Briefs: Physical Sciences
Small Deflection Energy Analyzer for Energy and Angular Distributions

The development of the Small Deflection Energy Analyzer (SDEA) charged-particle spectrometer for energy and angle distributions responds to a longstanding need to measure the wind velocity vector in Earth’s thermosphere, and to obtain the ion-drift vector in the ionosphere....

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Polymeric Bladder for Storing Liquid Oxygen

A proposed system for storing oxygen in liquid form and dispensing it in gaseous form is based on (1) initial subcooling of the liquid oxygen; (2) containing the liquid oxygen in a flexible vessel; (3) applying a gas spring to the flexible vessel to keep the oxygen compressed above the saturation...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Pyrotechnic Simulator/Stray-Voltage Detector

The concept for a dual test item has been developed for use in simulating live initiators/detonators during ground testing to verify the proper operation of the safing and firing circuitry for ground and flight systems ordnance as well as continuous monitoring for any stray voltages. Previous ordnance...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Inventions Utilizing Microfluidics and Colloidal Particles

Several related inventions pertain to families of devices that utilize microfluidics and/or colloidal particles to obtain useful physical effects. The families of devices can be summarized as follows:

Briefs: Physical Sciences
RuO₂ Thermometer for Ultra-Low Temperatures

A small, high-resolution, low-power thermometer has been developed for use in ultra-low temperatures that uses multiple RuO₂ chip resistors. The use of commercially available thick-film RuO₂ chip resistors for measuring cryogenic temperatures is well known due to their low cost, long-term...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Ultra-Compact, High-Resolution LADAR System for 3D Imaging

An eye-safe LADAR system weighs under 500 grams and has range resolution of 1 mm at 10 m. This laser uses an adjustable, tiny microelectromechanical system (MEMS) mirror that was made in SiWave to sweep laser frequency. The size of the laser device is small (70×50×13 mm). The LADAR...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Dual-Channel Multi-Purpose Telescope

A dual-channel telescope allows for a wide-field telescope design with a good, narrow field channel of fewer surfaces for shorter-wavelength or planet-finding applications. The design starts with a Korsch three-mirror-anastigmat (TMA) telescope that meets the mission criteria for image quality over a wide...

Briefs: Information Technology
Algorithm for Computing Particle/Surface Interactions

An algorithm has been devised for predicting the behaviors of sparsely spatially distributed particles impinging on a solid surface in a rarefied atmosphere. Under the stated conditions, prior particle-transport models in which (1) dense distributions of particles are treated as continuum...

Briefs: Information Technology
Safety and Quality Training Simulator

A portable system of electromechanical and electronic hardware and documentation has been developed as an automated means of instructing technicians in matters of safety and quality. The system enables elimination of most of the administrative tasks associated with traditional training. Customized,...

Briefs: Information Technology
Rover Slip Validation and Prediction Algorithm

A physical-based simulation has been developed for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission that applies a slope-induced wheel-slippage to the rover location estimator. Using the digital elevation map from the stereo images, the computational method resolves the quasi-dynamic equations of motion...

Briefs: Information Technology
Supply-Chain Optimization Template

The Supply-Chain Optimization Tem - plate (SCOT) is an instructional guide for identifying, evaluating, and optimizing (including re-engineering) aerospace-oriented supply chains. The SCOT was derived from the Supply Chain Council’s Supply-Chain Operations Reference (SCC SCOR) Model, which is more generic and...

Briefs: Information Technology
Quickly Approximating the Distance Between Two Objects

A method of quickly approximating the distance between two objects (one smaller, regarded as a point; the other larger and complexly shaped) has been devised for use in computationally simulating motions of the objects for the purpose of planning the motions to prevent collisions. The method...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Cryogenic Pupil Alignment Test Architecture for Aberrated Pupil Images

A document describes cryogenic test architecture for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) integrated science instrument module (ISIM). The ISIM element primarily consists of a mechanical metering structure, three science instruments, and a fine guidance sensor. One of the...

Briefs: Information Technology
Thermal Transport Model for Heat Sink Design

A document discusses the development of a finite element model for describing thermal transport through microcalorimeter arrays in order to assist in heat-sinking design. A fabricated multiabsorber transition edge sensor (PoST) was designed in order to reduce device wiring density by a factor of...

Briefs: Information Technology

Utilizing a Compact Color Microscope Imaging System (CCMIS), a unique algorithm has been developed that combines human intelligence along with machine vision...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Objective Lens Optimized for Wavefront Delivery, Pupil Imaging, and Pupil Ghosting

An interferometer objective lens (or diverger) may be used to transform a collimated beam into a diverging or converging beam. A typical objective lens is optimized to deliver a diffraction-limited beam to an optic or optical system under test. Often, imaging...

Briefs: Imaging
CMOS Camera Array With Onboard Memory

A compact CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) camera system has been developed with high resolution (1.3 Megapixels), a USB (universal serial bus) 2.0 interface, and an onboard memory. A compact design of a 2×4 in. (≈5×10 cm) multilayer PCB (printed circuit board) was designed that contains...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Processing Images of Craters for Spacecraft Navigation

A crater-detection algorithm has been conceived to enable automation of what, heretofore, have been manual processes for utilizing images of craters on a celestial body as landmarks for navigating a spacecraft flying near or landing on that body. The images are acquired by an electronic...

News: Energy

The Naval Research Laboratory's Ion Tiger - a hydrogen-powered fuel cell unmanned air vehicle (UAV) - flew for 26 hours and 1 minute carrying a 5-pound payload, setting an unofficial flight...

Question of the Week
Should business methods be eligible for patents?

This week's question concerns patent law. Traditionally, the courts have limited patent eligibility to inventions that involve machinery or physical transformations. Increasingly, innovations in the areas of software, medical diagnostics, and finance have raised questions concerning the...

News: Energy
Electrochemical Energy Storage Technologies and the Automotive Industry

A lecture from Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division covers some promising materials research efforts that are expected to lead to improved battery technology. Mark Verbrugge, the director of the Chemical Sciences and Materials Systems Lab at General...

News: Energy

Scientists at the Carnegie Institution for Science have found that high pressure can be used to make a unique hydrogen-storage material. The researchers found that the normally unreactive,...

News: Energy

PowerTutor, a new application developed by researchers at the University of Michigan for the Android smartphone, shows users how much power their applications are consuming. PowerTutor...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing

Aerospace engineers from the U.S. Air Force Academy are applying the principles that keep airplanes aloft to create a new wave energy system that is durable, efficient, and can...

News: Energy

Earlier this year, NASA introduced an algae photo-bioreactor that grows algae in municipal wastewater to produce biofuel and a variety of other products. The NASA bioreactor is an...

Briefs: Information Technology
Progressive Classification Using Support Vector Machines

Progressive Classification Using Support Vector MachinesAn algorithm for progressive classification of data, analogous to progressive rendering of images, makes it possible to compromise between speed and accuracy. This algorithm uses support vector machines (SVMs) to classify data. An SVM...

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
A Friendly Backseat Driver

As someone who’s driven a number of years for hundreds of thousands of miles, I normally don't like someone telling me how to drive. I'm guiding the car at a speed I feel comfortable with, see the road obstacles ahead, and (supposedly) know where I’m going. Well, researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology...

News: Transportation

The need to get rid of excess heat creates a major source of inefficiency in everything from computer processor chips to car engines. According to Peter Hagelstein, an...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing

Small amounts of oil leave a fluorescent sheen on polluted water. Oil sheen is hard to remove, even when the water is aerated with ozone or filtered through sand. A University of Utah...

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