Briefs : Information Technology
Developing Generic Software for Spacecraft Avionics

A proposed approach to the development of software for spacecraft avionics is based partly on a concept of generic software that could be tailored to satisfy requirements for specific missions. The proposed approach would stand in contrast to the conventional approach of first defining avionics...

Briefs : Information Technology
Using Fractional Clock-Period Delays in Telemetry Arraying

A set of special digital all-pass finite- impulse- response (FIR) filters produces phase shifts equivalent to delays that equal fractions of the sampling or clock period of a telemetry- data- processing system. These filters have been used to enhance the arraying of telemetry signals...

Briefs : Materials
Perovskite Superlattices as Tunable Microwave Devices

Experiments have shown that superlattices that comprise alternating epitaxial layers of dissimilar paraelectric perovskites can exhibit large changes in permittivity with the application of electric fields. The superlattices are potentially useful as electrically tunable dielectric components...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Piezoelectrically Actuated Shutter for High Vacuum

A piezoelectrically actuated shutter is undergoing development for use in experiments on laser cooling of atoms. The shutter is required to be compatible with ultrahigh vacuum [pressure of 10-9 torr (≈1.3 X 10-7 Pa) or less] and to be capable of performing reliably in the...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Flight Tests of a Ministick Controller in an F/A-18 Airplane

In March of 1999, five pilots performed flight tests to evaluate the handling qualities of an F/A-18 research airplane equipped with a small-displacement center stick (ministick) controller that had been developed for the JAS 39 Gripen airplane (a fighter/attack/ reconnaissance...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Mirrors Containing Biomimetic Shape-Control Actuators

Curved mirrors of a proposed type would comprise lightweight sheets or films containing integral, biologically inspired actuators for controlling their surface figures. These mirrors could be useful in such applications as collection of solar energy, focusing of radio beams, and (provided...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Assessment of Models of Chemically Reacting Granular Flows

A report presents an assessment of a general mathematical model of dense, chemically reacting granular flows like those in fluidized beds used to pyrolize biomass. The model incorporates submodels that have been described in several NASA Tech Briefs articles, including "Generalized...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Numerical Study of Pyrolysis of Biomass in Fluidized Beds

A report presents a numerical-simulation study of pyrolysis of biomass in fluidized-bed reactors, performed by use of the mathematical model described in "Model of Fluidized Bed Containing Reacting Solids and Gases" (NPO-30163), which appears elsewhere in this issue of NASA Tech Briefs....

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Integrated Arrays of Ion-Sensitive Electrodes

The figure depicts an example of proposed compact water-quality sensors that would contain integrated arrays of ion-sensitive electrodes (ISEs). These sensors would serve as electronic "tongues": they would be placed in contact with water and used to "taste" selected dissolved...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Model of Fluidized Bed Containing Reacting Solids and Gases

A mathematical model has been developed for describing the thermofluid dynamics of a dense, chemically reacting mixture of solid particles and gases. As used here, "dense" signifies having a large volume fraction of particles, as for example in a bubbling fluidized bed. The...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Using Diffusion Bonding in Making Piezoelectric Actuators

A technique for the fabrication of piezoelectric actuators that generate acceptably large forces and deflections at relatively low applied voltages involves the stacking and diffusion bonding of multiple thin piezoelectric layers coated with film electrodes. The present technique stands...

Briefs : Software
Exchanging 3D Data Between Mechanical CAD (MCAD) Systems

Manufacturing companies must bring high-quality products to market faster than ever before. This tightened timeframe significantly impacts the manufacturing supply chain — a familiar problem to most computer-aided design (CAD) users. The need for interoperability is a natural con-...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Wheel Design Verified With FEA Software

This paper examines an aluminum wheel design used with a run-flat tire called an extended mobility technology (EMT) tire, which can be safely driven without air for at least 80 km (50 miles). The setup of the finite element model of the wheel is discussed in detail, along with a parametric study of the...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Membrane Mirrors With Bimorph Shape Actuators

Deformable mirrors of a proposed type would be equipped with relatively-large-stroke microscopic piezoelectric actuators that would be used to maintain their reflective surfaces in precise shapes. These mirrors would be members of the class of MEMS-DM (formicroelectromechanical system deformable...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Rollable Thin-Shell Nanolaminate Mirrors

A class of lightweight, deployable, thin-shell, curved mirrors with built-in precise-shape-control actuators is being developed for high-resolution scientific imaging. This technology incorporates a combination of advanced design concepts in actuation and membrane optics that, heretofore, have been...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Surface-Micromachined Planar Arrays of Thermopiles

Planar two-dimensional arrays of thermopiles intended for use as thermal-imaging detectors are to be fabricated by a process that includes surface micromachining. These thermopile arrays are designed to perform better than do prior two-dimensional thermopile arrays.

