Imaging

Access our comprehensive library of technical briefs on imaging, from engineering experts at NASA and major government, university, and commercial laboratories.

Briefs: Imaging
Image-Based User Authentication

In other user authentication systems, a user authenticates identity by selecting a particular image that is then matched to a previous choice. This invention enables greater security for access control systems by combining facial recognition technology with a user authentication question.

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Machine Vision System

A number of instruments have been built to obtain range images — a two-dimensional array of numbers that gives the depth of a scene along many directions from a central point in the instrument. Instead of measuring...

NASA's Langley Research Center has built a very small spectrometer by integrating a differential linear Fresnel lens onto an imaging chip. NASA is using the lens/chip in a very...

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed an aircraft-based turbulence and vortex detection system. Turbulence and vortices in the front-flight path are very dangerous for...

In dark environments, it is often difficult to get a clear, high-quality image. To address this problem, a method was developed for spherically curving the flat image sensors...

Researchers use fluorescent imaging to locate proteins and other molecules in cells and tissues by tagging the molecules with dyes that glow under certain kinds of light — the...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Microstructural Explorations Inside Fuel Cells

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), a promising technology that can efficiently produce energy using fossil fuels with no moving parts and low emissions, present a particularly perplexing economic challenge: current systems operate at maximum efficiency between 700 and 1000 degrees Celsius, but such...

After more than 16 years of operation, NASA’s Earth Observing–1 (EO-1) spacecraft was decommissioned on March 30 of this year. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) developed by...

NASA’s Langley Re search Center has developed Scintillating Quantum Dots for Imaging X-rays (SQDIX) technology that enables the creation of x-ray detectors that are more...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
CUDA Framework for Linear Time-Invariant Control of Adaptive Optics Systems

Current science objectives, such as high-contrast imaging of exoplanets, have led to the development of high-order adaptive optics (AO) systems possessing several thousand deformable mirror (DM) actuators. These systems typically rely on integrator-based control...

Briefs: Imaging
Invertible Time Invariant Linear Filtering (InTILF) Method for Pattern Detection and Modeling of Stochastic One- or Two-Dimensional Data

X-ray astronomy offers the opportunity to observe important phenomena, including the early accretion of massive black holes and detecting diffuse ionized intergalactic gas that is heated to X-ray temperatures...

Briefs: Imaging
One-Micron (1064-nm) Planar External Cavity Laser (PLANEX)

Ahighly reliable, very low-phase, and low-amplitude-noise laser is required as an oscillator for the LISA mission. A commercial product made by Redfern Integrated Optics met these requirements (1550-nm PLANEX External Cavity Laser), but it operated at 1.5 microns, not the required LISA...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Stereoscopic Imaging in Hypersonic Boundary Layers Using Planar Laser-Induced Fluorescence

Stereoscopic time-resolved visualization of three-dimensional structures in a hypersonic flow was performed for the first time in NASA Langley Research Center’s 31-inch Mach 10 Air Tunnel. Nitric oxide (NO) was seeded into hypersonic boundary layer flows...

Briefs: Imaging
3D Imaging Laser System

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has developed a non-scanning, 3D imaging laser system that uses a simple lens system to simultaneously generate a one-dimensional or two-dimensional array of optical (light) spots to illuminate an object, surface, or image to generate a topographic profile.

NASA’s Langley Research Center researchers have developed an automatic measurement and control method for smart image enhancement. Pilots, doctors, and photographers will benefit from this innovation that...

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center has developed novel neutron grazing incidence optics for use with small-scale portable neutron generators. The technology was...

A new smart camera developed at NASA’s Glenn Research Center has the ability to process and transmit valuable edge location data for the images that it captures — at a...

Scientists at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have successfully developed a novel subcutaneous structure imager for locating...

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed 3D imaging technologies (Flash LIDAR) for real-time terrain mapping and synthetic...

High-performance thermal imagers like Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment on the Lunar...

Digital holography is a fast-growing field in optics, recently spurred by the advent of large-format digital cameras and high-speed computers. This method provides a time-series of volumetric...

Briefs: Imaging
Smartphone Video Guidance Sensor

The need arose to apply the state determination algorithms developed for the Advanced Video Guidance Sensor autonomous rendezvous and docking (AR&D) sensor onto a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS), smartphone-based platform to create a lower-mass, lower-cost sensor for small satellite and CubeSat applications....

Briefs: Imaging
A Smooth-Walled Feedhorn with Sub-30-dB Cross-Polarization Over a 30-Percent Bandwidth

The focus of this research was the design, optimization, and measurement of a monotonically profiled, smooth-walled scalar feedhorn with a diffraction-limited ~14° FWHM (full width at half maximum). It is an easier-to-manufacture, smooth-walled feed that...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Partially Transparent Circular Mask to Suppress Narrowband Laser Light

The evolved Laser Interferometry Space Antenna (eLISA) is the implementation of the original Laser Interferometry Space Antenna (LISA) concept that will be proposed for the European Space Agency’s (ESA) L.3 Cosmic Visions opportunity. The eLISA observatory uses lasers to...

Measurements of the cosmic micro wave background are a powerful probe of the early universe. Part-per-million fluctuations in the intensity of background trace the initial...

Briefs: Imaging
A Novel Orbiting Cloud Imager System for IR/UV/X-Ray Bands

Typically, the cost of a spaceborne imaging system is driven by the size and mass of the primary aperture. Innovative solutions for imagers that are less complex and are lightweight are very desirable. Currently, telescopes such as JWST and ATLAST are very expensive and very complex.

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
One-Micron (1064-nm) Planar External Cavity Laser (PLANEX)

A highly reliable, very low-phase and low-amplitude-noise laser is required as an oscillator for the LISA mission. A commercial product made by Redfern Integrated Optics met these requirements (1550 nm PLANEX External Cavity Laser), but it operated at 1.5 microns, not the required LISA...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Micro Cylindrical Ion Trap Micro Mass Spectrometer Instrument System

The goal of this work was to advance the development of new, extremely small (≈2 cm3), low-power (≈3 W), and low-cost micro mass spectrometer instrument systems (μMSIS) through the application of microelectro-mechanical system (MEMS) design and fabrication, and...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Invertible Time Invariant Linear Filtering (InTILF) Method for Pattern Detection and Modeling of Stochastic One- or Two- Dimensional Data

X-ray astronomy offers the opportunity to observe important phenomena, including the early accretion of massive black holes and detecting diffuse ionized intergalactic gas that is heated to X-ray temperatures...

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