Briefs : Motion Control
Asymmetric Dual-Axis Goniometer for Positioning on a Sphere

The ability to position an object at various locations corresponding to a portion of a spherical surface has long been accomplished using nested goniometers, in which, as observed from above, the apparent motion is readily described in a Cartesian ("XY") frame. In certain applications,...

Briefs : Motion Control
Multiple-DOF Surface-Acoustic-Wave Piezoelectric Motors

Surface-acoustic-wave (SAW) piezoelectric motors capable of operating in multiple degrees of freedom (DOFs) simultaneously have been proposed. A particularly useful motor of this type could provide both linear and rotary motions. Another particularly useful motor of this type would feature...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Second-Generation Spaceborne Rainfall-Profiling Radar System

"PR-2" denotes a proposed spaceborne radar system for measuring three-dimensional rainfall profiles and rainfall velocities. The PR-2 system would incorporate a number of improvements over the precipitation radar (PR) system now operating aboard the satellite of the Tropical Rainfall...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Improved System for Locating Lightning Strikes Within Meters

A system for determining the locations of nearby lightning strikes from electric-field and acoustic measurements has been developed. This system evolved from the system described in "System Locates Lightning Strikes to Within Meters" (KSC-11992), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 24, No. 7 (July...

Briefs : Motion Control
Electrohydrodynamic Pumping Enhances Operation of Heat Pipe

Experiments have shown that electrohydrodynamic pumping can be utilized to increase the heat-transport capacity of a heat pipe. More specifically, electrohydrodynamic pumping can be used to increase the flow of liquid to the evaporator section of the heat pipe; the increased flow helps...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
High-Performance Photodetector Circuit for Doppler Lidar

A photodetector circuit has been built for use in the receiver portion of a continuous-wave infrared Doppler lidar system for atmospheric research. As in nearly all Doppler lidar systems, the detection of the return signal in this system involves heterodyning, in a photodetector, with a...

Briefs : Materials
Polyaniline Compounds for Protection Against Corrosion

Corrosion of iron and steel substrates can be inhibited by coating them with any of the wide variety of compounds denoted generally as polyanilines. A polyaniline suitable for this type of application can be in either an electrically conductive salt (doped) form or an electrically...

Briefs : Software
Program Predicts Jet Noise

MGBK is a computer program that predicts the mixing noise and the shock noise generated by a subsonic or low-supersonic jet, given input data on the mean flow and turbulence fields as predicted by a suitable state-of-the-art computational fluid dynamics (CFD) program. More specifically, MGBK can be regarded as a...

Briefs : Software
Program for Analyzing Static Transmission Error of Helical Gears

The computer program HeliStat performs finite-element analysis to simulate meshing of helical gears. This program is a logical extension of the program DANST, which applies to spur gears. [DANST was described in "Computing Stresses in Spur Gears (LEW-15420), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol....

Briefs : Software
Software for Multidisciplinary Analysis of Optical Systems

Integrated Modeling of Optical Systems (IMOS) is a MATLAB™ computer program that provides many functions for analysis of a system represented by mathematical models of its thermal, structural, control, and/or optical aspects. For example, IMOS can be used to study thermal distortion of...

Briefs : Software
Software for Multidisciplinary Analysis of Graded Composites

The Coupled Structural/Thermal/Electromagnetic (CSTEM) computer program implements an integrated multidisciplinary approach to analysis and optimization of the designs of graded composite-material structures. The name of the program reflects recognition of the coupling among thermal,...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Electrically Isolating, Thermally Coupling Devices

Integrated signaling devices of a proposed type would utilize thermal coupling to transfer digital signals between electronic circuits that are required to be kept electrically isolated from each other. The proposed devices would be implemented as silicon-on-insulator complementary metal...

Briefs : Materials
Improved Coatings for Flexible Insulating Blankets

"ACE" (for "advanced ceramic engineered") denotes a type of coating mate-rial that increases the ability of flexible thermal-insulation blankets to resist erosion. Developed for use on the insulating blankets on the space shuttle orbiters, these coating materials could also be used on similar...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Improved Ignitor and Keeper Power Supplies for Hall Thruster

Ignitor and keeper power supplies have been developed specifically for a Hall-effect thruster with a cold cathode. Prior to the development of these power supplies, difficulties had been observed in the operation of cold-cathode Hall thrusters; in particular, they did not start...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Helium Leak Detector With Improved Sample-Delivery System

