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Microfluidic Device

A team from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory was having trouble making a chip that could withstand the rigors of the European ExoMars rover mission, scheduled for launch in 2013, until they turned to materials called perfluoropolyethers(PFPEs). PFPEs were first pioneered by researchers at University of North Carolina Chapel...

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Microwave Signals from Silicon Chip

Scientists have developed a method to generate high-power signals at frequencies of 200 GHz and higher on an ordinary silicon chip, which could lead to microwave radiation being used as a nondestructive imaging technology to detect diseases, or for security purposes. The method, proposed by Ehsan Afshari,...

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Electricity from Auto Exhausts

Researchers at Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft for Physical Measurement Techniques 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...

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High Tunability Range Crystals

Physicists at the City College of New York (CCNY) have developed near-infrared broadband laser materials with tunability ranges about triple those of earlier crystals. For the first time, tunable laser operation was achieved at both the 1.33-micron and 1.55-micron telecommunication windows, from a single optical...

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NASA Briefs

A system that estimates the global radius of curvature (GRoC) of a segmented telescope mirror has been developed by the Marshall Space Flight Center for use in a larger system that exerts precise control over the displacements of the mirror segments. This system makes it possible to control the GRoC of the mirror with sufficient...

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Photonic Beetle

Researchers have been unable to build an ideal photonic crystal, or "champion" crystal, impeding the dream of ultrafast optical computers that run on light (photons) instead of electricity (electrons). But now, University of Utah chemists have discovered that photonic crystals with the ideal, diamond-like structure are found in...

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Walking Aid

Johns Hopkins University undergraduates have designed and built a device to enable critically ill, intensive care unit patients to leave their beds and walk, while remaining tethered to essential life-support equipment. The invention allows doctors to better understand whether carefully supervised rehabilitation, as opposed to...

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NASA Briefs

The Johnson Space Center offers a Mathcad computer program that largely automates the design and analysis of the restraint layer of an inflatable vessel. Prior to the development of this program, the design task was performed by use of a difficult-to-use spreadsheet program that required manual addition of rows and columns, depending...

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Possibly Toxic Buckyballs

A study predicts that carbon-60 molecules, or buckyballs, are easily absorbed into animal cells, providing a possible explanation for how the molecules could be toxic to humans. Using computer simulations, University of Calgary scientists modeled the interaction between carbon-60 molecules and cell membranes. They found...

An improved method of computing positions of objects from digitized images acquired by two or more cameras (see figure) has been developed for use in tracking debris shed by a...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Charge-Control Unit for Testing Lithium-Ion Cells

A charge-control unit was developed as part of a program to validate Li-ion cells packaged together in batteries for aerospace use. The lithium-ion cell charge- control unit will be useful to...

Briefs: Information Technology
Reduced-Order Kalman Filtering for Processing Relative Measurements

A study in Kalman-filter theory has led to a method of processing relative measurements to estimate the current state of a physical system, using less computation than has previously been thought necessary. As used here, "relative measurements" signifies measurements that yield...

The figure schematically depicts a lidar system for measuring optical properties of clouds and aerosols at three wavelengths. The system is designed to be operated aboard the NASA...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Spaceborne Processor Array

A Spaceborne Processor Array in Multifunctional Structure (SPAMS) can lower the total mass of the electronic and structural overhead of spacecraft, resulting in reduced launch costs, while increasing the science return through dynamic onboard computing. SPAMS integrates the multifunctional structure (MFS) and the...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Commercial Product Activation Using RFID

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) would be used for commercial product activation, according to a proposal. The concept of RFID is not new: RFID systems are widely used in commerce for tracking...

A chromatic modulator has been proposed to enable the separate detection of the red, green, and blue (RGB) color components of the same scene by a single charge- coupled device (CCD),...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Instrumentation System Diagnoses a Thermocouple

An improved self-validating thermocouple (SVT) instrumentation system not only acquires readings from a thermocouple but is also capable of detecting deterioration and a variety of discrete...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Cup Cylindrical Waveguide Antenna

The cup cylindrical waveguide antenna (CCWA) is a short backfire microwave antenna capable of simultaneously supporting the transmission or reception of two distinct signals having opposite circular...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Radiation-Insensitive Inverse Majority Gates

To help satisfy a need for high-density logic circuits insensitive to radiation, it has been proposed to realize inverse majority gates as microscopic vacuum electronic devices. In comparison with...

Briefs: Information Technology
Aerobraking Maneuver (ABM) Report Generator

abmREPORT Version 3.1 is a Perl script that extracts vital summarization information from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) aerobraking ABM build process. This information facilitates sequence reviews, and provides a high-level summarization of the sequence for mission management.

Briefs: Information Technology
ABM Drag_Pass Report Generator

dragREPORT software was developed in parallel with abmREPORT, which is described in the preceding article. Both programs were built on the capabilities created during that process. This tool generates a drag_pass report that summarizes vital information from the MRO aerobreaking drag_pass build process to...

Briefs: Information Technology
Transformation of OODT CAS To Perform Larger Tasks

A computer program denoted OODT CAS has been transformed to enable performance of larger tasks that involve greatly increased data volumes and increasingly intensive processing of data on heterogeneous, geographically dispersed computers. Prior to the transformation, OODT CAS (also alternatively...

Briefs: Information Technology
Visualization Component of Vehicle Health Decision Support System

The visualization front-end of a Decision Support System (DSS) also includes an analysis engine linked to vehicle telemetry, and a database of learned models for known behaviors. Because the display is graphical rather than text-based, the summarization it provides has a greater...

Briefs: Information Technology
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Uplink Analysis Tool

This software analyzes Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) orbital geometry with respect to Mars Exploration Rover (MER) contact windows, and is the first tool of its kind designed specifically to support MRO-MER interface coordination. Prior to this automated tool, this analysis was done manually...

Briefs: Information Technology
G-Guidance Interface Design for Small Body Mission Simulation

The G-Guidance software implements a guidance and control (G&C) algorithm for small-body, autonomous proximity operations, developed under the Small Body GN&C task at JPL. The software is written in Matlab and interfaces with G-OPT, a JPL-developed optimization package written...

Briefs: Information Technology
DSN Scheduling Engine

The DSN (Deep Space Network) Scheduling Engine targets all space missions that use DSN services. It allows clients to issue scheduling, conflict identification, conflict resolution, and status requests in XML over a Java Message Service interface. The scheduling requests may include new requirements that represent a set of...

Briefs: Information Technology
Replacement Sequence of Events Generator

The soeWINDOW program automates the generation of an ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations)- compliant sub-RSOE (Replacement Sequence of Events) by extracting a specified temporal window from an RSOE while maintaining page header information. RSOEs contain a significant amount of information...

Briefs: Information Technology
Force-Control Algorithm for Surface Sampling

A G-FCON algorithm is designed for small-body surface sampling. It has a linearization component and a feedback component to enhance performance. The algorithm regulates the contact force between the tip of a robotic arm attached to a spacecraft and a surface during sampling. The control algorithm is...

Briefs: Information Technology
Problem Reporting System

The Problem Reporting System (PRS) is a Web application, running on two Web servers (load-balanced) and two database servers (RAID-5), which establishes a system for submission, editing, and sharing of reports to manage risk assessment of anomalies identified in NASA's flight projects. PRS consolidates diverse anomaly-...

Question of the Week
Will Self-Erasing Chips Catch On?

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