Briefs : Information Technology
Reducing Centroid Error Through Model-Based Noise Reduction

A method of processing the digitized output of a charge-coupled device (CCD) image detector has been devised to enable reduction of the error in computed centroid of the image of a point source of light. The method involves model-based estimation of, and correction for, the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Integrating Terrain Maps Into a Reactive Navigation Strategy

An improved method of processing information for autonomous navigation of a robotic vehicle across rough terrain involves the integration of terrain maps into a reactive navigation strategy. Somewhat more precisely, the method involves the incorporation, into navigation logic, of data...

Briefs : Information Technology
Adaptive Modeling Language and Its Derivatives

Adaptive Modeling Language (AML), developed by TechnoSoft, Inc., is the underlying language of an object-oriented, multidisciplinary, knowledge-based engineering framework. TechnoSoft is a leading provider of object-oriented modeling and simulation technology used for commercial and defense...

Briefs : Materials
Tantalum-Based Ceramics for Refractory Composites

A family of tantalum-based ceramics has been invented as ingredients of high-temperature composite insulating tiles. These materials are suitable for coating and/or permeating the outer layers of rigid porous (foamlike or fibrous) ceramic substrates to (1) render the resulting composite ceramic...

Briefs : Materials
Microsphere Insulation Panels

Microsphere insulation panels (MIPs) have been developed as lightweight, long lasting replacements for the foam and vacuum-jacketed systems heretofore used for thermally insulating cryogenic vessels and transfer ducts. Whether preformed or applied in place, foam insulation deteriorates fairly rapidly: on cryogenic...

Briefs : Materials
Single-Wall Carbon Nanotube Anodes for Lithium Cells

In recent experiments, highly purified batches of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have shown promise as superior alternatives to the graphitic carbon-black anode materials heretofore used in rechargeable thin-film lithium power cells. The basic idea underlying the experiments is that...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Fastener Options for Clinching Into Stainless

Designers often turn to self-clinching fasteners when they need a practical method to provide threads in thin metal sheets. The fasteners install permanently, reduce hardware, and promote thinner...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Integral Flexure Mounts for Metal Mirrors for Cryogenic Use

Semi-kinematic, six-degree-of-freedom flexure mounts have been incorporated as integral parts of metal mirrors designed to be used under cryogenic conditions as parts of an astronomical instrument. The design of the mirrors and their integral flexure mounts can also be adapted to other...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Low-Cost Propellant Launch From a Tethered Balloon

A document presents a concept for relatively inexpensive delivery of propellant to a large fuel depot in low orbit around the Earth, for use in rockets destined for higher orbits, the Moon, and for remote planets. The propellant is expected to be at least 85 percent of the mass needed in low...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Platform for Testing Robotic Vehicles on Simulated Terrain

The variable terrain tilt platform (VTTP) is a means of providing simulated terrain for mobility testing of engineering models of the Mars Exploration Rovers. The VTTP could also be used for testing the ability of other robotic land vehicles (and small vehicles in general) to move across...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
On Release of Microbe-Laden Particles From Mars Landers

A paper presents a study in which rates of release of small particles from Mars lander spacecraft into the Martian atmosphere were estimated from first principles. Because such particles can consist of, or be laden with, terrestrial microbes, the study was undertaken to understand their...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Stable Satellite Orbits for Global Coverage of the Moon

A document proposes a constellation of spacecraft to be placed in orbit around the Moon to provide navigation and communication services with global coverage required for exploration of the Moon. There would be six spacecraft in inclined elliptical orbits: three in each of two orthogonal...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Theodolite Ring Lights

Theodolite ring lights have been invented to ease a difficulty encountered in the well-established opticalmetrology practice of using highly reflective spherical tooling balls as position references. As described in more detail below, a theodolite ring light is attached to a theodolite or telescope and used to generate a...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
FETs Based on Doped Polyaniline/Polyethylene Oxide Fibers

A family of experimental highly miniaturized field-effect transistors (FETs) is based on exploitation of the electrical properties of nanofibers of polyaniline/ polyethylene oxide (PANi/PEO) doped with camphorsulfonic acid. These polymer-based FETs have the potential for becoming building...