The figure schematically depicts a portable helium leak detector that includes an improved sample-delivery system. This instrumentation is designed for detecting leaks in the fuel and oxidizer systems of the space shuttle main engines. In a helium leak test, helium is used as a tracer gas...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Fiber-Optic Sensors for Measuring Oxygen Dissolved in Water

Fiber-optic sensors for measuring concentrations of oxygen dissolved in water are undergoing development. In comparison with electrochemical dissolved-oxygen sensors, the fiber-optic sensors are expected to be easier to use and maintain. Also, unlike electrochemical dissolved-oxygen...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Gas Analyzer Measures Concentrations of H2, O2, and H2O

An apparatus measures small concentrations of H2, O2, and H2O in flowing He gas. In the original application for which the apparatus was developed, the flow of He gas is used to purge a tube through which liquid hydrogen is transferred:

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Development of a Range-Safety Smart System

Range Safety Officers (RSOs) are used by NASA and other government agencies to assure protection of life and property during launch operations. The current decision-making system used by the RSOs at NASA Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) and the National Ranges, including the Eastern Range (ER) and...

Briefs : Software
Program Traces Rays With Quadruple Precision

QRAYPKS is a general-purpose FORTRAN optics-analysis computer program that enables the computation of path lengths to an unprecedented level of precision. The impetus for developing QRAYPKS was the need to mathematically model an outer-space laser interferometer to be used in detecting gravitational...

Briefs : Materials
PBO Fiber Blends: A Promise for the Future

Woven fabrics comprising polybenzoxazole (PBO) fibers blended with other selected fibers have been found to exhibit combinations of properties that, in some applications, may be superior to those of fabrics made from either PBO alone or the other materials alone. This finding is the result of an...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Air-Displacement Volumometer With Soft Sides

An air-displacement volumometer with soft sides has been devised for measuring the volume of a human body. This apparatus could be useful in hospitals, medical research laboratories, clinics, athletic facilities, and the like. It could also be used to measure the volumes of irregularly shaped objects...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Improved Methodology for Dynamics of Orbiter Payload Bay Doors

The Payload Bay Door Dynamics Simulation (PBDS) computer program simulates the mechanical behavior of the space-shuttle payload bay doors and their latching and driving mechanisms during opening, closing, latching, and unlatching. PBDS was developed to replace an older program that...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Computer-Controlled Power Tool

The figure depicts the exterior appearance of a pistol-grip rotary power tool that can be used to turn a drill bit, wrench socket, screwdriver, or other tool bit clockwise or counterclockwise at a controlled speed or torque. This tool is an updated version of the one described in "Pistol-Grip Torques-Measuring...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Technique for Controlling Gas Generation in a Bioreactor

A pressure-swing technique has been developed for controlling the generation and flow of gas in an anaerobic biological reactor and associated equipment in a system that processes wastewater. The purpose and effect of the technique is to prevent the formation of gas bubbles in the reactor;...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Passive Radiative Cooler for Use in Outer Space

The figure depicts a passive radiative cooler designed for use in outer space. The design of this device conjoins radiative and conductive thermal-isolation features, which, in further conjunction with a favorable spacecraft attitude and on-orbit thermal environment, can be utilized to cool...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Magnetically Enhanced Propellant Isolator for Ion Sources

A magnetically enhanced, high-voltage propellant isolator has been conceived for incorporation into materials-processing or space-based ion systems. The high-voltage isolator is needed to provide electrical isolation between the ion source, typically at high voltage, and the gas-feed...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Buoy Instrumented for Spectral Measurement of Water Quality

An instrumented buoy measures selected aspects of the spectrum of upwelling light for assessment of "water quality." The buoy carries a previously patented optical-backscatter probe that contains a hyperspectral sensor. The output of the probe is processed by a small onboard computer....

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Magnetostrictive Heat Switches Actuated by Flux Tubes

In a proposed improvement on the basic concept of a magnetostrictive heat switch for cryogenic applications, the magnetic field needed for actuation would be generated by a superconducting flux tube (SFT). A closely related concept for a magnetostrictive heat switch was presented in...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Liquid Shell Insulation

A new concept called "liquid shell insulation" has been proposed as a means of temporary thermal protection for scientific instrument probes that are required to operate for short times in hot, high-pressure environments. Liquid shell insulation was conceived to protect probes that would be dropped from spacecraft to...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Magnetostrictive Valves Actuated by Flux Tubes

Magnetostrictive valves for cryogenic applications would be actuated by superconducting flux tubes (SFTs), according to a proposal. The reasoning behind this proposal closely tracks that of the proposal to use SFTs in magnetostrictive heat switches, as reported in the preceding article.

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