Keyword: Spacecraft

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

The Reed-Solomon downlink application-specific integrated circuit (RSDL ASIC) performs Reed-Solomon encoding of telemetry data, internally generates all timing and control signals necessary...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Micromachined Tunneling Accelerometer for Use in Outer Space

Two short reports describe a micromachined quantum-mechanical-tunneling accelerometer and radiation-hardened support electronics designed for use in outer space. Like the micromachined tunneling accelerometers described previously in NASA Tech Briefs, this device is based on the use...

Briefs: Materials
Muscle Wires for Planetary-Exploration Robots

A report proposes the use of muscle wires as mechanical actuators for planetary-exploration robots. Muscle wires are commercially available in kit form in the hobby market, and have been described (though not explicitly called "muscle wires") in previous articles in NASA Tech Briefs. A muscle wire...

Briefs: Propulsion
Hybrid Propulsion System for Returning a Sample From Mars

A paper suggests the development of a hybrid rocket engine and associated equipment for returning a sample of material from Mars at relatively low cost. In a hybrid rocket engine, a solid fuel is burned by use of a liquid or gaseous oxidizer, the flow of which can be throttled to control...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A hand-held optoelectronic shop tool measures cavities of the order of 6 in. (15 cm) in length and width, 2 to 4 in. (5 to 10 cm) in depth, with nominally flat side walls, and either curved or...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Plasma Window Technology for Propagating Particle Beams and Radiation from Vacuum to Atmosphere

Plasma windows can separate vacuum and atmosphere, or regions of high and low vacuums, in a way which facilitates transmission of various particle beams and/or radiation from low- to high-pressure regions. In a prototype device, a stabilized plasma...

Briefs: Materials

Engineers at Rockwell International Corporation's Space System Division have developed a new method of insulating composite structural...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Briefs: Electronics & Computers

The Paperless Procedure System (PPS) is a computer-based, semiautomated electronic system for collection and management of quality-assurance data in a large organization. The original...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

The figure schematically illustrates an automated electronic vision system that operates in conjunction with a scanning robot to inspect a large surface for damage. In the original...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Micromachined Monopropellant Thrusters

A report proposes monopropellant microthrusters for a new generation of miniature spacecraft with mission lifetimes stretching into years. These thrusters would include micromachined nozzle/chamber assemblies containing microvalves, designed according to emerging concepts of microelectromechanical systems...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Curves of limiting voltage (V) as a function of temperature (T) for nickel/cadmium cells and batteries can be computed by use of a mathematical cell model based on first...

Briefs: Energy
Solar-Powered Aerobots With Power-Surge Capabilities

Advanced aerobots that would be powered by solar photovoltaic batteries and that would be capable of storing energy for occasional operation during short intervals at power levels far beyond those of the photovoltaic batteries have been proposed. Aerobots are robotic balloon-buoyed airborne...

Briefs: Information Technology

A trainable software system known as JARtool 2.0 has been developed to help scientists find localized objects of interest ("target objects") in image data bases. A human expert...

Briefs: Software
Software for Retrieval and Display of Planetary Data

The NASAView computer program provides access to, and display of, sets of scientific data in the Planetary Data System (PDS) archive. These data — totalling about 5 terabytes — were acquired during NASA's planetary-exploration missions and are stored along with descriptive information...

Briefs: Information Technology
Software for Assessing Effects of Designs on Operations

The Operations Impact Assessor (OIA) computer program facilitates rapid assessment of the effects of designs of spacecraft on spacecraft-processing operations at a launch site. OIA is a user-friendly, object-oriented, artificial-intelligence application program that features model-based...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Wheel Drive of Mars Rover

A brief report summarizes the design of the lightweight, high-torque wheel drive of a small robotic vehicle used to explore the surface of Mars. Planetary gearing was selected for compactness and high torque capability. The input stages were fitted with ball bearings to survive the cold (down to -100 °C) Martian...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Signaling-and-Detection Scheme for Beacon Monitoring

A signaling-and-detection scheme has been proposed for use in conjunction with the remote-monitoring concept described in "Beacon Monitoring Would Reduce Interactions With Remote Systems" (NPO-19706), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 21, No. 5 (May 1997), page 54. To recapitulate: A remote system (a...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A prototype manipulator system that includes two different arms has been tentatively selected for use on a semiautonomous robotic vehicle called Rocky 7 (see figure). [A previous version of this...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

The Automated Window Inspection Device (AWID) is a prototype apparatus for computer-controlled, noncontact inspection of windows, with reproducible positioning and electronic recording of data on the...

Briefs: Software
Program for Simulating Dynamics of Multibody Systems

The Dynamics Algorithms for Real-Time Simulation (DARTS) computer program solves the equations of motion of tree-topology, flexible, and/or multibody mechanical systems as diverse as molecules, mechanisms, robots, spacecraft, and ground vehicles. It has proven to be particularly useful for...

Briefs: Information Technology
Work-Measurement and Methods-Analysis Studies of the OPF

Two reports describe early phases of continuing studies directed toward the selection and adaptation of industrial work-measurement and methods-analysis procedures for application to the Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF) at Kennedy Space Center. These studies were prompted by a need to...

Briefs: Information Technology

The Kennedy Space Center Human Factors Event Evaluation Model is a model to facilitate long-term gathering and analysis of data to investigate the effects of human factors on the...

Briefs: Software
Software for Development of Spacecraft-Simulation Programs

DARTS Shell (Dshell) is a multimission spacecraft simulator for the development, integration, and test of flight software and hardware. Dshell reduces the time and cost of developing simulation programs by enabling the development of the software in modular, reusable form and by...

Briefs: Software
Software for Tracking the Performance of Other Software

The Flight Software Memory Tracker (FMT) computer program is a collection of utility subprograms developed for use on the ground to track images of the flight software (FSW) in the computers aboard the Cassini spacecraft. [As used here, "images" signifies both (1) the memory load and...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Potential Commercial Applications From Microgravity Combustion Research

The paper entitled "Potential Commercial Applications From Combustion and Fire Research in Space" reviews the status of potential commercial applications derived from research on combustion in microgravity environments encountered in orbiting spacecraft. Such research...

Briefs: Software
Virtual-Reality Platform-Independent Software for Access to Mars Data

The Virtual Reality Mars Atlas User Interface (VR-MAUI) provides an atlaslike interface for access to Mars data. This access is provided via the World Wide Web, using JAVA. Within VR-MAUI, images are organized as maps. These maps provide a natural coordinate system, which...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A diagnostic signal-analysis technique, called the Phase Synchronized Enhancement Method (PSEM), has been developed. This method allows NASA engineers to retrieve any unique...