Briefs: Information Technology
Modeling and Grid Generation of Iced Airfoils

SmaggIce Version 2.0 is a software toolkit for geometric modeling and grid generation for two-dimensional, singleand multi-element, clean and iced airfoils. A previous version of SmaggIce was described in “Preparing and Analyzing Iced Airfoils,” NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 8 (August 2004),...

Briefs: Information Technology
Rocket Science 101 Interactive Educational Program

To better educate the public on the basic design of NASA's current mission rockets, Rocket Science 101 software has been developed as an interactive program designed to retain a user's attention and to teach about basic rocket parts. This program also has helped to expand NASA's presence on the...

Briefs: Information Technology
Automated Identification of Nucleotide Sequences

STITCH is a computer program that processes raw nucleotide-sequence data to automatically remove unwanted vector information, perform reverse-complement comparison, stitch shorter sequences together to make longer ones to which the shorter ones presumably belong, and search against the user's...

Briefs: Information Technology
Balloon Design Software

PlanetaryBalloon Version 5.0 is a software package for the design of meridionally lobed planetary balloons. It operates in a Windows environment, and programming was done in Visual Basic 6. By including the effects of circular lobes with load tapes, skin mass, hoop and meridional stress, and elasticity in the structural...

Briefs: Information Technology
Fusing Image Data for Calculating Position of an Object

A computer program has been written for use in maintaining the calibration, with respect to the positions of imaged objects, of a stereoscopic pair of cameras on each of the Mars Explorer Rovers Spirit and Opportunity. The program identifies and locates a known object in the images. The...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Creep Forming of Carbon-Reinforced Ceramic-Matrix Composites

A set of lecture slides describes an investigation of creep forming as a means of imparting desired curvatures to initially flat stock plates of carbon-reinforced ceramic-matrix composite (C-CMC) materials. The investigation is apparently part of a continuing effort to develop improved...

A shape reminiscent of a dog bone has been found to be superior to other shapes for mechanical-amplification horns that are components of piezoelectrically driven actuators used in...

Briefs: Medical
Benchtop Detection of Proteins

A process, and a benchtop-scale apparatus for implementing the process, have been developed to detect proteins associated with specific microbes in water. The process and apparatus may also be useful for detection of proteins in other, more complex liquids. There may be numerous potential applications, including...

Briefs: Medical
Recombinant Collagenlike Proteins

A group of collagenlike recombinant proteins containing high densities of biologically active sites has been invented. The method used to express these proteins is similar to a method of expressing recombinant procollagens and collagens described in U. S. Patent 5,593,859, “Synthesis of human procollagens and...

Briefs: Medical
Remote Sensing of Parasitic Nematodes in Plants

A method and apparatus for remote sensing of parasitic nematodes in plants, now undergoing development, is based on measurement of visible and infrared spectral reflectances of fields where the plants are growing. Initial development efforts have been concentrated on detecting reniform nematodes...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Direct Coupling From WGM Resonator Disks to Photodetectors

Output coupling of light from a whispering- gallery-mode (WGM) optical resonator directly to a photodetector has recently been demonstrated. By "directly" is meant that the coupling is effected without use of intervening optical components. Heretofore, coupling of light into and out of...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Multiple-Parameter, Low-False-Alarm Fire-Detection Systems

Fire-detection systems incorporating multiple sensors that measure multiple parameters are being developed for use in storage depots, cargo bays of ships and aircraft, and other locations not amenable to frequent, direct visual inspection. These systems are intended to improve upon...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Using Digital Radiography To Image Liquid Nitrogen in Voids

Digital radiography by use of (1) a field- portable x-ray tube that emits low- energy x rays and (2) an electronic imaging x-ray detector has been found to be an effective technique for detecting liquid nitrogen inside voids in thermal- insulation panels. The technique was conceived as...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Plasmoid Thruster for High Specific-Impulse Propulsion

A report discusses a new multi-turn, multi-lead design for the first generation PT-1 (Plasmoid Thruster) that produces thrust by expelling plasmas with embedded magnetic fields (plasmoids) at high velocities. This thruster is completely electrodeless, capable of using in-situ resources, and...

