Keyword: Soils

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: Electronics & Computers

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: 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...

Application Briefs: Motion Control

PI Ceramic monolithic piezo actuators (PICMA) were put to use in the Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument (CheMin) on the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity. CheMin is an Xray...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
A Probabilistic Mass Estimation Algorithm for a Novel 7-Channel Capacitive Sample Verification Sensor

A document describes an algorithm created to estimate the mass placed on a sample verification sensor (SVS) designed for lunar or planetary robotic sample return missions. A novel SVS measures the capacitance between a rigid bottom plate and an...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Mars Aqueous Processing System

The goal of the Mars Aqueous Processing System (MAPS) is to establish a flexible process that generates multiple products that are useful for human habitation. Selectively extracting useful components into an aqueous solution, and then sequentially recovering individual constituents, can obtain a suite of refined...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The moball is envisioned to be a round, self-powered, and wind-driven multifunctioning sensor used in the Gone with the Wind ON-Mars (GOWON) [http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Laser-Ranging Transponders for Science Investigations of the Moon and Mars

An active laser was developed ranging in real-time with two terminals, emulating interplanetary distances, and with submillimeter accuracy. In order to overcome the limitations to ranging accuracy from jitters and delay drifts within the transponders, architecture was...

Briefs: Software
Aquarius iPhone Application

The Office of the CIO at JPL has developed an iPhone application for the Aquarius/SAC-D mission. The application includes specific information about the science and purpose of the Aquarius satellite and also features daily mission news updates pulled from sources at Goddard Space Flight Center as well as Twitter. The...

Application Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Advanced Technology Center (ATC) has completed delivery of hardware subsystems for NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) Mission. The delivery...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Self-Sealing Wet Chemistry Cell for Field Analysis

In most analytical investigations, there is a need to process complex field samples for the unique detection of analytes, especially when detecting low-concentration organic molecules that may identify extraterrestrial life. Wet chemistry based instruments are the techniques of choice for most...

Briefs: Software

NASA is interested in designing a spacecraft capable of visiting a near- Earth object (NEO), performing experiments, and then returning safely....

Articles: Aerospace

NASA Tech Briefs recently spoke with Doug McCuistion, Director of the Mars Exploration Program, and Michael Meyer, lead scientist for the Mars Exploration Program and Program Scientist for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). We...

Articles: Aerospace

On April 14, 2004, NASA announced an opportunity for researchers to propose science investigations for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. Eight months later, the agency announced selection of eight...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Coring Sample Acquisition Tool

A sample acquisition tool (SAT) has been developed that can be used autonomously to sample drill and capture rock cores. The tool is designed to accommodate core transfer using a sample tube to the IMSAH (integrated Mars sample acquisition and handling) SHEC (sample handling, encapsulation, and containerization)...

Briefs: Software
Water Detection Based on Color Variation

This software has been designed to detect water bodies that are out in the open on cross-country terrain at close range (out to 30 meters), using imagery acquired from a stereo pair of color cameras mounted on a terrestrial, unmanned ground vehicle (UGV). This detector exploits the fact that the color...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
In Situ Potassium-Argon Geochronology Using Fluxed Fusion and a Double Spike

A document highlights an Li-based fluxing agent that enables sample fusion and quantitative Ar-release at relatively low temperatures (900–1,000 ºC), readily achievable with current flight resistance furnace designs. A solid, double spike containing known quantities...

Articles: Green Design & Manufacturing

Given the size of our planet and its wealth of resources, it is easy to forget that those resources are finite. As Earth’s human population continues to grow, the questions of how to...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

Air gaging relies on a law of physics that states flow and pressure are directly proportionate to clearance and react inversely to each other. As clearance increases,...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Laser Ablation Electrodynamic Ion Funnel for 'In Situ' Mass Spectrometry on Mars

A front-end instrument, the laser ablation ion funnel, was developed, which would ionize rock and soil samples in the ambient Martian atmosphere, and efficiently transport the product ions into a mass spectrometer for in situ analysis.

Briefs: Physical Sciences
'In Situ' Geochemical Analysis and Age Dating of Rocks Using Laser Ablation-Miniature Mass Spectrometer

A miniaturized instrument for performing chemical and isotopic analysis of rocks has been developed. The rock sample is ablated by a laser and the neutral species produced are analyzed using the JPL-invented miniature mass spectrometer. The...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Optical Comb From a Whispering Gallery Mode Resonator for Spectroscopy and Astronomy Instruments Calibration

The most accurate astronomical data is available from space-based observations that are not impeded by the Earth’s atmosphere. Such measurements may require spectral samples taken as long as decades apart, with the 1 cm/s velocity...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

To be able to conduct science investigations on highly sloped and challenging terrains, it is necessary to deploy science payloads to such locations and collect and process in...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A non-actuated tool has been developed for preparing regolith for in situ measurement by smoothing uneven surfaces and excavating fresher subsurface material for planetary exploration. The STAMP...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

This sensor unit is designed to determine the level of activation of lunar dust or simulant particles using a fluorescent technique. Activation of the surface of a lunar soil...

Briefs: Software
Eclipse-Free-Time Assessment Tool for IRIS

can be used to perform an Eclipse-Free-Time (EFT) assessment of IRIS (Infrared Imaging Surveyor) mission orbits. EFT is defined to be those time intervals longer than one day during which the IRIS spacecraft is not in the Earth’s shadow. Program IRIS_EFT implements a special perturbation of orbital...

Application Briefs: Software
ERDAS APOLLO Essentials - Image Web Server
ERDAS
Norcross, GA
770-776-3400
www.erdas.com

The Italian Space Agency (ASI) is using ERDAS APOLLO to manage...

Articles: Imaging
New Video Documents Three-Year Trek by Mars Rover

A new video compiles 309 images taken by NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, providing an historic record of a three-year trek that totaled about 13 miles across a Martian plain pocked with smaller craters.

While Opportunity was traveling from Victoria crater to Endeavour crater,...

Briefs: Information Technology
Surface Modeling to Support Small-Body Spacecraft Exploration and Proximity Operations

In order to simulate physically plausible surfaces that represent geologically evolved surfaces, demonstrating demanding surface-relative guidance navigation and control (GN&C) actions, such surfaces must be made to mimic the geological processes...