Briefs : Software
Runge-Kutta Circular-Advection-Problem Solver

Release 3.0 of the Multi-Stage Runge-Kutta Circular Advection Solver is a computer program that solves the circular-advection problem by use of a general m-stage Runge-Kutta scheme (for m = 1, 2, and 4) on a Cartesian (x,y) grid with optimized coefficients. [The circular-advection problem, ¶u/¶t =...

Briefs : Software
Software Optimizes Piping System for Sewage Treatment Plant

A $90 million AUS (Australian dollar) upgrade ($49 million USD) to the Cronulla Sewage Treatment Plant in Southern Sydney, Australia, was undertaken to meet the requirements of a growing population and to add advanced sewage treatment processes including ultraviolet disinfection. During...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Micromachining of a Mesoscale Vibratory Gyroscope

A micromachining-based fabrication process has been proposed for low-volume production of copies of a mesoscale vibratory gyroscope. The process would include steps of photolithography, metallization, deep reactive-ion etching (RIE), Au/Au thermal-compression bonding, and anodic bonding. In the...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Deforming Fibrous Insulating Tiles To Fit Curved Surfaces

A curved tile of refractory silica-fiber-based or alumina-fiber-based thermal-insulation material can be formed from an initially flat billet in a process that includes pressing against a curved mold surface during heating. The mold or tile curvature can be concave or convex. Curved tiles...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Optimization of Orientations of Spacecraft Reaction Wheels

A report presents a method of optimizing the orientations of three reaction wheels used to regulate the angular momentum of a spacecraft. The method yields an orientation matrix that minimizes mass, torque, and power demand of the reaction wheels while maximizing the allowable duration...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Compact System Detects Potentially Explosive Gas Mixtures

The figure depicts selected aspects of a "smart" microelectronic-based hazardous-gas-detection system that simultaneously measures concentrations of hydrogen and oxygen. Unlike conventional gas-leak-detection systems built around mass spectrometers, this system is not restricted...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Scanning Thermography

Scanning thermography is a noncontact, nondestructive technique that makes it possible to find defects hidden inside structural components in a variety of settings. Scanning thermography can be used to perform inspections of objects that may have large areas and a variety of shapes and that are found in a variety of...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Ultrahigh-Vacuum Arc-Jet Source of Nitrogen for Epitaxy

An arc-jet source of chemically active nitrogen atoms has been developed for use in molecular-beam epitaxy (MBE) to grow such III-V semiconductors as nitrides of gallium, aluminum, and indium. This apparatus utilizes a confined arc to thermally excite N2 and to dissociate...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Lightweight Mirrors for Orbiting Earth-Observing Instruments

A report discusses selected aspects of a continuing program to develop thermally stable, lightweight mirrors for planned Earth-observing spaceborne instruments. These mirrors are required to retain precise concave or convex surface figures required for diffraction-limited optical...

Briefs : Motion Control
Fail-Safe Electromagnetic Motor Brakes

Fail-safe electromagnetic motor brakes are undergoing development for use in joints of robot arms. The brakes are needed for both static holding and emergency stopping. In the present context, "fail-safe" signifies that a brake disengages (that is, allows motion) when electric power to the brake is turned...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Three-Degree-of-Freedom Parallel Mechanical Linkage

Figure 1 depicts a mechanical linkage that converts rotational motion about three base joints (A, B, and C) to translational motion of an end effector (D) in three dimensions. The linkage is fully forward- or back-driveable: It can be driven by motors at joints A, B, and C to obtain a desired...

Briefs : Motion Control
Releasable Conical Roller Clutch for Knee Brace

A compact conical roller clutch can be either (1) engaged to obtain both positive locking against rotation in one sense and freewheeling in the opposite sense or (2) disengaged to obtain free rotation in both senses. This clutch was devised to enhance the functionality and increase the durability...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Flexure Rings for Centering Lenses

Specially shaped mounting rings keep lenses precisely centered, regardless of temperature, in the lens housings of cameras and other optical systems. These rings feature (1) well-defined contact spots for alignment, plus (2) relieved surfaces that form flexures to accommodate small manufacturing tolerances and...

Briefs : Materials
Lightweight Foam Pads for Helmets

Special foam pads have been developed for use in helmets. The foams in these pads have been formulated to obtain a combination of light weight, resistance to oxidation, flame retardance, superior shock-absorbing properties, and physical comfort during long use. In the original application, the pads are intended...

Briefs : Materials
Water-Borne, Silicone-Based, Primerless Paints

Water-borne, silicone- based paints for protecting metal structures against corrosion have been developed as substitutes for traditional anticorrosion paints that contain large amounts of volatile organic solvents. It is desirable to reduce the volatile-organic-compound (VOC) contents of paints in...

