Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A state-of-the-art solar-panel array demonstration site at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center provides a unique opportunity for studying the latest in high-efficiency solar photovoltaic...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

The protocol for charging a lithiumion battery would be modified, according to a proposal, to compensate for the internal voltage drop (charging current × internal resistance of the...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Programmable Pulse-Position-Modulation Encoder

A programmable pulse-position- modulation (PPM) encoder has been designed for use in testing an optical communication link. The encoder includes a programmable state machine and an electronic code book that can be updated to accommodate different PPM coding schemes. The encoder includes a...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Micro-Imagers for Spaceborne Cell-Growth Experiments

A document discusses selected aspects of a continuing effort to develop five micro-imagers for both still and video monitoring of cell cultures to be grown aboard the International Space Station. The approach taken in this effort is to modify and augment pre-existing electronic micro- cameras....

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Two simple, effective techniques for attaching thermocouples to metal substrates have been devised for high- temperature applications in which attachment by such conventional means as welding,...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Heat Treatment of Friction-Stir-Welded 7050 Aluminum Plates

A method of heat treatment has been developed to reverse some of the deleterious effects of friction stir welding of plates of aluminum alloy 7050. This alloy is considered unweldable by arc and high-energy-density beam fusion welding processes. The alloy can be friction stir welded,...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs

The figure is a schematic diagram of a complementary metal oxide/semiconductor (CMOS) electronic circuit that performs one of three different logic functions, depending on the level of...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs

A circuit that changes an electrical load in a switching time shorter than 0.3 microsecond has been devised. This circuit can be used in testing the regulation characteristics of power-supply...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

A high-performance scanning acousto-ultrasonic system, now undergoing development, is designed to afford enhanced capabilities for imaging microstructural features, including flaws, inside...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Generating Breathable Air Through Dissociation of N₂O

A NOBOSS stands in contrast to compressed- gas and cryogenic air-supply systems. Compressed-gas systems necessarily include massive tanks that can hold only relatively small amounts of gases. Alternatively, gases can be stored compactly in greater quantities and at low pressures when they...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

A straightforward measurement technique provides for correction of thermal-electromotive- force (thermal-EMF) errors introduced by temperature gradients along the pins of...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Holographic Solar Photon Thrusters

A document discusses a proposal to incorporate holographic optical elements into solar photon thrusters (SPTs). First suggested in 1990, SPTs would be systems of multiple reflective, emissive, and absorptive surfaces (solar sails) that would be attached to spacecraft orbiting the Earth to derive small...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Plasma-Based Detector of Outer-Space Dust Particles

A report presents a concept for an instrument to be flown in outer space, where it would detect dust particles — especially those associated with comets. The instrument would include a flat plate that would intercept the dust particles. The anticipated spacecraft/dust-particle relative...

Briefs: Information Technology
Education and Training Module in Alertness Management

The education and training module (ETM) in alertness management has now been integrated as part of the training regimen of the Pilot Proficiency Awards Program ("WINGS") of the Federal Aviation Administration. Originated and now maintained current by the Fatigue Countermeasures Group at NASA...

Briefs: Information Technology
Generation of Data-Rate Profiles of Ka-Band Deep-Space Links

A short report discusses a methodology for designing Ka-band Deep-Space-to-Earth radio-communication links. This methodology is oriented toward minimizing the effects of weather on the Ka-band telecommunication link by maximizing the expected data return subject to minimum link...

Briefs: Materials

Experiments have shown that it is feasible to use oxygen radicals (specifically, monatomic oxygen) from mild oxygen plasmas to remove organic contaminants and chemical fabrication...

Briefs: Materials
Generating Aromatics From CO₂ on Mars or Natural Gas on Earth

“Methane to aromatics on Mars” (“METAMARS”) is the name of a process originally intended as a means of converting Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide to aromatic hydrocarbons and oxygen, which would be used as propellants for spacecraft to return to Earth. The process has...

Briefs: Software
Processing EOS MLS Level-2 Data
A computer program performs level-2 processing of thermal- microwave-radiance data from observations of the limb of the Earth by the Earth Observing System (EOS) Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS). The purpose of the processing is to estimate the composition and temperature of the atmosphere versus altitude from ≈8...
Briefs: Software
Ground Processing of Data From the Mars Exploration Rovers

A computer program implements the Earth side of the protocol that governs the transfer of data files generated by the Mars Exploration Rovers. It also provides tools for viewing data in these files and integrating data-product files into automated and manual processes. It reconstitutes...

Briefs: Software
Estimating Total Electron Content Using 1,000+ GPS Receivers

A computer program uses data from more than 1,000 Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers in an Internetaccessible global network to generate daily estimates of the global distribution of vertical total electron content (VTEC) of the ionosphere. This program supersedes an older...

Briefs: Software
Integrated System for Autonomous Science

The New Millennium Program Space Technology 6 Project Autonomous Sciencecraft software implements an integrated system for autonomous planning and execution of scientific, engineering, and spacecraft- coordination actions. A prior version of this software was reported in "The TechSat 21 Autonomous...

Briefs: Software
Montage Version 3.0

The final version (3.0) of the Montage software has been released. To recapitulate from previous NASA Tech Briefs articles about Montage: This software generates custom, science-grade mosaics of astronomical images on demand from input files that comply with the Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) standard and contain...

Briefs: Software
Utilizing AI in Temporal, Spatial, and Resource Scheduling

Aurora is a software system enabling the rapid, easy solution of complex scheduling problems involving spatial and temporal constraints among operations and scarce resources (such as equipment, workspace, and human experts). Although developed for use in the International Space Station...

Briefs: Software
Satellite Image Mosaic Engine

A computer program automatically builds large, full-resolution mosaics of multispectral images of Earth landmasses from images acquired by Landsat 7, complete with matching of colors and blending between adjacent scenes. While the code has been used extensively for Landsat, it could also be used for other data...

Briefs: Software
Architecture for Control of the K9 Rover

Software featuring a multilevel architecture is used to control the hardware on the K9 Rover, which is a mobile robot used in research on robots for scientific exploration and autonomous operation in general. The software consists of five types of modules:

Device Drivers — These modules, at the...
Briefs: Software
HFGMC Enhancement of MAC/GMC

Additional information about a mathematical model denoted the high-fidelity generalized method of cells (HFGMC) and implementation of the HFGMC within version 4.0 of the MAC/GMC software has become available. MAC/GMC (Micromechanics Analysis Code With Generalized Method of Cells) was a topic of several prior NASA...

Briefs: Software
Automated Activation and Deactivation of a System Under Test

The MPLM Automated Activation/Deactivation application (MPLM means Multi-Purpose Logistic Module) was created with a three-fold purpose in mind:

To reduce the possibility of human error in issuing commands to, or interpreting telemetry from, the MPLM power, computer, and...
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

In the continuing goal of developing products with better performance at a lower cost, composites are becoming increasingly prevalent in the...

Articles: Photonics/Optics

During the 1980s, electronics companies began a two-fold move toward outsourced manufacturing and away from a vertical manufacturing infrastructure to focus on their...

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