Briefs: Information Technology
Program Generates Graphics To Help in Planning Space Flights

The Mission Planning Graphical Tool (MPGT) computer program provides a mouse-driven graphical representation of data on a spacecraft and its environment, for use in planning a space flight. MPGT is designed to be a generic software tool that can be configured to analyze any specified...

Briefs: Materials
Magnetostrictive Filter-Wheel Drive

The figure shows a prototype of a magnetostrictively actuated mechanism that would rotate an optical filter wheel for a high-performance infrared camera or telescope. Typically, a high-performance infrared instrument and its filter wheel are operated inside a cryogenic system. In conventional practice, the...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Supplementing Overvoltage Protection

Low-voltage high-current loads requiring precision voltage regulation are served by power systems that sense voltage remotely at the load. This creates the risk of an overvoltage (OV) condition at the...

A magnetostrictively actuated heat switch has been proposed for use in a variety of cryogenic equipment, including adiabatic-demagnetization refrigerators, calorimeters, and coolers for...

Small hybrid rocket engines of a proposed type would burn specially shaped hollow cylinders of solid fuel containing slanted oxygen-injection channels, as shown in the figure....

Parallel Visual 3 (pV3) is an interactive computer program that provides selected displays of data generated in numerical simulations - especially simulations that involve parallel...

A proposed "kinematic inchworm"-type linear actuator would move a mass as large as 2 kg along rails, with lengthwise position controllable in increments as small as 50 nm. The actuator could be...

Energy efficiency is a continuing focus of the power electronics industry. Motors consume the most electricity in commercial and industrial applications (followed at a distant second by...

Research has shown that with suitable processing, one can produce a polycrystalline version of a terbium/dysprosium alloy suitable for use in a magnetostrictive actuator for...

A technique that involves the use of crossed magnetic antennas in a natural waveguide has been proposed for tracking Martian dust storms from a single observing station; that is,...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Miniature Turbomolecular Pump for High Vacuum

A proposed miniature turbomolecular pump would be a prototype of high-vacuum sources for a forthcoming generation of miniature, portable mass spectrometers and other scientific instruments. The...

Briefs: Materials
Extruding Tb/Dy for Magnetostrictive Actuators

A process that is undergoing development would be used to mass-produce textured polycrystalline rods of a terbium/dysprosium alloy for cryogenic magnetostrictive actuators. The rolling-and-heat-treatment process described in the preceding article yields a high degree of crystal orientation, but is...

A microwave-cavity applicator has been developed for coating multiple fibers by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). A prototype of the applicator was used to deposit silicon carbide...

An improved magnetostrictive valve for remotely controlling a flow of liquid helium has been developed. Heretofore, flows of liquid helium have been controlled by use of valves with...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Pistol-Grip Torque-Measuring Power Tool

The figure shows one aspect of the exterior appearance of a pistol-grip torque-measuring power tool. The tool is a self-contained, computer controlled, 3/8-in. (~9.5-mm) drive pistol-grip style tool....

Briefs: Materials
Separating Ethanol From Water Via Differential Miscibility

The differential miscibility of castor oil in ethanol and water would be exploited to separate ethanol from water, according to a proposal. Burning the separated ethanol would produce more energy than would be consumed in the separation process. In contrast, the separation of a small...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Seven-Element Circularly Polarized Patch Antenna

A seven-element microstrip patch antenna is designed to operate with circular polarization and high gain at a frequency of 2.2875 GHz. The antenna was developed in the early 1990s as a...

A special-purpose multispectral video camera has been designed to provide an enhanced capability for viewing hydrogen fires. Hydrogen fires do not emit sufficient visible light to be...

Monolithic microwave integrated-circuit (MMIC) frequency converters have been developed for use in satellite- and ground-based communications (see figure) at frequencies from about 18 to...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Mars Ascent Propulsion System

A report presents an overview of continuing efforts to develop an advanced propulsion system for a spacecraft that would ascend from Mars to bring samples to Earth. The system is required to be smaller and to weigh and cost less, in comparison with a conventionally designed system of equal capability. The...

A process for the fabrication of a polycrystalline diamond membrane involves chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of diamond onto a silicon substrate, followed by conventional...

Briefs: Medical
Portable Device for Chemical Fixation of a Biological Sample

The Kennedy Space Center (KSC) fixation tube is a device for chemical fixation of a biological sample. It is mechanically resilient, small, and easy to use, and is thus well suited to use in the field as well as in the laboratory. Because typical chemical fixatives are extremely...

A proposed extension of the impressed-current method of cathodic protection of metal against corrosion in wet environments would reduce the current and power needed. The proposal involves (1) the...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Development of Gear Technology and Theory of Gearing

A NASA Reference Publication discusses gear technology from mathematical and historical perspectives. Following a preface containing historical and philosophical observations, the first of three chapters presents mathematical details of the theory of gearing, including recent developments...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Integrated Environmental Monitoring System for Clean Rooms

A system of electronic monitoring equipment under central computer control records and displays the readouts of environmental-quality instrumentation in clean rooms in the Space Station Processing Facility at Kennedy Space Center. The instruments include airborne-particle counters,...

Improved successive-approximation analog-to-digital converter (ADC) circuits are undergoing development for eventual incorporation into focal-plane arrays of photodetectors. These...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Series-Connected Boost Regulators

A series-connected boost regulator (SCBR) is, as its name suggests, an electronic circuit for boosting a power-supply voltage to a higher and regulated value. The distinguishing feature of an SCBR is an...

A material developed for space suits has been found useful in a completely different application: making wicks to support seedlings and to carry water and nutrients to them during the initial stages of...

Redundant fiber-optic transceivers have been incorporated into the High Speed Data Acquisition System (HSDAS) at Stennis Space Center, where they are used to communicate data acquired by...

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