A method of rapid detection of bacterial spores is based on the discovery that a heat shock consisting of exposure to a temperature of 100 °C for 10 minutes causes the complete...

An established method of room-temperature interferometric null testing of mirrors having simple shapes (e.g., flat, spherical, or spheroidal) has been augmented to enable measurement...

Microleaks for inlets of mass spectrometers used to analyze atmospheric gases can be fabricated in silicon wafers by means of photolithography, etching, and other techniques that are...

Series-coupled pairs of whispering-gallery-mode optical microresonators have been demonstrated as prototypes of stable, narrow-band-pass photonic filters. Characteristics that are generally...

An improved method of model-based diagnosis of a complex engineering system is embodied in an algorithm that involves considerably less computation than do prior such algorithms....

A computationally efficient method has been developed to enable optimization of the placement of sensors for the purpose of diagnosis of a complex engineering system (e.g., an aircraft or...

Briefs: Information Technology
Truncation Depth Rule-of-Thumb for Convolutional Codes

In this innovation, it is shown that a commonly used rule of thumb (that the truncation depth of a convolutional code should be five times the memory length, m, of the code) is accurate only for rate 1/2 codes. In fact, the truncation depth should be 2.5 m/(1 – r), where r is the code...

A proposed metrology system would be incorporated into a proposed telescope that would include focusing optics on a rigid bench connected via a deployable mast to another rigid bench...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Formation Flying of Components of a Large Space Telescope

A conceptual space telescope having an aperture tens of meters wide and a focal length of hundreds of meters would be implemented as a group of six separate optical modules flying in formation: a primary-membrane-mirror module, a relay-mirror module, a focal-plane-assembly module...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Laser Metrology Heterodyne Phase-Locked Loop

A method reduces sensitivity to noise in a signal from a laser heterodyne interferometer. The phase-locked loop (PLL) removes glitches that occur in a zero-crossing detector's output [that can happen if the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the heterodyne signal is low] by the use of an internal...

Crystalline whispering gallery mode resonators (CWGMRs) made of crystals with axial symmetry have ordinary and extraordinary families of optical modes. These modes have substantially...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Spatial Modulation Improves Performance in CTIS

Suitably formulated spatial modulation of a scene imaged by a computed-tomography imaging spectrometer (CTIS) has been found to be useful as a means of improving the imaging performance of the CTIS. As used here, “spatial modulation” signifies the imposition of additional, artificial structure...

Podcasts
Interview with Dr. Woodrow Whitlow Jr., Director, John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

As Director of NASA’s John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Woodrow Whitlow Jr. controls an annual budget of approximately $650 million and manages a labor force comprised of roughly 1,619 civil service employees who are supported...

Articles: Electronics & Computers
Deciphering the New SUMIT™ Specification

The new SUMIT specification is managed by the Small Form Factor Special Interest Group (SFF-SIG). SFF-SIG is a newly formed, non-profit industry group that develops, promotes, and supports small...

Articles: Electronics & Computers
Applying Cognitive Memory to Pattern Recognition

Whether you are involved in robotics or other domains, pattern recognition is essential to progress. A new device, called the CogniMem chip, offers a hardware solution to this problem....

Articles: Electronics & Computers
Direct Spray Liquid Cooling Systems

For decades military platforms have included electronics for avionics, vehicle controls, radios, radar, sonar and fire control. From a computational standpoint most of these systems could be accomplished...

Features: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Micromachining with Lasers

Laser micromachining involves using light to remove material. Lasers can also be used in many other applications such as welding, marking, additive manufacturing and surface alteration, but these fall outside the...

Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Measuring LED and Solid State Lighting Performance

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) and solid state lighting (SSL) products that incorporate LEDs pose many measurement challenges compared with other lighting elements, such as traditional...

View these and other new products on display by exhibitors at Photonics West, January 27-29, in San Jose, CA. Visit Photonics Tech Briefs at Booth 832.Visit http://spie.org/x23685.xml for more...

Blog
Blood-Detecting Yarn

A carbon nanotube-coated smart yarn that conducts electricity could be woven into soft fabrics that detect blood and monitor health, engineers at the University of Michigan have demonstrated. Currently, smart textiles are made primarily of metallic or optical fibers, which are fragile and uncomfortable; metal fibers also...

Blog
Top 5 INSIDER Stories of 2008

#5: Researchers at Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Germany are working on a thermoelectric generator that converts the heat from car exhaust fumes into electricity. The thermoelectric module feeds the energy into the car's electronic systems, reducing fuel consumption and carbon dioxide from vehicles. Click...

Application Briefs: Motion Control
Computational Fluid Dynamics Aids Aerospace Apps

Just a few years ago, the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in most aerospace companies was restricted to pure research or troubleshooting problems with existing designs. But in the...

Blog
Vote for Product of the Year 2008

Each month, the editors of NASA Tech Briefs choose a Product of the Month - a new product with exceptional technical merit and practical value for the engineering community. Now is your chance to vote for the one product among those 12 Products of the Month that you feel was the most significant new product in...

Blog
Cancer Detector

A Stanford University-led research team has developed a prototype blood scanner that can find cancer markers in the bloodstream in early stages of the disease, potentially allowing for earlier treatment and dramatically improved chances of survival. Based on MagArray biodetection chips, the device uses magnetic nanotechnology to...

Blog
Top INSIDER Stories of 2008

As the year comes to a close, we highlight the ten INSIDER stories that have generated the highest number of click-throughs. These are the ten stories in which INSIDERs were most interested in 2008. Today's INSIDER highlights numbers 10 through 6. Thursday's INSIDER will highlight the top five stories of...

Blog
Icecube Telescope

Physicists, engineers, and technicians from the University of Delaware's Bartol Research Institute are part of an international team working to build the world's largest neutrino telescope in the Antarctic ice. Neutrinos have no electrical charge and can travel millions of miles through space. Dubbed "IceCube," the telescope...

Blog
Spirit of Innovation Awards

The Pete Conrad "Spirit of Innovation" Awards combine education, innovation, and entrepreneurship by challenging high school students to design products using science and technology. The competition is named after the late Pete Conrad, commander of Apollo 12 and the third man to walk on the Moon. After retiring from...

Blog
Advancing Fusion

Researchers at MIT's Alcator C-Mod fusion reactor are trying to make the promise of fusion as a future power source closer to reality. Physicist Yijun Lin and principal research scientist John Rice are demonstrating a method to use radio frequency waves to circulate hot plasma inside the reactor chamber, thus controlling heat...

Blog
Current Attractions

In March 2008, astronaut Garrett Reisman flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour to the International Space Station, where he spent 95 days living and working in space before returning to Earth in June aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. Reisman originally applied to become an astronaut when in grad school at CalTech, but did...

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