Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Micromachined Broad Band Light Sources

A novel micromachined incandescent light source has been designed and fabricated to operate at temperatures exceeding 2,500 K. The high-temperature, tungsten filament-based source has a high-brightness,...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Automatic Bias Compensation in GPS Receivers

A technique of automatic bias compensation has been devised to correct errors caused by variations among electronic components in Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers that use the coarse/acquisition (C/A) GPS code. Even though there are large government and commercial markets for such GPS...

Theoretical calculations verified by experiments have shown that suitably designed ribbons made of alumina can serve as low-loss dielectric waveguides for electromagnetic radiation at...

Briefs: Software
Multithreading Program for Retrieval of Optical Phase Fields

A multithreading computer program performs phase-retrieval and -unwrapping calculations to extract accurate image phase maps from noisy image magnitude fields generated by adaptive optics. [As used here, "phase retrieval" signifies the calculation of phase map modulo 2µ, while...

Briefs: Software
Software for Analyzing Earth/Spacecraft Radio Interference

The Spectral Analysis Tool (SAT) computer program assists in analysis of interference between radio signals in Earth/spacecraft communications. SAT provides an easy-to-use interactive graphical interface with a menu for selecting among the following utility subprograms: an editor for...

"Smart coatings" denotes a class of high-temperature-resistant, multilayer, thin (total thickness < 10 µm) films that contain predominantly planar layers of sensor circuitry...

Briefs: Materials
Aggregate-Search Approach for Planning and Scheduling

Several algorithms developed for use in automated planning and scheduling of sets of interdependent activities employ aggregation techniques to increase the efficiency of searching for temporal assignments that are legal in the sense that they do not violate constraints. In the...

Some success has been achieved in a development program directed toward improving the mechanical properties of electroformed copper-alloy structural components. Typical of such components are...

Experiments have shown that an assembly of multiple free-piston Stirling engines can be designed and constructed in such a way as to both (1) make the vibrations of the engines...

An important secondary topic addressed in the research and development effort described in the preceding article is the use of artificial neural networks to improve the monitoring...

A special-purpose grinding tool and fixtures have been developed for reworking an edge of a seal surface on a nozzle-throat-support housing in a rocket engine (see Figure 1) to...

Cascade error projection (CEP) is an improved learning algorithm for artificial neural networks. CEP is reliable and suitable for efficient implementation in very-large-scale integrated...

The Thermal Expert System (TEXSYS) computer program exerts real-time control over a complicated thermal-regulatory system that includes evaporators, condensers, a pump, valves, and sensors....

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Biomorphic Gliders

Biomorphic gliders are small robotic microflyers proposed for use in scientific exploration of planetary atmospheres and terrains that capture some key features of insect and bird flight. Biomorphic gliders as biomorphic...

A process and a laboratory setup to implement the process (see figure) have been devised to enable the acquisition of time-resolved data on the thermal decomposition of a specimen of...

Laser thermogravimetric analysis (laser TGA) is a technique that yields time-resolved data on the thermal decomposition of a specimen of a solid material exposed to a heat flux comparable to the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Stable Microwave-Beam-Riding Spacecraft

The work considers passive dynamic stability of sail craft, propelled by microwave beams. Such systems are under consideration as low-cost means of interstellar travel. Sail-craft shapes offering passive dynamic (neutral) stability are identified. Passive stability is a key mission-enabling attribute. Very...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Ultralight Balloon Systems for Exploring Uranus and Neptune

A report proposes ultralight balloon systems to carry a 10-kg payload, including scientific instruments for exploring the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune. The system masses to be transported to those planets would be kept low by not transporting balloon-inflating gases. Each...

Briefs: Materials
Foaming in Place for Outer-Space Applications

A report discusses the adaptation of foaming-in-place techniques and materials to outer-space applications. Foaming in place is used commercially in terrestrial sealing, insulating, bonding, and retrofitting applications. The room-temperature outer-space versions of foaming in place are...

A new design for a complementary metal oxide/semiconductor (CMOS) snapshot imaging device of the photodiode-based, active-pixel-sensor (APS) type calls for features to prevent...

Briefs: Motion Control
Advanced, Lightweight, Low-Power-Consumption Actuator Brake

An advanced, lightweight, low-power consumption brake has been developed to satisfy NASA's special requirements for use on actuators during spaceflight. This brake can increase the stopping, holding, and parking ability of a spacecraft while reducing its electrical power consumption....

Miniature high-resolution optical-absorption sensors for detecting trace amounts of chemical species of interest in gas and liquid samples are undergoing development. The transducer in...

A method of computing the speed at which to command an autonomous robotic vehicle to travel over rough terrain has been devised. The method amounts to a robotic implementation of the...

A proposed optoelectronic apparatus would perform the combined functions of a confocal microscope and a Raman spectrometer. It would be used to acquire Raman-spectral-image and/or...

A method of coarse alignment has been proposed for a primary telescope mirror that comprises multiple segments mounted on actuators that can be used to tilt and translate the segments to...

Experiments have shown that a highly oblate microspheroid made of low-dielectric-loss silica glass can function as a high-performance optical resonator. The shape of this resonator (see...

A method of estimating the state of contact between (1) the wheels of a robotic vehicle equipped with a rocker-bogey suspension and (2) the ground has been devised. The contact-state...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Software for Generating Mosaics of Astronomical Images

Software is being developed to "stitch" together multiple astronomical images of small, adjacent patches of the sky into a single mosaic image of a large portion of the sky. These mosaics make data from large areas of the sky readily available for efficient viewing of many types of...

Thin, initially transparent films made of variants of a polymeric cation-exchange material have been found to be useful for facilitating the luminescence detection and...

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