Keyword: Spacecraft

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

An improved system for densifying (by cooling) the liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen used as propellants for the space shuttle has been proposed. These propellant liquids are...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A type of reflectarray antenna now undergoing development is based on the concept of a reflector membrane that is stretched flat by attaching it to an inflatable frame (see figure). Antennas of this type are...

Briefs: Software
Software for Planning and Execution in an Autonomous System

A software system for planning and execution of actions by an autonomous spacecraft engaged in scientific exploration has been developed to satisfy requirements to (1) maintain positive resource margins and avoid short-sighted decisions in order to achieve long-term scientific and...

Briefs: Motion Control
Biomorphic Robot With Distributed Power

The biomorphic robot with distributed power (BIROD) is a prototype of a class of robots that will contain simple, reliable distributed actuators that will consume power from local sources - a design concept inspired in part by biological actuators like muscles in limbs. The BIROD concept stands in...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Heated weights have been found to be useful in adhesive bonding of clips, doublers, and other small parts to lightweight structures and structural components (e.g., face-sheet/honeycomb-core sandwich...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A program of flight testing of an instrumented subscale model of the X-33 aerospace vehicle is underway. The objectives of this program are the following:

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Evolvable Multiagent Approach to Spacecraft Communication

A paper presents the concept of a system for autonomous communication among multiple satellites and other spacecraft. The design of the system would be based on an evolvable architecture of multiple intelligent agents (that is, artificial-intelligence constructs implemented in software...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Improved Lightning-Current Measurements on a Protective Wire

A test procedure has been devised to increase the accuracy with which lightning currents on a protective wire can be determined from raw current measurements. The procedure was conceived specifically for determining lightning currents on a steel cable used to protect the space shuttle...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A low-power serial data communication link has been designed to transmit data among subsystems of a spacecraft instrumentation system, at rates up to 5 × 105 bits per...

Briefs: Materials

Electrodialysis has been shown to be an effective means for removing ammonium ions from wastewater without use of consumable chemicals and without adding other substances to the treated...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

"Hybrisol" denotes a proposed rocket engine that would contain hybrid and solid-propellant parts within a single combustion chamber. ["Hybrid" as used here denotes a type of rocket engine in which a solid fuel is...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Gimbaled Injectors for Testing Spacecraft Thrusters

A report proposes an assembly of gimbaled valve/nozzle subassemblies for use in injecting either a propellant fluid (e.g., monomethyl hydrazine) or a propellant-simulating fluid (e.g., water) into the combustion chamber of a spacecraft thruster during hot-fire or cold testing, respectively. The...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Using Rayleigh Scattering To Measure Spacecraft Attitude

Two reports describe a Rayleigh-scattering attitude sensor (RSAS) - an optoelectronic instrument for determining the orientation of a spacecraft. An RSAS comprises a telescope/video-camera/image-digitizer combination that is mounted on the spacecraft and that captures images of the limb of...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

The JGOAL collection of computer programs facilitates the real-time display, via the Internet, of multiple streams of data from the space shuttle and its ground support equipment at...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Lithium-Based Primary Cells for Low-Temperature Operation

A report describes an experimental study of the low-temperature electrical characteristics of commercial Li/MnO2, Li/CFx, Li/SO2, Li/SOCl2, and Li/BCX primary electrochemical cells. These high-energy-density cells are under consideration for use...

Briefs: Information Technology
Development of Flight Software for Small Explorer Spacecraft

A report describes a continuing program of development of flight software for the attitude-control system (ACS) and the command-and-data-handling (C&DH) system of a prototype standard spacecraft of the Small Explorer (SMEX)-Lite class. Both the C&DH and ACS parts of the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Current proposed shapes for single-stage-to-orbit vehicles like the Lockheed-Martin X-33 and VentureStar reusable launch vehicle have extremely large base areas when compared with...

Briefs: Software
Program Estimates Loads in Launch Vehicles

Version 1.4 of the Launch Vehicle Loads Analysis for Preliminary Design (VLOADS 1.4) computer program calculates in-flight launch-vehicle structural loads (that is, spacecraft-launching rockets) for preliminary design. The program can also be used to calculate structural loads in upper stages and...

Briefs: Software
Software for Detecting Anomalies and Responding to Faults

The Automated Test Monitor computer program provides for continuous monitoring of the operations of a complex system (e.g., a spacecraft). This program implements a rigorous analytic (instead of an ad hoc) technique that prescribes exactly how to express requirements for the operation of...

Briefs: Motion Control

An apparatus called a "pneumatic stinger" has been developed to enable a first spacecraft, operating under remote control, to grasp a second spacecraft that is in orbit or other...

Briefs: Information Technology
Program Generates Graphics To Help in Planning Space Flights

The Mission Planning Graphical Tool (MPGT) computer program provides a mouse-driven graphical representation of data on a spacecraft and its environment, for use in planning a space flight. MPGT is designed to be a generic software tool that can be configured to analyze any specified...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A seven-element microstrip patch antenna is designed to operate with circular polarization and high gain at a frequency of 2.2875 GHz. The antenna was developed in the early 1990s as a...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Mars Ascent Propulsion System

A report presents an overview of continuing efforts to develop an advanced propulsion system for a spacecraft that would ascend from Mars to bring samples to Earth. The system is required to be smaller and to weigh and cost less, in comparison with a conventionally designed system of equal capability. The...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Integrated Environmental Monitoring System for Clean Rooms

A system of electronic monitoring equipment under central computer control records and displays the readouts of environmental-quality instrumentation in clean rooms in the Space Station Processing Facility at Kennedy Space Center. The instruments include airborne-particle counters,...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A laboratory apparatus called a "vacuum damper investigation and performance evaluation robot" ("V-DIAPER") affords capabilities for vacuum dynamic testing of torsional dampers. The apparatus...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A series-connected boost regulator (SCBR) is, as its name suggests, an electronic circuit for boosting a power-supply voltage to a higher and regulated value. The distinguishing feature of an SCBR is an...

Briefs: Information Technology
Documents on Flight Software for the SAMPEX Spacecraft

A collection of four documents contains information on various aspects of the flight software of the Solar Anomalous and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer (SAMPEX) spacecraft. The first document is part of a longer paper that presents design requirements for the software; the information in...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Redundant fiber-optic transceivers have been incorporated into the High Speed Data Acquisition System (HSDAS) at Stennis Space Center, where they are used to communicate data acquired by...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

NASA's F-15B #836 is a two-seat version of the F-15, which is a high-performance, supersonic, all-weather fighter airplane. The F-15B is used as a test-bed aircraft for a wide variety of...

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