Briefs: Information Technology

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...

Briefs: Information Technology

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 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...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

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...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

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...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

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....

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

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...

Briefs: Motion Control

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...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

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...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

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...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

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...

Briefs: Motion Control

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...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

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...

Briefs: Information Technology

A technique of partial subtractive dither has been developed to improve the performance of any of a variety of near-lossless data-compression algorithms. The technique may be applicable...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing in Optical Communication

A document in the form of lecture slides outlines a program of development of capabilities for acquisition of signals, tracking of signal sources, and pointing of transmitters and receivers in deep-space optical communications. Topics addressed on the first few slides include the...

Briefs: Information Technology
Software for Preprocessing of Raw SAR Data

The SAR Processing System Raw Data Processor (SPS RDS) computer program is used in the Alaska SAR Facility (ASF) to scan and decode raw data that have been downlinked from the European Remote Sensing Satellite (ERS), the Japanese Earth Resources Satellite (JERS), and the RADARSAT (a Canadian...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

In a scheme to increase the overall data return from a phase-modulation, suppressed-carrier telemetry transmitter, the telemetry playback symbol rate is adjusted essentially...

Briefs: Information Technology
Software for Locating Heterogeneous Data in Different Places

The Object Oriented Data Technology group at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is developing software for locating data — especially scientific data — stored in various formats on heterogeneous computer systems at different locations. The software is intended to exploit and extend...

Briefs: Test & Measurement

Figure 1 depicts an apparatus that simultaneously and synchronously records magnified ordinary top-view video images and laser-shadowgraph video images of a sessile...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

An improved Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, which processes an encrypted P-code signal without knowledge of the encryption code (denoted here as A-codeless mode), includes an auxiliary antenna...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Low-Power, Sparse-Sampling GPS Receiver

The term "microGPS" denotes a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver design concept that combines relatively simple, lightweight, low-power-consumption hardware with portable, efficient software. The power demand of a microGPS receiver can be made low because it is designed to sample sparsely; that is,...

Briefs: Software
Software Models Spacecraft Dynamics and Space Environment

The Spacecraft Control Toolbox (SCT) helps design control systems and attitude estimators, analyze station-keeping requirements, generate fuel and pointing budgets, and analyze spacecraft dynamics. The SCT provides a comprehensive set of over five hundred functions including:

Briefs: Software
Web-Based Software for Distributed Planning

The RecDel System is a low-cost software application that helps different groups of a complex project negotiate interfaces between interdependent schedules. The RecDel system is based on a concept of distributed planning, wherein the cognizant persons retain control over, and responsibility for, their...

Briefs: Software
Software for Detecting Tones in Beacon Monitoring

A software package for use in a ground receiving station detects a beacon-monitor tone transmitted by a spacecraft. To recapitulate from previous NASA Tech Briefs articles on beacon monitoring: An onboard computer processes data from onboard sensors to summarize the condition of the spacecraft...

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