Briefs : Medical
Time-Resolved Measurements in Optoelectronic Microbioanalysis

A report presents discussion of time-resolved measurements in optoelectronic microbioanalysis. Proposed microbioanalytical "laboratory-on-a-chip" devices for detection of microbes and toxic chemicals would include optoelectronic sensors and associated electronic circuits that would...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Block QCA Fault-Tolerant Logic Gates

Suitably patterned arrays (blocks) of quantum-dot cellular automata (QCA) have been proposed as fault-tolerant universal logic gates. These block QCA gates could be used to realize the potential of QCA for further miniaturization, reduction of power consumption, increase in switching speed, and increased...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Hybrid VLSI/QCA Architecture for Computing FFTs

A data-processor architecture that would incorporate elements of both conventional very-large-scale integrated (VLSI) circuitry and quantum- dot cellular automata (QCA) has been proposed to enable the highly parallel and systolic computation of fast Fourier transforms (FFTs). The proposed circuit...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Block Copolymers as Templates for Arrays of Carbon Nanotubes

A method of manufacturing regular arrays of precisely sized, shaped, positioned, and oriented carbon nanotubes has been proposed. Arrays of carbon nanotubes could prove useful in such diverse applications as communications (especially for filtering of signals), biotechnology (for...

Briefs : Information Technology
Collaborative Software Development Approach Used To Deliver the New Shuttle Telemetry Ground Station

United Space Alliance (USA) developed and used a new software development method to meet technical, schedule, and budget challenges faced during the development and delivery of the new Shuttle Telemetry Ground Station at Kennedy Space Center....

Briefs : Materials
Reliability and Design Considerations for Long Life Using Mica Capacitors in High-Voltage Apps

Over the last 40 years, a series of misconceptions regarding mica capacitor applications has led novice users to consistently over- derate wound or rolled mica/ epoxy dielectric capacitors.

Mica,...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Folded Resonant Horns for Power Ultrasonic Applications

Folded horns have been conceived as alternatives to straight horns used as resonators and strain amplifiers in power ultrasonic systems. Such systems are used for cleaning, welding, soldering, cutting, and drilling in a variety of industries. In addition, several previous NASA Tech Briefs...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Rollable Thin Shell Composite-Material Paraboloidal Mirrors

An experiment and calculation have demonstrated the feasibility of a technique of compact storage of paraboloidal mirrors made of thin composite-material (multiple layers of carbon...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Cellular Pressure-Actuated Joint

A modification of a pressure-actuated joint has been proposed to improve its pressure actuation in such a manner as to reduce the potential for leakage of the pressurizing fluid. The specific joint for which the modification is proposed is a field joint in a reusable solid-fuel rocket motor (RSRM), in which the...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Force-Measuring Clamps

Force-measuring clamps have been invented to facilitate and simplify the task of measuring the forces or pressures applied to clamped parts. There is a critical need to measure clamping forces or pressures in some applications — for example, while bonding sensors to substrates or while clamping any sensitive or delicate...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Multiple-Use Mechanisms for Attachment to Seat Tracks

A Seat Track Attach Mechanism (SAM) is a multiple-use clamping device intended for use in mounting various objects on the standard seat tracks used on the International Space Station...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Tool for Bending a Metal Tube Precisely in a Confined Space

A relatively simple, manually operated tool enables precise bending (typically, within ±1/2° of the specified bend angle) of a metal tube located in a confined space, with a minimum of flattening of the tube and without significant gouging of the tube surface. The tool is designed for...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Turbulence in Supercritical O₂/H₂ and C₇H₁₆/N₂ Mixing Layers

This report presents a study of numerical simulations of mixing layers developing between opposing flows of paired fluids under supercritical conditions, the purpose of the study being to elucidate chemical-species- specific aspects of turbulence. The simulations were...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Throttling Cryogen Boiloff To Control Cryostat Temperature

An improved design has been proposed for a cryostat of a type that maintains a desired low temperature mainly through boiloff of a liquid cryogen (e.g., liquid nitrogen) at atmospheric pressure. (A cryostat that maintains a low temperature mainly through boiloff of a cryogen at...