NASA Spinoff

Computer Technology

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Micro-Accelerometers Monitor Equipment Health
Micro-Accelerometers Monitor Equipment Health

NASA Technology

Objects that orbit the Earth, such as the International Space Station (ISS), provide a unique environment called zero-g, or more correctly, microgravity. All objects...

Micro-Accelerometers Monitor Equipment Health
Spinoff: Computer Technology
Simulation Tools Prevent Signal Interference on Spacecraft
Simulation Tools Prevent Signal Interference on Spacecraft

NASA Technology

Launching a satellite into space requires painstaking preparation, not only to make sure that a multitude of technologies are functioning, but also to...

Simulation Tools Prevent Signal Interference on Spacecraft
Spinoff: Computer Technology
Virtual Machine Language Controls Remote Devices
Virtual Machine Language Controls Remote Devices

NASA Technology

Virtually all of Chris Grasso’s academic and professional career has been built on NASA technology. “I’ve been working with NASA since college,” he says.

Virtual Machine Language Controls Remote Devices
Spinoff: Computer Technology
Software Accelerates Computing Time for Complex Math
Software Accelerates Computing Time for Complex Math

NASA Technology

The 19th century mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, the astronomer par excellence of his day, called mathematics “the queen of the sciences.” If Gauss were...

Software Accelerates Computing Time for Complex Math
Spinoff: Computer Technology
Software Simplifies the Sharing of Numerical Models
Software Simplifies the Sharing of Numerical Models

NASA Technology

Scientists at NASA not only focus on advancing space exploration; they study what is happening in the Earth’s atmosphere as well. The Global Climate Modeling...

Software Simplifies the Sharing of Numerical Models
Spinoff: Computer Technology
Processor Units Reduce Satellite Construction Costs
Processor Units Reduce Satellite Construction Costs

NASA Technology

In December 2008, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center entered into an agreement with the Department of Defense and the Van Braun Center for Space Innovation to...

Processor Units Reduce Satellite Construction Costs
Spinoff: Computer Technology
Simulation Packages Expand Aircraft Design Options

When engineers explore designs for safer, more fuel efficient, or faster aircraft, they encounter a common problem: they never know exactly what will happen until the vehicle gets off the ground.

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Web Solutions Inspire Cloud Computing Software

NASA Technology

In 2008, a NASA effort to standardize its websites inspired a breakthrough in cloud computing technology. The innovation has spurred the growth of an entire industry in open source cloud services that has already attracted millions in investment and is...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Behavior Prediction Tools Strengthen Nanoelectronics

NASA Technology

Several years ago, NASA started making plans to send robots to explore the deep, dark craters on the Moon. As part of these plans, NASA needed modeling tools to help engineer unique electronics to withstand extremely cold temperatures.

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Power Converters Secure Electronics in Harsh Environments

NASA Technology

“Space weather” is a term more frequently used as solar storms and flares are closely monitored and analyzed for the impact they might have on Earth. Blasts of radiation, if strong enough, can make their presence felt by temporarily shutting down...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Diagnostics Tools Identify Faults Prior to Failure

NASA Technology

The Drilling Automation for Mars Exploration (DAME) project was designed to unearth the secrets of Mars—literally. The project’s engineers designed a light, low-power drill to penetrate into the Martian surface and return clues about the Red...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Archiving Innovations Preserve Essential Historical Records

NASA Technology

The Moon hosts perhaps the most fascinating museum that no one ever visits. From reflectometers to space boots, the lunar module’s descent stage, and the famous first footprints left behind by Neil Armstrong, the Apollo 11 mission alone left over...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Technologies Render Views of Earth for Virtual Navigation

NASA Technology

On a December night in 1995, 159 passengers and crewmembers died when American Airlines Flight 965 flew into the side of a mountain while in route to Cali, Colombia. A key factor in the tragedy: The pilots had lost situational awareness in the dark,...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Content Platforms Meet Data Storage, Retrieval Needs

NASA Technology

Earth is under a constant barrage of information from space. Whether from satellites orbiting our planet, spacecraft circling Mars, or probes streaking toward the far reaches of the Solar System, NASA collects massive amounts of data from its...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Tools Ensure Reliability of Critical Software