Briefs: Information Technology
Analysis Method for Quantifying Vehicle Design Goals

A document discusses a method for using Design Structure Matrices (DSM), coupled with high-level tools representing important life-cycle parameters, to comprehensively conceptualize a flight/ground space transportation system design by dealing with such variables as performance, up-front...

Briefs: Information Technology
Improved Tracking of Targets by Cameras on a Mars Rover

A paper describes a method devised to increase the robustness and accuracy of tracking of targets by means of three stereoscopic pairs of video cameras on a Mars-rover-type exploratory robotic vehicle. Two of the camera pairs are mounted on a mast that can be adjusted in pan and tilt; the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Sample Caching Subsystem

A paper describes the Sample Caching Subsystem (SCS), a method for storing planetary core and soil samples in a container that seals the samples away from the environment to protect the integrity of the samples and any organics they might contain. This process places samples in individual sleeves that are sealed within a...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Multistage Passive Cooler for Spaceborne Instruments

A document describes a three-stage passive radiative cooler for a cryogenic spectrometer to be launched into a low orbit around the Moon. This cooler is relatively lightweight and compact, and its basic design is scalable and otherwise adaptable to other applications in which there are...

Briefs: Information Technology
GVIPS Models and Software

Two reports discuss, respectively, (1) the generalized viscoplasticity with potential structure (GVIPS) class of mathematical models and (2) the Constitutive Material Parameter Estimator (COMPARE) computer program. GVIPS models are constructed within a thermodynamics- and potential-based theoretical framework, wherein...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Stowable Energy-Absorbing Rocker-Bogie Suspensions

A report discusses the design of the rocker-bogie suspensions of the Mars Exploration Rover vehicles, which were landed on Mars in January 2004. Going beyond the basic requirements regarding mobility on uneven terrain, the design had to satisfy requirements (1) to enable each suspension to...

Evolutionary rather than revolutionary changes characterize the motion control market. Motors and motor controllers continue to gravitate toward higher performance and...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Precision Motors Help Guided Parachutes Deliver Cargo

The Onyx guided parachute designed and manufactured by Atair Aerospace (Brooklyn, NY) is an autonomous precision airdrop system. The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) uses motors and...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Hybrid Stepper Motors

AMETEK Technical and Industrial Products (Kent, OH) has unveiled its MAE brand hybrid stepper motors in three series for high performance positioning applications. The HY Series steppers, in sizes 16, 17, 23, and 42,...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Ceramic Linear Motor Actuator

The N-310 NEXACT ceramic linear motor actuator from Physik Instrumente L.P. exhibits a 10 Newton push-pull force with 20 mm travel and a maximum speed of 10 mm/sec. It provides picometer resolution, millisecond...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Vibration Motor Driver IC

The Melexis MLX90283 vibration motor driver IC from Melexis Microelectronic Integrated Systems (Concord, NH) is designed to overcome the problem of single-phase brushless dc motors starting in the incorrect...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Motion Simulators

The ARMS series direct-drive rotary motion simulators from Aerotech (Pittsburgh) can provide resolutions as fine as 0.02 arcsecond, with accuracy to +/-2.5 arcsecond and repeatability to +/-0.5 arcsecond. The motor...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Spring Brake

The BFK458-L stopping and holding brake from Lenze-AC Tech (Uxbrdige, MA) is guaranteed to run for 10,000,000 cycles or two years of service life. The spring-applied brake has a cast iron casing and carries a two-year...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Hybrid Linear Actuators

Haydon Switch & Instrument Inc.’s 35000 series double stack hybrid linear actuators measure 1.4 square in. and are available in captive, non-captive, and external linear versions. The size 14 actuators are...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Piezoelectric amplifier

DSM (Franklin, TN) has introduced the VF-90 linear photoelectric amplifier for space-constrained and OEM applications. Compatible with National Instrument’s CompactRIO and CompactDAQ modular chassis, the amplifier...

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