Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

An electromechanical device implements a unique method of actuating a fabric joint in an inflatable structure  in particular, the joint in an astronaut's pressure suit. The method is...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
EPRI of Distributions of Free Radicals in Polyimide Samples

A report describes experiments in which electron paramagnetic resonance imaging (EPRI) was used to determine one-dimensional spatial distributions of free radicals in two plate specimens of PMR-15 polyimide. One specimen had been postcured at a temperature of 315 °C in nitrogen, then...

Briefs: Software
On-Line System Provides Accurate Ephemeris and Related Data

The Horizons On-Line Ephemeris and Data System ("Horizons" for short) is a computer program that provides data on the locations, motions, and dynamical parameters of solar-system objects, including the Sun, nine planets, 61 natural satellites, more than 16,000 comets and asteroids, and...

Briefs: Information Technology
Strategies for Optimal Placement of Sensors and Actuators

A paper presents a survey of sensor- and actuator-placement problems from various applications that involve a wide range of engineering disciplines. "Smart" structures that contain sensors (e.g., microphones or strain sensors) and actuators (e.g., loudspeakers or piezoelectric actuators)...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

A magnetic sector in a proposed miniature mass spectrometer would include (1) a permanent magnet made of a high-energy-product material, (2) a conventional ferromagnetic yoke, and (3)...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Improved Control of Charging Current for Ni/H Battery

In a proposed method of controlling the electric current supplied for charging a nickel/hydrogen battery, the rate of evolution of heat would be taken into account along with the electrical quantities (voltage, current, and/or charge as functions of time) that are traditionally taken into...

Briefs: Software
Software for Planning and Execution in an Autonomous System

A software system for planning and execution of actions by an autonomous spacecraft engaged in scientific exploration has been developed to satisfy requirements to (1) maintain positive resource margins and avoid short-sighted decisions in order to achieve long-term scientific and...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

The figure schematically illustrates an instrument designed expressly for recording lightning-induced transient voltages on power and signal cables. The principal advantage of this instrument over previously...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Modifications of the Ventricular Assist Device

A report discusses some modifications of the ventricular assist device (VAD), which was described in "Small Implantable Pump Would Assist Circulation of Blood" (MSC-22424), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 20, No. 7 (July 1996), page 86. The VAD is a surgically implantable, miniature rotary pump designed to...

Briefs: Motion Control
Biomorphic Robot With Distributed Power

The biomorphic robot with distributed power (BIROD) is a prototype of a class of robots that will contain simple, reliable distributed actuators that will consume power from local sources - a design concept inspired in part by biological actuators like muscles in limbs. The BIROD concept stands in...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Heated weights have been found to be useful in adhesive bonding of clips, doublers, and other small parts to lightweight structures and structural components (e.g., face-sheet/honeycomb-core sandwich...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Improved Lightning-Current Measurements on a Protective Wire

A test procedure has been devised to increase the accuracy with which lightning currents on a protective wire can be determined from raw current measurements. The procedure was conceived specifically for determining lightning currents on a steel cable used to protect the space shuttle...

Briefs: Software
Program Generates Maps From IFSAR Data

A computer program provides for automated generation of maps from data acquired via C-band interferometric synthetic-aperture radar (IFSAR). The program reads in height, radar-brightness, and correlation data generated by IFSAR processors and computes a series of image features to be used in classifying...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A program of flight testing of an instrumented subscale model of the X-33 aerospace vehicle is underway. The objectives of this program are the following:

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A low-power serial data communication link has been designed to transmit data among subsystems of a spacecraft instrumentation system, at rates up to 5 × 105 bits per...

Briefs: Motion Control

A fault-tolerant feedback (FTF) system has been integrated into a robot control system to prevent robot-arm runaways that could be caused by failure of one or more transducers such as...

Briefs: Materials

Lightweight, monolithic ceramics that retain their shapes and strengths and resist oxidation at temperatures up to 1,200 °C have been invented. These ceramics are made of carbon, silicon,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Kinetic-energy-absorbing shrouds have been proposed to protect nearby persons and equipment against high-speed debris ejected by disintegrating machines. Examples of machines that...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Focal-plane arrays of active-pixel sensors (photodetectors integrated with in-pixel readout transistors) would be designed and fabricated within the emerging technological discipline of...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Capacitive proximity sensors of this proposed type would be based on the capaciflector concept, with an extension of hardware and software designs to incorporate capabilities for scanning in frequency and...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Evolvable Multiagent Approach to Spacecraft Communication

A paper presents the concept of a system for autonomous communication among multiple satellites and other spacecraft. The design of the system would be based on an evolvable architecture of multiple intelligent agents (that is, artificial-intelligence constructs implemented in software...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

The Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has developed a new method of measuring human physiological stress parameters. This consists of an acoustic sensor positioned inside a fluid-filled bladder...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Integrated circuits capable of sensing both infrared and visible images have been proposed. Until now, the usual practice for simultaneous imaging at both infrared and visible wavelengths in...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A recently developed gallium nitride-based linear array of ultraviolet detectors is blind to most of the visible spectrum, with a cutoff wavelength of 370 nm. This device is a prototype of GaN...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Equations have been derived to describe the deflection of a circular membrane under both in-plane and transverse loads. More specifically, the equations describe the radial (in-plane)...

Briefs: Software
Program for Designing Multiple-Reflector Antenna Systems

Millimeter-Wave Optics Design Tool (MOD Tool) is a computer program for analyzing and designing multiple-reflector antenna systems that operate at microwave and millimeter wavelengths. MOD Tool is intended for use in conjunction with a computer-aided-design (CAD) program along with other...

Briefs: Materials

Electrodialysis has been shown to be an effective means for removing ammonium ions from wastewater without use of consumable chemicals and without adding other substances to the treated...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

"Hybrisol" denotes a proposed rocket engine that would contain hybrid and solid-propellant parts within a single combustion chamber. ["Hybrid" as used here denotes a type of rocket engine in which a solid fuel is...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A mixing apparatus combines liquid oxygen and liquid nitrogen to make liquid air in small, convenient quantities. Heretofore, equipment used to make liquid air by mixing was incapable of...

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