Keyword: Spacecraft

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

An improved version of an optoelectronic apparatus for measuring distances of the order of tens of feet with an error no larger than a small fraction of an inch (a few millimeters) has...

Briefs: Software
Time Analyzer For Time Synchronization and Monitor of the Deep Space Network

A software package has been developed to measure, monitor, and archive the performance of timing signals distributed in the NASA Deep Space Network. Timing signals are generated from a central master clock and distributed to over 100 users at distances up to 30...

Briefs: Software
Program for Computing Albedo

Simple Thermal Environment Model (STEM) is a FORTRAN-based computer program that provides engineering estimates of top-of-atmosphere albedo and outgoing long-wave radiation (OLR) for use in analyzing thermal loads on spacecraft near Earth. The thermal environment of a spacecraft is represented in STEM as consisting...

Briefs: Software
Integrated Software for Analyzing Designs of Launch Vehicles

Launch Vehicle Analysis Tool (LVA) is a computer program for preliminary design structural analysis of launch vehicles. Before LVA was developed, in order to analyze the structure of a launch vehicle, it was necessary to estimate its weight, feed this estimate into a program to obtain...

Briefs: Software
Abstract-Reasoning Software for Coordinating Multiple Agents

A computer program for scheduling the activities of multiple agents that share limited resources has been incorporated into the Automated Scheduling and Planning Environment (ASPEN) software system, aspects of which have been reported in several previous NASA Tech Briefs articles. In...

Briefs: Software
Software Searches for Better Spacecraft-Navigation Models

ADAPT is a computer program that searches for better mathematical models for spacecraft navigation. The task of tuning trajectory-determination models for interplanetary navigation is complex, requiring an intensive search of multiple dynamical and nondynamical models that yield...

Briefs: Information Technology

An automatic method to schedule maintenance and repair of complex systems is produced based on a computational structure called the Informed Maintenance Grid (IMG). This method provides solutions...

Briefs: Materials
Shields for Enhanced Protection Against High-Speed Debris

A report describes improvements over the conventional Whipple shield (two thin, spaced aluminum walls) for protecting spacecraft against high-speed impacts of orbiting debris. The debris in question arises mainly from breakup of older spacecraft. The improved shields include exterior...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Brush-Wheel Samplers for Planetary Exploration

A report proposes brush-wheel mechanisms for acquiring samples of soils from remote planets. In simplest terms, such a mechanism would contain brush wheels that would be counter-rotated at relatively high speed. The mechanism would be lowered to the ground from a spacecraft or other exploratory...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Kinetic-energy- absorbing liners made of aluminum foam have been developed to replace solid lead liners in blast containers on the aft skirt of the solid rocket booster of the space shuttle....

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A subsystem for the adaptive suppression of noise in a voice-communication system effects a high level of reduction of noise that enters the system through microphones. The subsystem...

Briefs: Information Technology
Software for Collaborative Engineering of Launch Rockets

The Rocket Evaluation and Cost Integration for Propulsion and Engineering software enables collaborative computing with automated exchange of information in the design and analysis of launch rockets and other complex systems. RECIPE can interact with and incorporate a variety of programs,...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

Hot-film sensors, consisting of a metallic film on an electrically nonconductive substrate, have been used to measure skin friction as far back as 1931. A hot film is maintained at...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

A method for correcting the aim of a beam-waveguide microwave antenna compensates for the beam aberration that occurs during radio tracking of a target that has a component of...

Briefs: Information Technology
Developing Generic Software for Spacecraft Avionics

A proposed approach to the development of software for spacecraft avionics is based partly on a concept of generic software that could be tailored to satisfy requirements for specific missions. The proposed approach would stand in contrast to the conventional approach of first defining avionics...

Briefs: Information Technology

A set of special digital all-pass finite- impulse- response (FIR) filters produces phase shifts equivalent to delays that equal fractions of the sampling or clock period of a...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

A class of lightweight, deployable, thin-shell, curved mirrors with built-in precise-shape-control actuators is being developed for high-resolution scientific imaging. This technology incorporates a...

Briefs: Information Technology

United Space Alliance (USA) developed and used a new software development method to meet technical, schedule, and budget challenges faced...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A Seat Track Attach Mechanism (SAM) is a multiple-use clamping device intended for use in mounting various objects on the standard seat tracks used on the International Space Station...

Briefs: Software
Updated Integrated Mission Program

Integrated Mission Program (IMP) is a computer program for simulating spacecraft missions around the Earth, Moon, Mars, and/or other large bodies. IMP solves the differential equations of motion by use of a Runge-Kutta numerical-integration algorithm. Users control missions through selection from a large menu...

Briefs: Medical

The hydrodynamic focusing bioreactor (HFB) is a bioreactor system designed for three-dimensional cell culture and tissue-engineering investigations on orbiting spacecraft and in...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Signal-conditioning amplifier recorders (SCAmpRs) have been proposed as a means of simplifying and upgrading the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Ground Measurement System (GMS), which is a versatile...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Software for Remote Monitoring of Space-Station Payloads

Telescience Resource Kit (TReK) is a suite of application programs that enables geographically dispersed users to monitor scientific payloads aboard the International Space Station (ISS). TReK provides local ground support services that can simultaneously receive, process, record,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A suitlock assembly that comprises a docking fixture and mechanism has been invented to facilitate and accelerate donning and doffing of a sealed protective suit and/or to enable ingress...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

Proton collimators have been proposed for incorporation into inertial- electrostatic- confinement (IEC) fusion reactors. Such reactors have been envisioned as thrusters and sources of electric power for...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

An optoelectronic system has been developed for measuring heights, above a floor, of designated points on a large object. In the original application for which the system was...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Software for Tracking Costs of Mars Projects

The Mars Cost Tracking Model is a computer program that administers a system set up for tracking the costs of future NASA projects that pertain to Mars. Previously, no such tracking system existed, and documentation was written in a variety of formats and scattered in various places. It was difficult...

Briefs: Materials
Process for Encapsulating Protein Crystals

A process for growing protein crystals encapsulated within membranes has been invented. This process begins with the encapsulation of a nearly saturated aqueous protein solution inside semipermeable membranes to form microcapsules. The encapsulation is effected by use of special formulations of a...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Grease-Resistant O Rings for Joints in Solid Rocket Motors

There is a continuing effort to develop improved O rings for sealing joints in solid-fuel rocket motors. Following an approach based on the lessons learned in the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, investigators have been seeking O-ring materials that exhibit adequate resilience...