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...

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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...

Blog
Bone Implant

A method to produce synthetic bone, using techniques to make vehicle catalytic converters, is being developed by researchers at the University of Warwick. The technique involves a state-of-the-art extrusion of the implant material through a mold, to produce a three-dimensional honeycomb texture with uniform pores. The material can...

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Safe Sleeping

Parents buy millions of baby monitors each year in the U.S., but most transmit only sounds or video images of the baby - both useful, but only if a parent is listening or watching. University of Florida engineering researchers have built a prototype baby monitor that focuses on a baby's breathing. If the baby's chest stops moving,...

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Computer Search Model

Researchers at the University of Portsmouth's Sports Science and Mathematics departments and the U.S. Coast Guard are developing a computer model to predict how long someone will survive when lost at sea, which will in turn determine when to stop a search-and-rescue operation. Called the Search and Rescue Survival Model,...

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Energy-Producing Water Current

A University of Michigan engineer has made a machine that works like a fish to turn potentially destructive vibrations in fluid flows into clean, renewable power. Called VIVACE for Vortex Induced Vibrations for Aquatic Clean Energy, the hydrokinetic energy system relies on vortex-induced vibrations, undulations...

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Bendable Electronics

Scientists at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana Campaign have developed a method to fabricate stretchable electronics that enables the user to subject circuits to extreme twisting. This technology promises flexible sensors, transmitters, photovoltaic and microfluidic devices, and other...

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Supercomputing

Five years ago, Virginia Tech burst onto the high-performance computing scene using Apple Power Mac G5 computers to build System X, one of the fastest supercomputers of its time. Recently, Kirk Cameron and Srinidhi Varadarajan, two professors of computer science in Virginia Tech's College of Engineering, architected a new...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Crew Activity Analyzer

The crew activity analyzer (CAA) is a system of electronic hardware and software for automatically identifying patterns of group activity among crew members working together in an office, cockpit, workshop, laboratory,...

Briefs: Software
Distributing Data to Hand-Held Devices in a Wireless Network

ADROIT is a developmental computer program for real-time distribution of complex data streams for display on Web-enabled, portable terminals held by members of an operational team of a spacecraft-command- and-control center who may be located away from the center. Examples of such...

A method of incorporating information, acquired by a multibeam laser or radar altimeter system, pertaining to the distance and direction between the system and a nearby target...

Briefs: Information Technology
MODIS Atmospheric Data Handler

A number of science data sets are derived from the observations of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument onboard NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites. These data typically contain information on retrieval techniques, quality-control flags, and geo-referencing information. These...

Briefs: Information Technology
Reducing Surface Clutter in Cloud Profiling Radar Data

An algorithm has been devised to reduce ground clutter in the data products of the CloudSat Cloud Profiling Radar (CPR), which is a nadir-looking radar instrument, in orbit around the Earth, that measures power backscattered by clouds as a function of distance from the instrument. Ground...

Prototype logic gates made of n-channel junction field-effect transistors (JFETs) and epitaxial resistors have been demonstrated, with a view toward eventual implementation of...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Spaceborne Hybrid-FPGA System for Processing FTIR Data

Progress has been made in a continuing effort to develop a spaceborne computer system for processing readout data from a Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer to reduce the volume of data transmitted to Earth. The approach followed in this effort, oriented toward reducing design...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
FPGA Coprocessor for Accelerated Classification of Images

An effort related to that described in the preceding article focuses on developing a spaceborne processing platform for fast and accurate onboard classification of image data, a critical part of modern satellite image processing. The approach again has been to exploit the versatility of...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
SiC JFET Transistor Circuit Model for Extreme Temperature Range

A technique for simulating extreme-temperature operation of integrated circuits that incorporate silicon carbide (SiC) junction field-effect transistors (JFETs) has been developed. The technique involves modification of NGSPICE, which is an open-source version of the popular...

In an alternative to a prior technique of time-domain- reflectometry (TDR) in which very short excitation pulses are used, the pulses have very short rise and fall times and the pulse...

Companies are constantly looking for ways to monitor and track the critical device information that resides in their remote assets. They also need to understand the environments in which their devices...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Update on Development of SiC Multi-Chip Power Modules

Progress has been made in a continuing effort to develop multi-chip power modules (SiC MCPMs). This effort at an earlier stage was reported in “SiC Multi-Chip Power Modules as Power-System Building Blocks” (LEW-18008-1), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 31, No. 2 (February 2007), page 28.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Radio Ranging System for Guidance of Approaching Spacecraft

A radio communication and ranging system has been proposed for determining the relative position and orientations of two approaching spacecraft to provide guidance for docking maneuvers. On Earth, the system could be used similarly for guiding approaching aircraft and for automated...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Improved Short-Circuit Protection for Power Cells in Series

A scheme for protection against short circuits has been devised for series strings of lithium electrochemical cells that contain built-in short-circuit protection devices, which go into a high-resistance, current-limiting state when heated by excessive current. If cells are simply...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Communication Limits Due to Photon-Detector Jitter

A theoretical and experimental study was conducted of the limit imposed by photon-detector jitter on the capacity of a pulse-position- modulated optical communication system in which the receiver operates in a photon-counting (weak-signal) regime. Photon-detector jitter is a random delay between...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Electromagnetically Clean Solar Arrays

The term “electromagnetically clean solar array” (“EMCSA”) refers to a panel that contains a planar array of solar photovoltaic cells and that, in comparison with a functionally equivalent solar-array panel of a type heretofore used on spacecraft, (1) exhibits less electromagnetic interference to...

A method of (1) sealing a sample of material acquired in a possibly biologically contaminated (“dirty”) environment into a hermetic container, (2) sterilizing the outer surface of...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
System for Removing Pollutants From Incinerator Exhaust

A system for removing pollutants — primarily sulfur dioxide and mixed oxides of nitrogen (NOx) — from incinerator exhaust has been demonstrated. The system is also designed secondarily to remove particles, hydrocarbons, and CO. The system is intended for use in an enclosed...

Coded optic mask foil
Dynamics Research Corp. (DRC)
Andover, MA
978-475-9090
www.drc.com

The High Energy Transient Explorer (HETE-2)...

Application Briefs: Communications
System Provides Critical Communications Among Stennis Rocket Test Team Members
Subsystem Multiplexer (Sub-MUX)
Quintron Systems
Santa Maria, CA
805-928-4343
www.quintron.com

NASA has awarded Quintron Systems an Indefinite-Delivery- Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contract, and the first task order is for a command and...

As NASA evolves its vision for space exploration and Earth science, greater demands are placed on advanced communications...

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