Briefs : Software
Mechanical Event Simulation for MEMS Design

This report examines the simulation of the dynamic behavior of a MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) optical switch in order to meet the Telcordia telecommunication industry standards for shock. The setup of the finite element model of the telecommunications device is discussed in detail, along...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Narrowband Tunable Optical Filter Using Fiber Bragg Gratings

Research at Langley Research Center has developed a special fiber- Bragg grating optical filter for use in aircraft or spaceborne differential absorption lidar (DIAL) systems for measuring water vapor in the atmosphere of the Earth. The filter is an optical fiber containing two Bragg...

Briefs : Information Technology
Technical Background of Special Bus-Driver Software

A short report discusses the technical back- ground of, and the need for, special bus-driver software for part of a test-bed computer system that is to be used in experi- mentation for develo- pment of advanced avionics. The system features a scalable, fault-tolerant, distributed architecture...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Advances in Cooperative Transport by Two Mobile Robots

Special gimbal mechanisms and algorithms that implement decentralized compliant control have been developed for use in research on the sensors, the actuators, and the design and functional requirements for systems of multiple mobile robots cooperating in site-clearance and construction...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Magnetostrictive Motor and Circuits for Robotic Applications

A magnetostrictive motor and its drive circuit and control system have been designed to be especially suitable for robotic applications in which there are requirements for precise, high-force linear actuators. The motor includes a laminated armature made of the magnetostrictive alloy...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Advanced Capacitive-Sensor Turbine- Blade-Monitoring System

An electronic system that includes a capacitive proximity sensor is under development as a prototype of instrumentation systems for real-time monitoring of vibrations of turbine blades and shafts. Because vibrations are caused by stresses that can induce fatigue and/or are sometimes...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
System Locates Buried Objects Marked by Electromagnetic Tags

A relatively inexpensive, lightweight, durable, easy-to-operate radio-frequency (RF) instrument has been developed, along with special electromagnetic tags, for use in detecting buried objects to which the tags are attached. Each tag comprises a dipole antenna (basically, two collinear...

Briefs : Materials
Flexible Piezoelectric Actuators

Flexible, compact, hermetically sealed piezoceramic actuators with robust electrical leads have been developed for use in actively controlling aerostructures to suppress noise, vibration, and flutter on experimental aircraft. An actuator of this type, denoted a Flex Patch, is meant to be placed in a strategic...

Briefs : Software
Software for Turbo Decoding on Digital Signal Processors

Software for decoding turbo codes that have been adopted as standard by the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems is being developed along with hardware built around integrated-circuit digital signal processors (DSPs) that execute the software. The software enables reliable...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Fiber-Optic Liquid-Level Sensors

Liquid-level-measuring systems based on fiber-optics are under development as compact, lightweight alternatives to systems based on float gauges and other conventional sensors. For liquids that pose explosion hazards, fiber-optic sensors are inherently safer because they do not include electrical connections...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Artificial Neural Networks for Organizing Sensor Webs

A scheme for organizing and controlling sensor webs is based on artificial neural networks. [Sensor webs were described in “Sensor Webs” (NPO-20616), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 23, No. 10 (October 1999), page 80. To recapitulate: Sensor webs are collections of sensor pods that could be...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Electroactive-Polymer Actuators With Selectable Deformations

Efforts are underway to develop compact, lightweight electro-mechanical actuators based on electroactive polymers (EAPs). An actuator of this type is denoted an electroactive-polymer actuator with selectable deformation (EAPAS). The basic building blocks of these actuators are...

Briefs : Software
Software for Automation of Real-Time Agents

Closed Loop Execution and Recovery (CLEaR) is an artificial-intelligence computer program under devel- opment designed for automated command sequence generation, execution, monitoring, and recovery. As a component of the Deep Space Network’s (DSN’s) prototype Common Automation Engine (CAE), CLEaR...

Briefs : Software
GUI Program for Planning Paths of Rovers

The Path Planning Graphical User Interface is a computer program that, as its name indi- cates, generates a graphical user interface (GUI) for software that plans paths for robotic vehicles (rovers) to be used in exploration of remote planets. This GUI program is designed for use in conjunction with the...

Briefs : Software
Software for Modeling Biochemical Reactions

Cellerator is a computer program that auto- matically generates and solves differential equations for complex sets of chemical reac- tions like those in living cells. Cellerator provides a mathematical and computational infra- structure for char- acterizing reaction pathways and the interactions...