental study has been performed to determine the effects of each of the operating conditions in a double-pulse laser ablation process that is used to produce...

Briefs: Materials
Thermogravimetric Analysis of Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes

An improved protocol for thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA) of samples of single-wall carbon nanotube (SWCNT) material has been developed to increase the degree of consistency among results so that meaningful comparisons can be made among different samples. This improved TGA protocol is...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The figure shows several aspects of an experimental robotic manipulator that includes a housing from which protrudes a tendril- or tentacle-like arm 1 cm thick and 1 m long. The arm consists of two...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Foil Gas Thrust Bearings for High-Speed Turbomachinery

A methodology has been developed for the design and construction of simple foil thrust bearings intended for parametric performance testing and low marginal costs, supporting continued development of oil-free turbomachinery. A bearing backing plate is first machined and surface-ground to...

Briefs: Information Technology
Efficient Bit-to-Symbol Likelihood Mappings

This innovation is an efficient algorithm designed to perform bit-to-symbol and symbol-to-bit likelihood mappings that represent a significant portion of the complexity of an error-correction code decoder for high-order constellations. Recent implementation of the algorithm in hardware has yielded an...

Briefs: Information Technology

NASA’s planetary missions have collected, and continue to collect, massive volumes of orbital imagery. The volume is such that it is difficult to manually review all of the...

Briefs: Information Technology

Some non-traditional signal constellations have been proposed for transmission of data over the Additive White Gaussian Noise (AWGN) channel using such channel-capacity-approaching codes as low-density...

Who's Who: Aerospace

Mark Polansky enjoyed a successful 14-year career as an Air Force fighter pilot before joining NASA as an aerospace engineer and research pilot in 1992. Selected as an astronaut candidate in...

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Mark Polansky, Astronaut, Johnson Space Center

Mark Polansky enjoyed a successful 14-year career as an Air Force fighter pilot before joining NASA as an aerospace engineer and research pilot in 1992. Selected as an astronaut candidate in April 1996, he has since flown three space shuttle missions to the International Space Station,...

Products: Green Design & Manufacturing

New large cell prismatic electrochemical double layer capacitors (EDLC) from Ioxus (Oneonta, NY) are for transportation and utility applications and are lower in cost for the overall system design. The...

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