Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Coating MCPs With AlN and GaN

A development effort underway at the time of reporting the information for this article is devoted to increasing the sensitivity of microchannel plates (MCPs) as detectors of photons and ions by coating the MCPs with nitrides of elements in period III of the periodic table. Conventional MCPs are relatively...

An electronic system adjusts the frequency of a tunable laser, eventually locking the frequency to a peak in the optical absorption spectrum of a gas (or of a Fabry-Perot cavity that...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Noise Source for Calibrating a Microwave

A correlated-noise source has been developed for use in calibrating an airborne or spaceborne Earth-observing correlation microwave polarimeter that operates in a pass band that includes a nominal...

Robust lithium/solid electrolyte/iodine electrochemical cells that offer significant advantages over commercial lithium/ iodine cells have been developed. At room temperature, these...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Hybrid Deployable Foam Antennas and Reflectors

Hybrid deployable radio antennas and reflectors of a proposed type would feature rigid narrower apertures plus wider adjoining apertures comprising reflective surfaces supported by...

Gesture-controlled interfaces are software-driven systems that facilitate device control by translating visual hand and body signals into commands. Such interfaces could be especially...

Improved accelerator and screen grids for an ion accelerator have been designed and tested in a continuing effort to increase the sustainable power and thrust at the high end of the...

Articles: Electronics & Computers
30 Years of Computer Technology

Throughout 2006, we’ve been celebrating the 30th anniversary of NASA Tech Briefs with special feature articles highlighting the past 30 years of a different technology category each month. This month, we...

Briefs: Software
User Interactive Software for Analysis of Human Physiological Data

Ambulatory physiological monitoring has been used to study human health and performance in space and in a variety of Earth-based environments (e.g., military aircraft, armored vehicles, small groups in isolation, and patients). Large, multi-channel data files are typically...

system for real-time detection of surface- fatigue-pitting damage to gears for use in a helicopter transmission is based on fuzzy-logic used to fuse data from sensors that measure...

Briefs: Software
Representation of Serendipitous Scientific Data

A computer program defines and implements an innovative kind of data structure than can be used for representing information derived from serendipitous discoveries made via collection of scientific data on long exploratory spacecraft missions. Data structures capable of collecting any kind of data...

Increasing the accuracy of storm-surge flood forecasts is essential for improving preparedness for hurricanes and other severe storms and, in particular, for optimizing...

Briefs: Software
Dynamically Alterable Arrays of Polymorphic Data Types

An application library package was developed that represents data packets for Deep Space Network (DSN) message packets as dynamically alterable arrays composed of arbitrary polymorphic data types. The software was to address a limitation of the present state of the practice for having an...

Briefs: Software
Identifying Trends in Deep Space Network Monitor Data

A computer program has been developed that analyzes Deep Space Network monitor data, looking for changes of trends in critical parameters. This program represents a significant improvement over the previous practice of manually plotting data and visually inspecting the resulting graphs to...

Briefs: Software
Predicting Lifetime of a Thermomechanically Loaded Component

NASALIFE is a computer program for predicting the lifetime, as affected by low cycle fatigue (LCF) and creep rupture, of a structural component subject to temporally varying, multiaxial thermomechanical loads. The component could be, for example, part of an aircraft turbine engine....

Briefs: Software
Partial Automation of Requirements Tracing

Requirements Tracing on Target (RETRO) is software for after-the-fact tracing of textual requirements to support independent verification and validation of software. RETRO applies one of three user-selectable information-retrieval techniques: (1) term frequency/inverse document frequency (TF/IDF) vector...

Briefs: Software
Automated Synthesis of Architectures of Avionic Systems

The Architecture Synthesis Tool (AST) is software that automatically synthesizes software and hardware architectures of avionic systems. The AST is expected to be most helpful during initial formulation of an avionic-system design, when system requirements change frequently and manual...

Briefs: Software
SSRL Emergency Response Shore Tool

The SSRL Emergency Response Shore Tool (wherein “SSRL” signifies “Smart Systems Research Laboratory”) is a computer program within a system of communication and mobile-computing software and hardware being developed to increase the situational awareness of first responders at building collapses....

Theoretical analysis and some experiments have shown that the silicon-on-insulator (SOI) 4-gate transistors known as G4-FETs can be used as building blocks of four-quadrant analog...

Microscopic thermal-contact pads that include carpetlike arrays of carbon nanotubes have been invented for dissipating heat generated in integrated circuits and similarly sized single electronic...

Some wholly aromatic ether-imides consisting of rod-shaped, relatively-low-mass molecules that can form liquid crystals have been investigated for potential utility as electron-donor-type...

Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd., a subcontractor of Societatea Nationala Nucleoelectrica S.A. (SNN) of Romania, contracted Badger Meter to model, test, and produce a set of precision...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Pulse-Flow Microencapsulation System

The pulse-flow microencapsulation system (PFMS) is an automated system that continuously produces a stream of liquid-filled microcapsules for delivery of therapeutic agents to target tissues. Prior...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Automated Low-Gravitation Facility Would Make Optical Fibers

A report describes a proposed automated facility that would be operated in outer space to produce high-quality optical fibers from fluoride-based glasses, free of light-scattering crystallites that form during production in normal Earth gravitation. Before launch, glass preforms would...

Viscosity is a measure of the resistance of a liquid to flow, and is an important measurement requirement in industrial process control and OEM applications. Viscosity describes the...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Alignment Cube With One Diffractive Face

An enhanced alignment cube has been invented for use in a confined setting (e.g., a cryogenic chamber) in which optical access may be limited to a single line of sight. Whereas traditional...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Graphite Composite Booms With Integral Hinges

A document discusses lightweight instrument booms under development for use aboard spacecraft. A boom of this type comprises a thin-walled graphite-fiber/matrix composite tube with an integral hinge that can be bent for stowage and later allowed to spring back to straighten the boom for deployment in...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Tool for Sampling Permafrost on a Remote Planet

A report discusses the robotic arm tool for rapidly acquiring permafrost (RATRAP), which is being developed for acquiring samples of permafrost on Mars or another remote planet and immediately delivering the samples to adjacent instruments for analysis. The prototype RATRAP includes a rasp that...

Briefs: Information Technology
Special Semaphore Scheme for UHF Spacecraft Communications

A semaphore scheme has been devised to satisfy a requirement to enable ultrahigh- frequency (UHF) radio communication between a spacecraft descending from orbit to a landing on Mars and a spacecraft, in orbit about Mars, that relays communications between Earth and the lander spacecraft....

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