News
Army Fields Next-Generation Radar

The U.S. Army has begun fielding new radar systems to protect forward- deployed forces. Several next-generation, mobile Counter Target Acquisition, or CTA radar systems are now able to provide soldiers with a 360-degree protective envelope or warning capability against incoming enemy rocket, artillery and mortar...

News
Quick Cook Method Turns Algae into Oil

Michigan Engineering researchers can "pressure-cook" algae for as little as a minute and transform an unprecedented 65 percent of the green slime into biocrude. "We're trying to mimic the process in nature that forms crude oil with marine organisms," said Phil Savage, an Arthur F. Thurnau professor and a...

Briefs: Software
Visual System for Browsing, Analysis, and Retrieval of Data (ViSBARD)

ViSBARD software provides a way of visualizing multiple vector and scalar quantities as measured by many spacecraft at once. The data are displayed three-dimensionally along the orbits that may be shown either as connected lines or as points. The data display allows the rapid...

NASA has identified the need for advanced non-destructive evaluation (NDE) methods to characterize aging and durability in aircraft materials to improve the safety of the nation’s...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Adaptive Sampling of Time Series During Remote Exploration

This work deals with the challenge of online adaptive data collection in a time series. A remote sensor or explorer agent adapts its rate of data collection in order to track anomalous events while obeying constraints on time and power. This problem is challenging because the agent has...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
A Tracking Sun Photometer Without Moving Parts

This innovation is small, lightweight, and consumes very little electricity as it measures the solar energy attenuated by gases and aerosol particles in the atmosphere. A Sun photometer is commonly used on the Earth’s surface, as well as on aircraft, to determine the solar energy attenuated by...

Briefs: Information Technology
Modular, Autonomous Command and Data Handling Software With Built-In Simulation and Test

The spacecraft system that plays the greatest role throughout the program lifecycle is the Command and Data Handling System (C&DH), along with the associated algorithms and software. The C&DH takes on this role as cost driver because it is the brains of the...

Briefs: Software
Surface Temperature Data Analysis

Small global mean temperature changes may have significant to disastrous consequences for the Earth’s climate if they persist for an extended period. Obtaining global means from local weather reports is hampered by the uneven spatial distribution of the reliably reporting weather stations. Methods had to be...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
In-Situ Wire Damage Detection System

An In-Situ Wire Damage Detection System (ISWDDS) has been developed that is capable of detecting damage to a wire insulation, or a wire conductor, or to both. The system will allow for real-time, continuous monitoring of wiring health/integrity and reduce the number of false negatives and false positives...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Wideband Agile Digital Microwave Radiometer

The objectives of this work were to take the initial steps needed to develop a field programmable gate array (FPGA)- based wideband digital radiometer backend (>500 MHz bandwidth) that will enable...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Amplifier Module for 260-GHz Band Using Quartz Waveguide Transitions

Packaging of MMIC LNA (monolithic microwave integrated circuit low-noise amplifier) chips at frequencies over 200 GHz has always been problematic due to the high loss in the transition between the MMIC chip and the waveguide medium in which the chip will typically be used. In...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Buckyball Nucleation of HiPco Tubes

The purpose of this innovation is to enhance nucleation of single-wall nanotubes (SWNTs) in the HiPco process, selectively producing 10,10 tubes, something which until now has not been thought possible.

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
FACT, Mega-ROSA, SOLAROSA

The Flexible Array Concentrator Technology (FACT) is a lightweight, high-performance reflective concentrator blanket assembly that can be used on flexible solar array blankets. The FACT concentrator replaces every...

Briefs: Materials
Adjusting Permittivity by Blending Varying Ratios of SWNTs

A new composite material of singlewalled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) displays radio frequency (0 to 1 GHz) permittivity properties that can be adjusted based upon the nanotube composition. When varying ratios of raw to functionalized SWNTs are blended into the silicone elastomer matrix at a...