Briefs : Software
Computer Code for Analyzing Piezoelectric Composite Shells

SMARTSHELL is a finite-element computer program for analyzing composite-material propulsion-system structural components (including shells) that are characterized as “smart” because they contain integral piezoelectric sensors and/or actuators. The program implements a unique...

Briefs : Materials
PM Gamma Titanium Aluminide and Fabrication Techniques

A γ titanium aluminide alloy produced by a powder-metal (PM) process, and techniques for fabricating sheets and sheet-metal components from the alloy, have been developed. The alloy and techniques, used together, are expected to satisfy a need for relatively economical manufacture of...

Briefs : Materials
Composite-Material Pipes for Liquid Hydrogen

Pipes made of graphite-fiber/epoxymatrix composites have been shown to be suitable as conduits for liquid hydrogen. Conceived for as replacements for heavier metallic liquid-hydrogen feedlines in spacecraft, pipes like these could also be advantageous in terrestrial applications in which there are...

Briefs : Materials
Refractory, Oxidation-Resistant Ceramic/Carbon Insulation

Lightweight, refractory ceramic/carbon thermal-insulation materials have been invented. These materials, consist of carbon, silicon, and oxygen in suitable pro- portions combined into molecular structures that are stable at high temperatures. Insulating tiles and other components made of...

Briefs : Software
Analyzing Loads and Strains in Polymer-Matrix Composites

Strain Rate Dependent Analysis of Polymer Matrix Composites (STRANALPMC) is a computer program for analyzing strain-rate-dependent, nonlinear deformation and failure responses of composite materials in which the matrices are ductile polymers. Modified versions of the Ramaswamy-Stouffer...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Synthesis of Fuzzy-Logic Circuits in Evolvable Hardware

The synthesis of some fuzzy-logic circuits by use of evolvable hardware (EHW) has been demonstrated in an investigation of EHW as a means of auto- mated synthesis of computational-intelligence circuitry in general. This investigation is, in turn, part of continuing research on the broader...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Improved Circularly Polarized Microstrip Antenna

Two modifications improve the performance of a circularly polarized microstrip-patch-array antenna described in U.S. Patent 5,661,994. Because the phase difference between the orthogonal sides in the original design was 135°, there was substantial cross-polarization and waste of power. One...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Direct Methanol Fuel Cells for Low-Power Applications

Direct methanol fuel cells integrated with fuel reservoirs have been proposed as power sources in applications that involve power demands up to about 50 W. A prior concept of direct methanol fuel cells as alternatives to re- chargeable batteries in such applications was reported previously in...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Lithium-Ion Batteries for Demanding Applications

High-performance lithium-ion electro- chemical cells and batteries have been developed to satisfy a need for longer lifetimes and greater capacities in the power supplies of the life-support systems attached to space suits. These and similar cells and batteries could also be used on Earth to...

Briefs : Software
Software for an Autonomous Constellation of Satellites

The Autonomous Sciencecraft Constellation (ASC) software has been developed for Techsat-21 — a group of small satellites, to be launched by the Air Force Research Laboratory in 2004, intended to demonstrate the feasibility of groups of satellites cooperating in the performance of tasks....

Briefs : Software
Training by Use of Games Played via the Internet

A software system that resides on a server delivers training via the Internet to users of client computers. Admin- istrators can also interact with the system via client computers. The training lessons are in the form of trivia games, which are implemented by a game-engine software subsystem that...

Briefs : Software
Software for Designing Thermal Protection for Spacecraft

Traj and Traj.CGI are computer programs for designing thermal-protection systems (TPSs) for spacecraft that must survive re-entry into planetary atmospheres. Together with a separately developed program denoted FIAT, Traj and Traj.CGI are integral parts of NASA’s Entry Vehicle Integrated...

Briefs : Software
Software for Validating Planetary Data Volumes

The PDS Validation Toolkit is an integrated set of scripts and computer programs for determining whether data recorded on compact disk (CD) or digital video disk (DVD) conform to the standards of the Planetary Data System (PDS). The software provides both command- line and graphical user interfaces,...

Briefs : Software
Java Version of Embedded Web Software Server

Tempest is a computer program that functions as a HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) server for embedded systems. Tempest enables remote command and control of embedded systems. Tempest accepts HTTP requests from standard Webbrowser programs running on remote client computers and returns HyperText...

Briefs : Software
Image Display Component of JADE

A Java bean that offers high performance display of images has been developed as a component of the Java Advanced Display Environment (JADE) computer program.

This component works asynchronously, loading and/or computing image tiles as needed in background threads. In so doing, it enables a main...

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