NASA Technology

In November 2006, after attempting to make a routine maneuver, NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) reported unexpected errors. The onboard software switched to backup resources, and a 2-day lapse in communication took place between the spacecraft and Earth. When...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Electronic Handbooks Simplify Process Management

NASA Technology

Getting a multitude of people to work together to manage processes across many organizations —for example, flight projects, research, technologies, or data centers and others—is not an easy task. Just ask Dr. Barry E. Jacobs, a research computer scientist...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Software Innovations Speed Scientific Computing

NASA Technology

What causes the Sun to change? And what are the impacts on our planet and our daily lives?

These are some of the top questions that the Heliophysics Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate is seeking answers to through a variety of missions...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Controller Chips Preserve Microprocessor Function

NASA Technology

Above the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Brazil, there is a dip in the Earth’s surrounding magnetic field called the South Atlantic Anomaly. Here, space radiation can reach into Earth’s upper atmosphere to interfere with the functioning of satellites,...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Innovative Techniques Simplify Vibration Analysis

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

As the launch clock counts down, astronauts in the space shuttle prepare for the fastest ride of their lives. More powerful than any plane, train, or automobile, NASA space shuttles boast the world’s most sophisticated rocket engines: three...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Modeling Tools Predict Flow in Fluid Dynamics

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Knowing what will happen before it happens is no easy task. That is why new spacecraft and technology are constantly being tested and refined—including the J-2X engine, which may power the upper stage of future NASA rockets. Data from tests like...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Verification Tools Secure Online Shopping, Banking

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Much is made of the engineering that enables the complex operations of a rover examining the surface of Mars—and rightly so. But even the most advanced robotics are useless if, when the rover rolls out onto the Martian soil, a software glitch...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Toolsets Maintain Health of Complex Systems

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Monitoring the health of a machine can be just as tricky as monitoring the health of a human. Like in the human body, a variety of subsystems must work together for a machine to function properly—and a problem in one area can affect the well-being of...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Framework Resources Multiply Computing Power

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

For the last 25 years, the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division at Ames esearch Center has provided extremely fast supercomputing resources, not only for NASA missions, but for scientific discoveries made outside of NASA as well. The computing...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Tools Automate Spacecraft Testing, Operation

Using the Spitzer Space telescope, NASA scientists detected light from two Jupiter-sized extrasolar planets for the first time in 2005. Findings like these are enabled in part by the Science Mission Directorate at NASA, which conducts scientific research enabled by access to...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
GPS Software Packages Deliver Positioning Solutions

To better understand and predict global climate, scientists look to the Earth’s oceans. Natural forces like wind, storms, and heat affect ocean surface and sea level, and these changes can shed light on short- and long-term global climate patterns.

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Solid-State Recorders Enhance Scientific Data Collection

On May 20, 1996, astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor watched as a unique structure unfolded in space like a complex trick of origami. From the free-flying Spartan satellite the STS-77 crew had released from the shuttle’s cargo hold, a massive circular...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Computer Models Simulate Fine Particle Dispersion

Getting to the Moon is, to say the least, challenging. Being on the Moon, though, is no picnic either. In addition to the obvious life support and temperature control concerns, astronauts must contend with another obstacle: the Moon’s surface. This surface is covered with...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Telemetry Boards Interpret Rocket, Airplane Engine Data

For all the data gathered by the space shuttle while in orbit, NASA engineers are just as concerned about the information it generates on the ground. From the moment the shuttle’s wheels touch the runway to the break of its electrical umbilical cord at 0.4 seconds before its next...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Programs Automate Complex Operations Monitoring

Kennedy Space Center, just off the east coast of Florida on Merritt Island, has been the starting place of every human space flight in NASA’s history. It is where the first Americans left Earth during Project Mercury, the terrestrial departure point of the lunar-bound Apollo astronauts, as...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Software Tools Streamline Project Management

Three innovative software inventions from Ames Research Center (NETMARK, Program Management Tool, and Query-Based Document Management) are finding their way into NASA missions as well as industry applications.