Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Soft Landing of Spacecraft on Energy-Absorbing Self-Deployable Cushions

A report proposes the use of cold hibernated elastic memory (CHEM) foam structures to cushion impacts of small (1 to 50 kg) exploratory spacecraft on remote planets. Airbags, which are used on larger (800 to 1,000 kg) spacecraft have been found to (1) be too complex for...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Energy-Absorbing, Lightweight Wheels

Improved energy- absorbing wheels are under development for use on special-purpose vehicles that must traverse rough terrain under conditions (e.g., extreme cold) in which rubber pneumatic tires would...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Viscoelastic Vibration Dampers for Turbomachine Blades

Simple viscoelastic dampers have been invented for use on the root attachments of turbomachine blades. These dampers suppress bending- and torsion-mode blade vibrations, which are...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Evaluation of Charge Storage and Decay in Spacecraft Insulators

Two reports discuss methods for evaluating the magnitude of electrostatic charging that occurs in spacecraft dielectric materials (in particular, polyimides) during prolonged exposure to radiation in outer space. The reports describe experiments on the electrical resistivities and...

Hot-wire probes having dimensions of the order of nanometers have been proposed for measuring temperatures (and possibly velocities) in boundary-layer flows at spatial resolutions much finer...

Efforts are under way to develop deformable mirrors equipped with microscopic electrostatic actuators that would be used to maintain their reflective surfaces in precise shapes...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Fiber-Optic Ammonia Sensors
Reversible, colorimetric fiber-optic sensors are undergoing development for use in measuring concentrations of ammonia in air at levels relevant to human health [0 to 50 parts per million (ppm)]. A sensor of this type includes an optical fiber that has been modified by replacing a portion of its cladding with a polymer...
Briefs: Software
Software for a GPS-Reflection Remote-Sensing System

A special-purpose software Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver designed for remote sensing with reflected GPS signals is described in "Delay/Doppler-Mapping GPS-Reflection Remote-Sensing System" (NPO-30385), which appears on the previous page. The input accepted by this program comprises...

An optoelectronic system distributes a reference signal of low noise and highly stabilized phase and frequency (100 MHz) from an atomic frequency standard to a remote facility at a...

An improved method of calibration has been devised for instruments that utilize tunable lasers to measure the absorption spectra of atmospheric gases in order to determine the relative...

The figure is a simplified cross section of a microscopic optical switch that was partially developed at the time of reporting the information for this article. In a fully developed...

A simple, easy-to-use optoelectronic tool projects scale marks that become incorporated into photographic images (including film and electronic images). The sizes of objects...

A proposed method based on the use of a special-purpose diffractive optical element (DOE) would simplify (relative to prior methods) the alignment of three off-axis mirrors that constitute...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Laser Ranging Simulation Program

Laser Ranging Simulation Program (LRSP) is a computer program that predicts selected aspects of the performances of a laser altimeter or other laser ranging or remote-sensing systems and is especially applicable to a laser-based system used to map terrain from a distance of several kilometers. Designed to run in...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Theodolite With CCD Camera for Safe Measurement of Laser-Beam Pointing

The simple addition of a charge-coupled-device (CCD) camera to a theodolite makes it safe to measure the pointing direction of a laser beam. The present state of the art requires this to be a custom addition because theodolites are manufactured without CCD cameras as standard...

A ladar-based system now undergoing development is intended to enable an autonomous mobile robot in an outdoor environment to avoid moving toward trees, large rocks, and other...

Two techniques have been proposed to increase the efficiency of coupling of light from lasers to Cassegrain telescopes and, in general, telescopes with secondary or tertiary mirror...

InAs quantum-dot lasers that feature distributed feedback and lateral evanescent-wave coupling have been demonstrated in operation at a wavelength of 1.3 µm. These lasers are...

A proposed complementary metal oxide/semiconductor (CMOS) photodiode integrated-circuit imaging device of the active-pixel-sensor (APS) type would include column feedback sub-circuits...

An optoelectronic/digital flash x-ray imaging system has been invented for use in quantitative physiological studies and general radiology. The system could be implemented in a...

A custom high-speed charge-coupled-device (CCD) camera that features a capability for real-time readout from multiple regions of interest (subwindows) within its field of view is...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Interface System for Downlinking Digital TV Signals From Spacecraft

A system of interface electronic circuitry that includes a data packetizer and a data depacketizer has been developed to enable the downlinking of both standard- and high-definition television (SDTV and HDTV) signals from a space shuttle or the International Space Station. The...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Stereoscopic Vision System Tracks Objects in Real Time

A stereoscopic machine-vision system offers a capability for robust tracking of objects in three dimensions (3D). The system is suitable for use in a variety of robotic applications. The system hardware includes a pan-tilt-verge camera and aiming mechanism assembly and a board that holds...

A high-efficiency, high-frame-rate ultraviolet (UV) charge-coupled device (CCD) camera that is especially well suited for biological and defense applications was developed. This is the...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Data Acquisition and Control Systems Laboratory

The Data Acquisition and Control Systems (DACS) Laboratory is a facility at Stennis Space Center that provides an off test-stand capability to develop data-acquisition and control systems for...

The best-effort geographical multi-hop routing (BEGHR) protocol routes packets of data in an ad hoc digital radio-communication network on the basis of the current geographical...

Briefs: Information Technology
Characteristics of Dynamics of Intelligent Systems

An investigation of nonlinear mathematical models of dynamics has led to the selection of characteristics that could be useful for distinguishing mathematically between the behaviors of (1) intelligent or living systems and (2) nonliving systems. As contemplated here, an intelligent or living...

The title "Coupled Layer Architecture for Robotics Autonomy" (CLARATy) refers to a software architecture for robots that has been proposed to (1) improve the modularity of...

Polymeric electrolytes for rechargeable lithium-based electrochemical cells and batteries would be made by blending and complexing cyanoresins with lithium salts, according to a...

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