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Simulated Mars Mission Reveals Astronauts' Needs

A team of researchers has analyzed data on the impact of prolonged operational confinement on sleep, performance, and mood in astronauts from a groundbreaking international effort to simulate a 520-day space mission to Mars. The findings revealed alterations of life-sustaining sleep patterns and...

News
Researchers Build Acrobatic Rovers to Explore Moons and Asteroids

Stanford researchers, in collaboration with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have designed a robotic platform that could take space exploration to new heights. The mission proposed for the platform involves a mother spacecraft...

Question of the Week
Will We Discover "Earth's Twin" This Year?

NASA's Kepler Space Telescope has found more than 2,300 potential planets since its March 2009 launch. Although astronomers have found a number of exoplanets that share one or two key traits with our planet, including size or inferred surface temperature, a true "alien Earth" has yet to be...

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P-Type Transistor Sets 'Carrier Mobility' Records

Researchers from MIT’s Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL) presented a p-type transistor with the highest “carrier mobility” yet measured. By that standard, the device is twice as fast as previous experimental p-type transistors and almost four times as fast as the best commercial...

News
DARPA's Four-Legged Robot Plays Follow the Leader

In the woods of central Virginia around Fort Pickett, the Legged Squad Support System (LS3) four-legged robot has been showing off its capabilities during field testing. Working with the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, researchers from DARPA’s LS3 program demonstrated new advances in the...

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Army Engineers Design Roadway Threat Detection System

Explosives along roadways remain an unrelenting hazard for deployed soldiers, so U.S. Army engineers have developed a system for detecting possible threats by identifying potential threat locations on unimproved roads. The Shadow Class Infrared Spectral Sensor-Ground, known as SCISSOR-G,...

News
Army Deploys Service-Wide Intelligence System

The Army has been given the green light to fully deploy a combat-proven intelligence system, called the Distributed Common Ground System – Army (DCGS-A), to globally network forces with mission-critical information. The system was approved for full deployment by the Defense acquisition executive...

News
Army Deploys Service-Wide Intelligence System

The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator recently completed its first at-sea test phase aboard the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). The first aircraft of its kind aboard a Naval vessel, the X-47B was put through myriad trials designed to assess the...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Single-Photon-Sensitive HgCdTe Avalanche Photodiode Detector

The purpose of this program was to develop single-photon-sensitive shortwavelength infrared (SWIR) and midwavelength infrared (MWIR) avalanche photodiode (APD) receivers based on linear-mode HgCdTe APDs, for application by NASA in light detection and ranging (lidar) sensors....

A software package reads and analyzes pressure distributions from sensors mounted under a person’s feet. Pressure data from sensors mounted in shoes, or in a platform, can...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Using Silica Whispering- Gallery Mode Resonators

The motivation of this work was to have robust spectroscopic sensors for sensitive detection and chemical analysis of organic and molecular compounds. The solution is to use silica sphere optical resonators to provide surface-enhanced spectroscopic signal.

Briefs: Information Technology
3D Hail Size Distribution Interpolation/Extrapolation Algorithm

Radar data can usually detect hail; however, it is difficult for present day radar to accurately discriminate between hail and rain. Local ground-based hail sensors are much better at detecting hail against a rain background, and when incorporated with radar data, provide a much...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Color-Changing Sensors for Detecting the Presence of Hypergolic Fuels

Hypergolic fuel sensors were designed to incorporate novel chemo chromic pigments into substrates for use in various methods of leak detection. There are several embodiments to this invention that would provide specific visual indication of hypergols used during and after...

Briefs: Materials
Using Pre-Melted Phase Change Material to Keep Payloads in Space Warm for Hours Without Power

Adding phase change material (PCM) to a mission payload can maintain its temperature above the cold survival limit, without power, for several hours in space. For the International Space Station, PCM is melted by heaters just prior to the payload...

Briefs: Materials
Fibrillar Adhesive for Climbing Robots

A climbing robot needs to use its adhesive patches over and over again as it scales a slope. Replacing the adhesive at each step is generally impractical. If the adhesive or attachment mechanism cannot be used repeatedly, then the robot must carry an extra load of this adhesive to apply a fresh layer with...

Briefs: Materials
Transformers: Shape-Changing Space Systems Built With Robotic Textiles

Prior approaches to transformer-like robots had only very limited success. They suffer from lack of reliability, ability to integrate large surfaces, and very modest change in overall shape. Robots can now be built from two-dimensional (2D) layers of robotic fabric. This...

The harmful properties of lunar dust, such as small size, glass composition, abnormal surface area, and coatings of imbedded nanophase iron, lead to a unique coupling of...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Development of a Centrifugal Technique for the Microbial Bioburden Analysis of Freon (CFC-11)

NASA Procedural Requirement 8020.12C entitled “Planetary Protection Provisions for Robotic Extraterrestrial Missions” states that the source-specific encapsulated microbial density for encapsulated organisms (div(0)) in nonmetallic materials ranges...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
DSP/FPGA Design for a High-Speed Programmable S-Band Space Transceiver

Traditional command uplink receivers are very limited in performance capability, take a long time to acquire, cannot operate on both uplink bands (NASA & AFSCN), and only support low-rate communications. As a result, transceivers end up on many programs’ critical paths,...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Memory Circuit Fault Simulator

Spacecraft are known to experience significant memory part-related failures and problems, both pre- and post-launch. These memory parts include both static and dynamic memories (SRAM and DRAM). These failures manifest themselves in a variety of ways, such as pattern-sensitive failures, timing- sensitive failures,...

A 1.6-THz power-combined Schottky frequency tripler was designed to handle approximately 30 mW input power. The design of Schottky-based triplers at this...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
FPGA Vision Data Architecture

JPL has produced a series of FPGA (field programmable gate array) vision algorithms that were written with custom interfaces to get data in and out of each vision module. Each module has unique requirements on the data interface, and further vision modules are continually being developed, each with their own custom...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Ultra-Compact Transputer-Based Controller for High-Level, Multi-Axis Coordination

The design of machines that rely on arrays of servomotors such as robotic arms, orbital platforms, and combinations of both, imposes a heavy computational burden to coordinate their actions to perform coherent tasks. For example, the robotic equivalent of a person...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Magnetically Actuated Seal

This invention is a magnetically actuated seal in which either a single electromagnet, or multiple electromagnets, are used to control the seal’s position. This system can either be an open/close type of system or an actively controlled system.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot Excavator

The Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot (RASSOR) excavator robot is a teleoperated mobility platform with a space regolith excavation capability. This more compact, lightweight design (

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Hybrid Electrostatic/ Flextensional Mir ror for Lightweight, Large-Aperture, and Cr yogenic Space Telescopes

A lightweight, cryogenically capable, scalable, deformable mirror has been developed for space telescopes. This innovation makes use of polymer-based membrane mirror technology to enable large-aperture mirrors that can be easily launched...

A revolutionary way is proposed of studying the surface of Mars using a wind-driven network of mobile sensors: GOWON. GOWON would be a scalable, self-powered and...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Analysis of the Effects of Streamwise Lift Distribution on Sonic Boom Signature

Investigation of sonic boom has been one of the major areas of study in aeronautics due to the benefits a low-boom aircraft has in both civilian and military applications. Current Federal Aviation Administration regulations prohibit supersonic flight over land due to...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
In Situ Solid Particle Generator

Particle seeding is a key diagnostic component of filter testing and flow imaging techniques. Typical particle generators rely on pressurized air or gas sources to propel the particles into the flow field....

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