Keyword: Spacecraft

Briefs: Motion Control

The figure schematically illustrates part of an accelerometer in which a feedback control subsystem applies voltages to generate electrostatic forces to minimize the displacement of a...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Devices are proposed that would sublime solid propellants to generate small thrusts for maneuvering spacecraft with masses of no more than 15 kg. With solids rather than gases in propellant tanks, there would...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Single-Event Latchup Protection of Integrated Circuits

Many commercially available advanced-technology CMOS and bipolar integrated circuits are susceptible to single-event latchup (SEL) effects caused by heavy ions or protons from cosmic rays or solar flares, making them unsuitable for satellite applications. Remanufacturing the integrated...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The Spacecraft Autonomous Navigation System using GPS for Earth Orbiters (SANS-GEO) computer program is designed to perform the navigation calculations that will enable the New...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

As electronic circuits become more densely packaged and higher in power, maintaining them within permissible temperature ranges becomes a major issue. This is especially true in the case of...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Lightweight, inflatable robotic vehicles (rovers) that superficially resemble beach balls and that could be driven by wind and/or electric power are undergoing development. These rovers were...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The Multiple Interferometric Ranging Analysis using GPS Ensemble (MIRAGE) computer program processes spacecraft-tracking data to determine orbits of single satellites, or...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A data-communication and -processing network of compact, laptop-computer-based portable stations communicating via the World Wide Web (WWW) has been proposed as a relatively...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A new joint, proposed for use on an attachable debris shield for the International Space Station Service Module, has potential for commercial use in situations where hardware must be...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A hardware-command-decoding application-specific integrated circuit (HCD ASIC) is designed to decode digital command signals transmitted from a ground station to a spacecraft (uplink commands). Implemented in...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Due to their low density and exceptionally high strength and modulus, graphite fiber composites are being used increasingly for the fabrication of aircraft and spacecraft. Because of their...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Over the past year, the Structural Dynamics and Loads Branch of Marshall Space Flight Center has been calculating prelaunch ground winds for several different launch-vehicle configurations....

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Solar/Infrared Aerobots for Exploring Several Planets

A report discusses a class of balloon-borne robotic instrumentation systems that have been proposed for use in exploring Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The balloons would be of the Montgolfier type; that is, buoyancy would be achieved through heating of atmospheric gases...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Computer System for Managing Construction Projects

An automated system of computer hardware and software has been developed for managing construction projects at Stennis Space Center. This system replaces an older collection of paper-based subsystems, wherein documents were copied, filed, and distributed in labor-intensive processes. Data...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Carbon/Carbon Shield/Antenna Structure

A proposed lightweight, off-axis reflector structure for a microwave communication antenna would be made of a carbon/carbon composite material. The structure was conceived for use aboard the Solar Probe spacecraft, where it would also serve as a shield to protect the spacecraft against solar radiation at...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
ASIC Physical Layout for the HCD ASIC

An integrated circuit (IC) physical layout has been developed for the HCD ASIC - an application-specific integrated circuit that decodes digital command signals transmitted from a ground station to a spacecraft (uplink commands). The HCD ASIC is described in "Hardware-Command-Decoding ASIC" (NPO-19615),...

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: 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: 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: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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: 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: 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: 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: Robotics, Automation & Control
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...