Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Walking Robot for Internal Inspection of Thin-Wall Ducts

A walking robot connected to external instrumentation via a tether has been proposed to enable visual inspections, retrieval of loose objects, and some repairs inside thin-wall round...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Automated Cargo-Tracking Transponders

Credit-card-sized electronic transponders have been proposed for use in tracking cargo anywhere on Earth. A transponder would be carried on a cargo container, where it would act as a "smart tag." The...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Biomorphic Explorers

"Biomorphic explorers" are a class of proposed small robots that would be equipped with microsensors and would feature animallike adaptability and mobility. These robots would capture key features, a specific design or...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Computer-Controlled Instrumentation Measures Hydrogen Leaks

An instrumentation system monitors rates of leakage of hydrogen from multiple zones on a complexly shaped tank. Each zone is established by bagging a designated exterior portion of the tank. The bag for each zone is purged with a carrier gas (either nitrogen or helium) at a controlled...

The figure schematically illustrates an optoelectronic apparatus that generates both an optical output and an electronic output (typically at frequencies in the range from hundreds...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Program Facilitates Simulation of Flows of Cryogenic Fluids

EASY/ROCETS is a developmental computer program for mathematical modeling and analysis of dynamic flows of cryogenic fluids in a rocket-engine-testing facility. Heretofore, the numerical simulation of such flows has been accomplished by use of computer codes specific to test-equipment...

X-ray-based Computed Tomography (CT) has been linked with finite-element analysis to provide a capability for structural characterization of as-manufactured parts— especially for the...

Briefs: Information Technology
Robust Aeroservoelastic-Stability Margins

In aeroservoelastic (ASE)-stability analysis, one considers the coupling of the aerodynamic, inertial, structural, actuation, and control-system elements of the dynamics of an aircraft. The...

A process being developed for ultrathin packaging of multiple integrated-circuit chips and associated microelectromechanical components makes it possible to fabricate a minimally...

The feasibility of remotely acquiring infrared images (thermograms) of aircraft surfaces in flight to locate flow-transition boundaries has been investigated. As used here,...

Focal-plane-array (FPA) hybrids of quantum-well infrared photodetectors (QWIPs) thinned to the membrane level are undergoing development. The developmental QWIPs in question are of...

An electronic engine-health-monitoring system is based on (1) computation of frequency-phase-normalized (FPN) spectra from the digitized outputs of vibration sensors and (2) the use of...

An imaging spectroscopic technique is undergoing development for use in remote detection of ice and mapping of the thickness of ice on aircraft surfaces. The technique is based on the...

An algorithm effects rapid initialization of a convolutional decoder. This algorithm can be applied "on the fly"; that is while the decoder is receiving a stream of convolutionally...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Embedded CMOS A/D Converters for High-Speed Operation

Sarnoff Corporation has announced the development of four new analog-to-digital (A/D) converter macro cells for embedding in CMOS designs in which high-precision, high-speed operation at low power is important. The 8-bit, 10-bit, 12-bit, and dual 6-bit designs are available for licensing by...

A proposed improved code-division multiple-access (CDMA) detector would achieve high resistance to jamming of weak ("far") received signals by strong ("near") ones. The problem of such...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Transparent Furnaces for High-Temperature Research

Transparent furnaces are being developed for use in research on properties and processing of materials at high temperatures. Full optical access to the interiors of furnaces is intended to provide the capability for nonintrusive diagnosis and feedback control of the subtleties of...

An improved method of parallel computation of the electromagnetic-scattering characteristics of complexly shaped objects has been devised. This method belongs to a class of methods...

Multiple-quantum-well AlxGa1 - xAs photodetectors that exploit transitions of electrons from quantum-well bound states to quasi-bound states are undergoing...

By combining patented digital Silver-in-Glass® and analog conductive plastic technologies in a single environmentally sealed unibody package, Spectrol Electronics' DigiSense™...

The recent summit meeting held in Kyoto, Japan, has brought world-wide attention to the issue of global climate change. For the past 5 years, the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
"Smart" Camera for Precise Mapping and Targeting

A "smart" video camera, called the "GI-Eye," generates digital image data that are automatically tagged with georegistration meta-data to indicate the precise position and attitude of the...

Two types of gear drives have been devised to improve the performances of robotic mechanisms. One type features a dual-input/single-output differential-drive configuration intended to...

The figure schematically illustrates part of an accelerometer in which a feedback control subsystem applies voltages to generate electrostatic forces to minimize the displacement of a...

Briefs: Information Technology
Converting Particle-Fallout Data to Obscuration Levels

A worksheet has been constructed within the Microsoft Excel software system for converting raw particle-fallout data into percentages of obscuration; that is, percentages of areas obscured by particles on surfaces. These obscuration levels are needed for assessing contamination levels in...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Signal Preprocessor for Determining Time of Arrival

A proposed analog/digital circuit would improve the accuracy of determining the time of occurrence of a peak in an analog waveform. In the past, the time of occurrence of the peak was determined by comparing the magnitude of digital data samples. The time or clock pulse associated with the peak...

A simple technique for extending the dynamic range of a charge-coupled-device (CCD) video camera involves the use of photochromic material — the same material used in...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Updated Program for Computing Stresses in Spur Gears

DANST-PC is version 3.01 of a computer program for analysis of the statics and dynamics of spur-gear systems. ["DANST" signifies "Dynamic Analysis of Spur Gear Transmissions." A previous version was described in "Computing Stresses in Spur Gears," NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 19, No. 12 (December...

A microwave-heating technique provides for batch processing of multiple, identically sized and shaped samples of the same material. The technique involves (1) excitation of a symmetrical...

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