Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Magnetostrictive Motor and Circuits for Robotic Applications

A magnetostrictive motor and its drive circuit and control system have been designed to be especially suitable for robotic applications in which there are requirements for precise, high-force linear actuators. The motor includes a laminated armature made of the magnetostrictive alloy...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

An electronic system that includes a capacitive proximity sensor is under development as a prototype of instrumentation systems for real-time monitoring of vibrations of turbine...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
System Locates Buried Objects Marked by Electromagnetic Tags

A relatively inexpensive, lightweight, durable, easy-to-operate radio-frequency (RF) instrument has been developed, along with special electromagnetic tags, for use in detecting buried objects to which the tags are attached. Each tag comprises a dipole antenna (basically, two collinear...

Briefs: Materials

Flexible, compact, hermetically sealed piezoceramic actuators with robust electrical leads have been developed for use in actively controlling aerostructures to suppress noise, vibration, and flutter on...

Briefs: Software
Software for Turbo Decoding on Digital Signal Processors

Software for decoding turbo codes that have been adopted as standard by the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems is being developed along with hardware built around integrated-circuit digital signal processors (DSPs) that execute the software. The software enables reliable...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Fiber-Optic Liquid-Level Sensors

Liquid-level-measuring systems based on fiber-optics are under development as compact, lightweight alternatives to systems based on float gauges and other conventional sensors. For liquids that pose explosion hazards, fiber-optic sensors are inherently safer because they do not include electrical connections...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A scheme for organizing and controlling sensor webs is based on artificial neural networks. [Sensor webs were described in “Sensor Webs” (NPO-20616), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 23, No. 10...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Efforts are underway to develop compact, lightweight electro-mechanical actuators based on electroactive polymers (EAPs). An actuator of this type is denoted an...

Briefs: Software
Software for Automation of Real-Time Agents

Closed Loop Execution and Recovery (CLEaR) is an artificial-intelligence computer program under devel- opment designed for automated command sequence generation, execution, monitoring, and recovery. As a component of the Deep Space Network’s (DSN’s) prototype Common Automation Engine (CAE), CLEaR...

Briefs: Software
GUI Program for Planning Paths of Rovers

The Path Planning Graphical User Interface is a computer program that, as its name indi- cates, generates a graphical user interface (GUI) for software that plans paths for robotic vehicles (rovers) to be used in exploration of remote planets. This GUI program is designed for use in conjunction with the...

Briefs: Software
Software for Modeling Biochemical Reactions

Cellerator is a computer program that auto- matically generates and solves differential equations for complex sets of chemical reac- tions like those in living cells. Cellerator provides a mathematical and computational infra- structure for char- acterizing reaction pathways and the interactions...

Briefs: Information Technology
Software for Allocation and Scheduling of DSN Resources

The TMOD (Tele- communications and Mission Operations Directorate) Integrated Ground Resource Allocation and Sched- uling (TIGRAS) computer program provides an integrated computing environment for analysis, allocation, and scheduling of antennas and other ground resources of NASA’s Deep...

Briefs: Information Technology
Software Disseminates Lessons Learned on a Large Project

A computer program automates the process of collecting, storing, and disseminating information on lessons learned in a large, multi- disciplinary project in which multiple organizations par- ticipate. Developed for the International Space Station project, the program could also be used on...

Briefs: Information Technology
Software Recognizes Similar Patterns of Different Sizes

A computer program undergoing development detects patterns that may differ in size but are otherwise similar to a specified pattern. Con- ceived to enable the automated recognition of features in images of planets and asteroids acquired by exploratory spacecraft, the program can also be...

Briefs: Information Technology
Program Predicts Temperatures at Nodes of a Thermal Network

Node Prediction for Thermal Networks (NOPTHER) is a computer program that predicts steady-state temperatures at un- observed nodes of a thermal network, given noisy values of the temperatures measured at observed nodes. The program is based partly on modeling of the heat fluxes among...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A method of automated synthesis of analog and/or digital electronic circuits involves evolution, either in software simulations or in hard- ware, directly on integrated-circuit chips....

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Designing Reconfigurable Antennas Through Hardware Evolution

In a proposed method of designing a recon- figurable antenna, the design would be opt- imized through evolution in hardware. The proposed method would be a specific instance of an emerging general method of automated synthesis of electronic circuits in hardware. Other specific...

Briefs: Software
System Mimics an Avionic Multiplexer/Demultiplexer

The multiplexer/ demultiplexer (MDM) emulator is the first virtual machine that can emulate an avionic computer. New flight software can be easily “dropped in,” increasing operational flexibility. The MDM makes it possible to perform integration more quickly, reducing the need for additional...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
FPGA-Based Test Bench for Nonvolatile Electronic Memories

A test bench based on field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) has been developed to reduce the cost of testing nonvolatile memory circuits. Specifications for endurance testing of memories can require test times as long as weeks — often impractically long in the case of commercial memory...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Mechanisms denoted restraint/ release/deployment-initiation (RRDI) devices have been invented to enable the rapid, reliable, one-time deployment of panels that have been hinged together...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Apparatus for Friction Stir Welding of Pipes

A proposed apparatus would effect friction stir welding (FSW) along a circumferential path to join two pipes. The apparatus is denoted an “orbital FSW system” because the circumferential motion of the FSW head would be similar to the motions of welding heads in commercial orbital fusion welding...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Automated System for Fluid and Electrical Connections

The Smart Umbilical Mating System (SUMS) is an automated, three-degreeof- freedom, scalable system for quickly mating, demating, and/or remating ganged umbilicals. SUMS connects electrical and fluid paths between spacecraft and ground support equipment whether liftoff or side mount for NON...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

A partly lithographic method of fabrication is being developed to enable the economical mass production of mesoscale electrically conductive coils for miniature electro- magnets,...

Briefs: Materials

Particles of dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) entrained in gas flows would be used during machining to cool cutting tools and workpieces, according to a proposal. Solid carbon dioxide particles...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Automated Apparatus for Welding to Seal Pyrotechnic Devices

An automated, remotely controllable apparatus has been developed for resistance welding for hermetic sealing of pyrotechnic devices, as a substitute for special-purpose welding equipment that is no longer commercially available. Hermetic sealing of a pyrotechnic device involves a...

Briefs: Medical

A technique for detecting bacterial endospores via luminescence affords a sensitivity much greater than that of a prior luminescence-based technique from which it is derived. The...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Compact, lightweight, sensitive correlation spectrometers for detecting gaseous byproducts of the onset of fire are under development. These spectrometers would be installed in...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

An instrumentation system measures the concentrations of three principal contaminants (nonvolatile residue, hydrocarbon vapor, and particle fallout) in real time. The system...

Briefs: Information Technology

A recently invented coding technique for data compression is based on recursive interleaving of variable-to-variable-length binary source codes. The technique can be used as a key component in...

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