Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Cylindrical Piezoelectric Fiber Composite Actuators

The use of piezoelectric devices has become widespread since Pierre and Jacques Curie discovered the piezoelectric effect in 1880. Examples of current applications of piezoelectric devices include ultrasonic transducers, micro-positioning devices, buzzers, strain sensors, and clocks. The...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Micron-Accurate Laser Fresnel-Diffraction Ranging System

The figure schematically depicts two versions of an opto-electronic system, undergoing development at the time of reporting the information for this article, that is expected to be capable of measuring a distance between 2 and 10 m with an error of no more than 1 μm. The system would be...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Polarization/Spatial Combining of Laser-Diode Pump Beams

The figure depicts a breadboard version of an optical beam combiner that makes it possible to use the outputs of any or all of four multimode laser diodes to pump a non-planar ring oscillator (NPRO) laser. This apparatus could be an alternative to the one described in the immediately...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Web-Enabled Optoelectronic Particle-Fallout Monitor

A Web-enabled optoelectronic particle-fallout monitor has been developed as a prototype of future such instruments that (l) would be installed in multiple locations for which assurance of cleanliness is required and (2) could be interrogated and controlled in nearly real time by multiple remote...

Photonics West Exhibitor Preview

View these and other new products on display by exhibitors at Photonics West, January 22-24, in San Jose, CA. Visit Photonics Tech Briefs at Booth 1437.Visit for more information.

Better Be Running! Tools to Drive Design Success (part 4)

This is the last in our series of excerpts from "Better Be Running! Tools to Drive Design Success" by Dr. Ronald Hollis, President, CEO, and Co-founder of (Atlanta, GA). Written for business managers, the book focuses on manufacturing processes, tooling choices, and...

Articles : Research Lab
2007: The Year in Technology

In 2007, we focused on the global climate, and as gas prices soared, more novel technologies emerged in the development of alternative fuel and power sources. Once again, electronics and computers became smaller, faster, and cheaper, thanks to advances in nano-engineering and alternative battery technologies....

Application Briefs : Physical Sciences
Strainmeter Helps NASA Identify Continental Drift
TEGAM 1949-0001 ratio transformer
Geneva, OH

The EarthScope Project is an undertaking funded by the National Science Foundation in partnership with the United States Geological Survey and NASA to characterize the geology of North...

Application Briefs : Energy
Advanced Solar Array to Power Electric Propulsion Systems
Stretched Lens Array
Keller, TX

ENTECH has been awarded a contract from NASA’s Glenn Research Center, which will support the development of an advanced solar array for powering advanced electric propulsion systems...

MV1000 and MV2000

Yokogawa Electric Corp., Newnan, GA, has introduced the MV1000 and MV2000 paperless portable recorders with integrated display, recording, and communications functions. The units record on-site changes in temperature, voltage, current, flow, and pressure. The MV1000 features 24 input channels; the MV2000 has 48 channels. Both...

Who's Who
Terry Fong, Group Leader, Intelligent Robotics Group (IRG),

The NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group (IRG) is dedicated to enabling humans and robots to explore and learn about extreme environments, remote locations, and uncharted worlds. IRG conducts applied research in a wide range of areas with an emphasis on robotics systems science and...

Techs for License
Method of Driving a Field Emission Display

This technology makes possible Field Emission Displays (FEDs) and Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Displays (SEDs) that can use a variety of less expensive cathode materials and types. The technology adjusts the output of the cathodes by using a monitoring circuit between the cathode and the anode...

Techs for License
Cost-Effective Wind Turbine Generator

The Cutcher Wind Turbine Generator provides low- and no-cost power by utilizing tall structures such as rural and urban homes, as well as businesses and buildings. Unlike traditional wind-power generators, the Cutcher Wind Turbine Generator utilizes the wind current that is channeled around buildings and...

NASA Tech Needs
Low-Energy-Curing Technology

A company seeks new and/or advanced curing technologies to incorporate into metal packaging protective coating and decoration processes. Systems could include metal containers for aerosols, beverages, food products, and specialty packaging, all of which require external and/or internal protective coatings. Process...

Tech Needs
Inhibit or Deactivate Plant Enzymes

An organization wants to deactivate or otherwise interfere with the action of enzymes pectin methylesterase and polygalacturonase, which interfere with the processing of certain fruits by degrading fruit pectins. Initial processing of the whole fruit releases the enzymes and release continues during further...