Briefs: Materials
Polyolefin-Based Aerogels

An organic polybutadiene (PB) rubber-based aerogel insulation material was developed that will provide superior thermal insulation and inherent radiation protection, exhibiting the flexibility, resiliency, toughness, and durability typical of the parent polymer, yet with the low density and superior insulation...

Briefs: Materials
An Integrated, Layered-Spinel Composite Cathode for Energy Storage Applications

At low operating temperatures, commercially available electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries do not fully meet the energy and power requirements for NASA’s exploration activities. The composite cathode under development is projected to provide the required...

Briefs: Materials
Engineered Multifunctional Surfaces for Fluid Handling

Designs incorporating variations in capillary geometry and hydrophilic and/or antibacterial surface properties have been developed that are capable of passive gas/liquid separation and passive water flow. These designs can incorporate capillary grooves and/or surfaces arranged to create...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Concept for Hydrogen-Impregnated Nanofiber/Photovoltaic Cargo Stowage System

A stowage system was conceived that consists of collapsible, reconfigurable stowage bags, rigid polyethylene or metal inserts, stainless-steel hooks, flexible photovoltaic materials, and webbing curtains that provide power generation, thermal stabilization, impact...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
DROP: Durable Reconnaissance and Observation Platform

Robots have been a valuable tool for providing a remote presence in areas that are either inaccessible or too dangerous for humans. Having a robot with a high degree of adaptability...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Gravity-Assist Mechanical Simulator for Outreach

There is no convenient way to demonstrate mechanically, as an outreach (or inreach) topic, the angular momentum trade-offs and the conservation of angular momentum associated with...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Spectroscopic Chemical Analysis Methods and Apparatus

This invention relates to non-contact spectroscopic methods and apparatus for performing chemical analysis and the ideal wavelengths and sources needed for this analysis. It employs deep ultraviolet (200- to 300-nm spectral range) electron- beam-pumped wide bandgap semiconductor lasers,...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Motion-Corrected 3D Sonic Anemometer for Tethersondes and Other Moving Platforms

To date, it has not been possible to apply 3D sonic anemometers on tethersondes or similar atmospheric research platforms due to the motion of the supporting platform. A tethersonde module including both a 3D sonic anemometer and associated motion correction sensors...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Water Treatment Systems for Long Spaceflights

Space exploration will require new life support systems to support the crew on journeys lasting from a few days to several weeks, or longer. These systems should also be designed to reduce the mass required to keep humans alive in space. Water accounts for about 80 percent of the daily mass intake...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Seismic Imager Space Telescope

A concept has been developed for a geostationary seismic imager (GSI), a space telescope in geostationary orbit above the Pacific coast of the Americas that would provide movies of many large earthquakes occurring in the area from Southern Chile to Southern Alaska. The GSI movies would cover a field of view as long...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Low-Cost Phased Array Antenna for Sounding Rockets, Missiles, and Expendable Launch Vehicles

A low-cost beamformer phased array antenna has been developed for expendable launch vehicles, rockets, and missiles. It utilizes a conformal array antenna of ring or individual radiators (design varies depending on application) that is designed to be fed...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Microchip Non-Aqueous Capillary Electrophoresis (μNACE) Method to Analyze Long-Chain Primary Amines

A protocol was developed as a first step in analyzing the complex organic aerosols present on Saturn’s moon Titan, as well as the analogues of these aerosols (tholins) made on Earth. Labeling of primary amines using Pacific Blue™ succinimidyl...

In radiometer applications, it is required to design antennas that meet low average sidelobe levels and low average return loss over a specified frequency bandwidth. It is...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Mars Science Laboratory Engineering Cameras

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover, which launched to Mars in 2011, is equipped with a set of 12 engineering cameras. These cameras are build-to-print copies of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) cameras, which were sent to Mars in 2003. The engineering cameras weigh

Briefs: Information Technology
Estimating Sea Surface Salinity and Wind Using Combined Passive and Active L-Band Microwave Observations

Several L-band microwave radiometer and radar missions have been, or will be, operating in space for land and ocean observations. These include the NASA Aquarius mission and the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission, both of which use...

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