Keyword: Hardware

Briefs: Physical Sciences

With present concern for ecological sustainability ever increasing, it is desirable to model the composition of Earth’s upper atmosphere accurately with regards to certain helpful...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Hardware Implementation of Lossless Adaptive Compression of Data From a Hyperspectral Imager

Efficient onboard data compression can reduce the data volume from hyperspectral imagers on NASA and DoD spacecraft in order to return as much imagery as possible through constrained downlink channels. Lossless compression is important for signature...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
A Compact, High-Flux Cold Atom Beam Source

The performance of cold atom experiments relying on three-dimensional magneto-optical trap techniques can be greatly enhanced by employing a highflux cold atom beam to obtain high atom loading rates while maintaining low background pressures in the UHV MOT (ultra-high vacuum magneto-optical trap)...

Briefs: Software
Software to Control and Monitor Gas Streams

This software package interfaces with various gas stream devices such as pressure transducers, flow meters, flow controllers, valves, and analyzers such as a mass spectrometer. The software provides excellent user interfacing with various windows that provide time-domain graphs, valve state buttons,...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Fast and Adaptive Lossless Onboard Hyperspectral Data Compression System

Modern hyperspectral imaging systems are able to acquire far more data than can be downlinked from a spacecraft. Onboard data compression helps to alleviate this problem, but requires a system capable of power efficiency and high throughput. Software solutions have limited...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
PRTs and Their Bonding for Long-Duration, Extreme- Temperature Environments

Research was conducted on the qualification of Honeywell platinum resistance thermometer (PRT) bonding for use in the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). This is the first time these sensors will be used for Mars-related projects. Different types of PRTs were employed for the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Dual-Compartment Inflatable Suitlock

A paper discusses a dual-compartment inflatable suitlock (DCIS) for Extra-vehicular Activity (EVA) that will allow for dust control, suit maintenance, and efficient EVA egress/ingress. The expandable (inflatable technologies) aspect of the design will allow the unit to stow in a compact package for...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Method to Enhance the Operation of an Optical Inspection Instrument Using Spatial Light Modulators

For many aspheric and freeform optical components, existing interferometric solutions require a custom computer-generated hologram (CGH) to characterize the part. The overall objective of this research is to develop hardware and a procedure to...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Qualification of Engineering Camera for Long-Duration Deep Space Missions

Qualification and verification of advanced electronic packaging and interconnect technologies, and various other types of hardware elements for the Mars Exploration Rover’s Spirit and Opportunity (MER)/Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) flight projects, has been performed to...

Briefs: Software
Doppler Lidar Signal Processing Suite (DLiSPS)

DLiSPS is a collection of software modules that processes lidar data and displays/archives the output products. It has the same features as the real-time version written in C++, except the hardware control capability, with many other functionalities for off-line lidar signal processing. DLiSPS is...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

As NASA embarks upon developing the Next-Generation Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) Radio for deep space exploration, the demands on EVA battery life will substantially increase. The number of modes and...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Previous development testbeds have assumed that the developer was physically present in front of the hardware being used. No provision for remote operation of basic functions...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Imaging System Aperture Masks for Image Plane Exit Pupil Characterization

Imaging system exit pupil characteristics are typically difficult and expensive to measure directly. In most cases, the exit pupil in an optical system is a virtual image of the system’s aperture stop and requires additional powered optical elements, such as lenses and...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Optical Communications Receiver

Specialized mixed-signal (radio frequency and digital) hardware and processing techniques are employed to enable processing of the multi-GHz signal bandwidth, along with the instruction of an inter-symbol guard time (ISGT) to facilitate synchronization to the received pulse-position modulation (PPM) signal.

Application Briefs: Lighting

Wilbrecht LEDCO’s new Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) compatible LEDs are designed for avionics applications that require night vision compatibility. Available in green, yellow, white and red in...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
High-Speed, Multi-Channel Serial ADC LVDS Interface for Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA

Analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) are used in scientific and communications instruments on all spacecraft. As data rates get higher, and as the transition is made from parallel ADC designs to high-speed, serial, low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS) designs, the...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control

Motion control choices are best made in light of the whole system architecture, as the selection of system architecture will drive not only the implementation and integration stages of the...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Use of CCSDS Packets Over SpaceWire to Control Hardware

For the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Command and Data Handling subsystem consisted of several electronic hardware assemblies that were connected with SpaceWire serial links. Electronic hardware would be commanded/controlled and telemetry data was obtained using the SpaceWire links....

Briefs: Software
Ring Image Analyzer

Ring Image Analyzer software analyzes images to recognize elliptical patterns. It determines the ellipse parameters (axes ratio, centroid coordinate, tilt angle). The program attempts to recognize elliptical fringes (e.g., Newton Rings) on a photograph and determine their centroid position, the short-to-long-axis ratio, and...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
SNE Industrial Fieldbus Interface

Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) have very limited diagnostic and no prognostic capabilities, while current smart sensor designs do not have the capability to communicate over Fieldbus networks. The aim is to interface smart sensors with PLCs so that health and status information, such as failure mode...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Experiment in Onboard Synthetic Aperture Radar Data Processing

Single event upsets (SEUs) are a threat to any computing system running on hardware that has not been physically radiation hardened. In addition to mandating the use of performance- limited, hardened heritage equipment, prior techniques for dealing with the SEU problem often involved...

Briefs: Software
S-Band POSIX Device Drivers for RTEMS

This is a set of POSIX device driver level abstractions in the RTEMS RTOS (Real-Time Executive for Multiprocessor Systems real-time operating system) to SBand radio hardware devices that have been instantiated in an FPGA (field-programmable gate array). These include A/D (analog-to-digital) sample capture,...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Silicon Carbide Mounts for Fabry-Perot Interferometers

Etalon mounts for tunable Fabry-Perot interferometers can now be fabricated from reaction-bonded silicon carbide structural components. These mounts are rigid, lightweight, and thermally stable. The fabrication of these mounts involves the exploitation of post-casting capabilities that (1)...

Briefs: Software
Jitter Controller Software

Sinusoidal jitter is produced by simply modulating a clock frequency sinusoidally with a given frequency and amplitude. But this can be expressed as phase jitter, frequency jitter, or cycle-to-cycle jitter, rms or peak, absolute units, or normalized to the base clock frequency. Jitter using other waveforms requires...

Briefs: Software
μShell Minimalist Shell for Xilinx Microprocessors

μShell is a lightweight shell environment for engineers and software developers working with embedded microprocessors in Xilinx FPGAs. (μShell has also been successfully ported to run on ARM Cortex-M1 microprocessors in Actel ProASIC3 FPGAs, but without project-integration support.) μShell...

Briefs: Software
Bundle Security Protocol for ION

This software implements bundle authentication, conforming to the Delay-Tolerant Networking (DTN) Internet Draft on Bundle Security Protocol (BSP), for the Interplanetary Overlay Network (ION) implementation of DTN. This is the only implementation of BSP that is integrated with ION.

Application Briefs: Aerospace
Launch escape system
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX)
Hawthorne, CA
310-363-6000
www.spacex.com

Due to the recent retirement of the space shuttle,...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping

In a new series, the editors of NASA Tech Briefs magazine catch up with everyday engineers about their unique responsibilities and challenges. This week, we highlight fellow...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
HEXPANDO Expanding Head for Fastener-Retention Hexagonal Wrench

The HEXPANDO is an expanding-head hexagonal wrench designed to retain fasteners and keep them from being dislodged from the tool. The tool is intended to remove or install socket-head cap screws (SHCSs) in remote, hard-to-reach locations or in circumstances when a dropped fastener...