Articles : Software
Open Innovation Model Helps P&G “Connect and Develop”
By Ed Getty
Research Fellow
Procter & Gamble
Cincinnati, OH

For almost 165 of Procter & Gamble’s 170-year history, nearly all growth came from innovating within the walls of our own R&D organization. In 2000, our newly appointed CEO, A.G. Lafley,...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Ka-Band TWT High-Efficiency Power Combiner for High-Rate Data Transmission

A four-port magic-T hybrid waveguide junction serves as the central component of a high-efficiency two-way power combiner circuit for transmitting a high-rate phase-modulated digital signal at a carrier frequency in the Ka-band (between 27 and 40 GHz). This power combiner...

Briefs : Information Technology
Reusable, Extensible High-Level Data-Distribution Concept

A framework for high-level specification of data distributions in data-parallel application programs has been conceived. [As used here, "distributions" signifies means to express locality (more specifically, locations of specified pieces of data) in a computing system composed of many...

Briefs : Information Technology
Monitoring by Use of Clusters of Sensor-Data Vectors

The inductive monitoring system (IMS) is a system of computer hardware and software for automated monitoring of the performance, operational condition, physical integrity, and other aspects of the "health" of a complex engineering system (e.g., an industrial process line or a spacecraft). The...

Briefs : Information Technology
Processing Satellite Imagery To Detect Waste Tire Piles

A methodology for processing commercially available satellite spectral imagery has been developed to enable identification and mapping of waste tire piles in California. The California Integrated Waste Management Board initiated the project and provided funding for the method's development....

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Circuit and Method for Communication Over DC Power Line

A circuit and method for transmitting and receiving on-off-keyed (OOK) signals with fractional signal-to-noise ratios uses available high-temperature silicon-on-insulator (SOI) components to move computational, sensing, and actuation abilities closer to high- temperature or high- ionizing...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Switched Band-Pass Filters for Adaptive Transceivers

Switched band-pass filters are key components of proposed adaptive, software- defined radio transceivers that would be parts of envisioned digital-data- communication networks that would enable real-time acquisition and monitoring of data from geographically distributed sensors. Examples of...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Loss-of-Control-Inhibitor Systems for Aircraft

Systems to provide improved tactile feedback to aircraft pilots are being developed to help the pilots maintain harmony between their control actions and the positions of aircraft control surfaces, thereby helping to prevent loss of control. A system of this type, denoted a loss-of-control-inhibitor...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Four-Way Ka-Band Power Combiner

The Power Combiner Structure has five ports, of which four are used for input and one for output. Thisis a simplified cross-sectional view: holes for fastening and cooling are omitted for the sake of clarity.A waveguide structure for combining the outputs of four amplifiers operating at 35 GHz (Ka band) is based...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Waveguide Calibrator for Multi-Element Probe Calibration

A calibrator, referred to as the "spider" design, can be used to calibrate probes incorporating multiple acoustic sensing elements. The application is an acoustic energy density probe, although the calibrator can be used for other types of acoustic probes. The calibrator relies on the use...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
High-Voltage Power Supply With Fast Rise and Fall Times
High-Voltage Power Supply With Fast Rise and Fall Times

A special-purpose high-voltage power supply can be electronically switched on and off with fast rise and fall times, respectively. The output potential is programmable from 20 to 1,250...

High-Voltage Power Supply With Fast Rise and Fall Times
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Noncoherent DTTLs for Symbol Synchronization

Noncoherent data-transition tracking loops (DTTLs) have been proposed for use as symbol synchronizers in digital communication receivers. [Communication- receiver subsystems that can perform their assigned functions in the absence of synchronization with the phases of their carrier signals ("carrier...

Briefs : Materials
CHEM-Based Self-Deploying Planetary Storage Tanks

A document proposes self-deploying storage tanks, based on the cold elastic hibernated memory (CHEM) concept, to be used on remote planets. The CHEM concept, described in previous NASA Tech Briefs articles, involves the use of open-cell shape-memory-polymer (SMP) foam sandwich structures to make...

Briefs : Materials
Sequestration of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in a Polymer

Sequestration of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNs) in a suitably chosen polymer is under investigation as a means of promoting the dissolution of the nanotubes into epoxies. The purpose of this investigation is to make it possible to utilize SWCNs as the reinforcing fibers in...

Briefs : Materials
Foam Core Shielding for Spacecraft

A foam core shield (FCS) system is now being developed to supplant multilayer insulation (MLI) systems heretofore installed on spacecraft for thermal management and protection against meteoroid impacts. A typical FCS system consists of a core sandwiched between a face sheet and a back sheet. The core can...

Question of the Week
Would You Cook with ‘Julia?’