Briefs : Software
Software for Collaborative Use of Large Interactive Displays

The MERBoard Collaborative Workspace, which is currently being deployed to support the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Missions, is the first instantiation of a new computing architecture designed to support collaborative and group computing using computing devices situated in NASA...

Briefs : Software
Modified Recursive Hierarchical Segmentation of Data

An algorithm and a computer program that implements the algorithm that performs recursive hierarchical segmentation (RHSEG) of data have been developed. While the current implementation is for two-dimensional data having spatial characteristics (e.g., image, spectral, or spectral-image data),...

Briefs : Software
Integrated Modeling Environment

The Integrated Modeling Environment (IME) is a software system that establishes a centralized Web-based interface for integrating people (who may be geographically dispersed), processes, and data involved in a common engineering project. The IME includes software tools for life-cycle management, configuration...

Briefs : Software
Framework for Flexible Security in Group Communications

The Antigone software system defines a framework for the flexible definition and implementation of security policies in group communication systems. Antigone does not dictate the available security policies, but provides high-level mechanisms for implementing them. A central element of the...

Briefs : Software
Stress Testing of Data-Communication Networks
NetStress is a computer program that stress-tests a data-communication network and components thereof. NetStress comprises two components running, respectively, in a transmitting system and a receiving system connected to a network under test. The novelty of the program is that is has the capability to...
Briefs : Software
Sizing Structures and Predicting Weight of a Spacecraft

EZDESIT is a computer program for choosing the sizes of structural components and predicting the weight of a spacecraft, aircraft, or other vehicle. In designing a vehicle, EZDESIT is used in conjunction with a finite-element structural- analysis program: Each structural component is sized...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Interferometer for Low Uncertainty Vector Metrology

The figure is a simplified schematic diagram of a tilt-sensing unequal-path interferometer set up to measure the orientation of the normal vector of one surface of a cube mounted on a structure under test. This interferometer has been named a “theoferometer” to express both its...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Rayleigh Scattering for Measuring Flow in a Nozzle Testing Facility

A molecular Rayleigh scattering based air density measurement system was built in a large nozzle and engine component test facility for surveying supersonic plumes from jet-engine exhaust. The facility (see Figure 1) can test nozzles up to 8.75 in. (22.2-cm) in diameter. It is...

Autodesk Inventor 11 3D

Autodesk, San Rafael, CA, has announced Autodesk Inventor 11 3D mechanical CAD software that provides an integrated set of tools for 3D design and documentation. The new release features "functional design," which enables users to create designs based on the functional requirements of a product before committing to...

Who's Who
Hanwant Singh, Atmospheric Scientist, NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

The Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment (INTEX-B) is the second phase of a two-part, multinational monitoring project designed to track pollution making its way into North America and is sponsored by the Tropospheric Chemistry Program at NASA...

Application Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Power Systems Find Use in Multiple Future Space Vehicles
DC-DC power systems
Blacksburg, VA
Application Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Oil Recycling System Controls Contamination
OilTrac™ fluid maintenance program/oil recycling system
COMO Filtration Systems
Janesville, WI
The Difference and Distance Between Invention and a Business

This issue begins a series of four articles that will focus on converting your invention into a revenue-generating business, the critical information you need to gather to get started, and how to put together the two initial documents to gather funding to start your business: financial...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Improved Gear Shapes for Face Worm Gear Drives

Shapes different from the traditional ones have been proposed for face worm gears and for conical and cylindrical worms that mesh with them. The proposed shapes are based on the concept of generating a face worm gear surface by use of a tilted head cutter instead of by the traditional use of a hob....

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Hundreds of Gearmotors Drive Times Square Scrolling Sign

With a zoning ordinance requiring businesses to throw up big, bright, eye-catching signs, Times Square in New York City has an illuminated-sign density rivaling Las Vegas. When Toys “R” Us moved into the neighborhood, it contacted Revolution Display Systems, (Toronto, Canada) to create...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Drive Retrofit Update Enables Smoke-Removal System at Atlanta Airport

When the City of Atlanta finalized plans for the capital-improvement project at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, an integral part of the 10-year, $5.4 billion project included upgrading the ventilation system of the underground Automated People Mover (APM)....

Question of the Week
Will Cooling Coatings Catch On?


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