A comprehensive library of technical briefs from engineering experts at NASA and major government, university, and commercial laboratories covering all aspects of innovations in electronics, software, photonics, imaging, motion control, automation, sensors, test, materials, manufacturing, mechanical, and mechatronics.

A process for the growth of single-crystal (epitaxial) multilayer films has been developed at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division. This process is predicated on the preparation of a...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Miniature Microscope Without Lenses

In a proposed optical microscope, the focusing optics of a conventional microscope would be supplanted by a combination of a microchannel filter and an advanced electronic image sensor. Elimination of focusing optics would eliminate the need for the time-consuming focusing operation, making it possible to...

The methods described are used with existing fiber optic technologies, and are based on several patents and on disclosures now before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patents are No....

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Microlenses for Calibrating Phase Doppler Particle Analyzers

Simple optical devices called "scattering reticles" have been invented for calibrating Phase Doppler Particle Analyzers (PDPAs), which are optical instruments that analyze scattered light to determine the sizes and velocities of droplets. A scattering reticle comprises a polymeric...

The proposed electron microscope would function without the need for external vacuum pumps and thus have a significant reduction in size, mass, and power consumption, as compared to...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Subliming Solid Microthrusters

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...

Experiments have shown that improved hydride-forming negative electrodes for rechargeable nickel/metal hydride (Ni/MH) electrochemical cells can be made by substituting Sn for...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Trefoil Rotary Flexure

The figure illustrates a device that flexes to allow rotation about a single axis through a total range of ±12°. This device was designed to offer the following advantages over commercial flexural pivots:

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Jewellike Bearings for Blood Pumps

Jewellike bearings have been devised to enhance the performance and safety of small rotary pumps that are used to increase or sustain flows of blood in cardiac patients. A pump of this type includes a...

The Boeing Company has developed fiber-laser-amplifier technology representing the latest in diode-laser-pumped systems, providing high output power, high brightness, tunability,...

A single-block fixture enables the rapid and accurate electrical characterization of planar microwave electronic components, by use of the through-reflect-line (TRL) technique, in...

Easy-to-use high-temperature strain-sensor systems based on strain gauges made from Pd/Cr-alloy wires have been developed. These systems include strain-gauge units comprising Pd/Cr wires...

Current production thermal-barrier coatings (TBCs) have been shown to be capable of reducing the average temperatures of metallic components by 50 to 80 °C and hot-spot temperature by...

Experiments have revealed that stable breakdown-voltage characteristics can be achieved in silicon carbide rectifiers. Stable breakdown-voltage characteristics are essential to the...

Semimonolithic resonant structures external to lasers have been proposed for use in optical frequency-conversion applications - for example, doubling the frequencies of laser beams....

A probabilistic method has been developed for use in designing a composite-material structure to achieve a balance between maximum reliability and minimum cost. This method accounts...

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...

The term "inverse rectenna" may seem like an oxymoron at first glance. However, preliminary experiments have demonstrated that a rectenna of suitable design can be made to operate in...

Detailed measurements of complex flow fields within the NASA Low Speed Centrifugal Compressor (LSCC) have been acquired. The measurement data provide insight into the fundamental...

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: Electronics & Computers
SQUID-Based Asymmetric Planar Gradiometer

Berkeley Laboratory researchers have demonstrated a novel superconducting gradiometer that helps to reduce ambient magnetic field noise generated by relatively distant sources in favor of tiny magnetic signals generated by a local source. This is another step toward the operation of SQUID-based...

Automatic valves have been proposed for shutting off flows of liquids when abnormally large accelerations occur. These valves could be used, for example, to prevent outflows of...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Lightweight "Beach-Ball" Robotic Vehicles

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...

An electronic system that comprises airborne and ground-based subsystems generates data for a global real-time interactive map (GRIM) that displays the current position and...

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...

A method for reducing the number of bits of quantization of synaptic weights during training of an artificial neural network involves the use of the cascade back-propagation learning...

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

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...

A mathematical model that includes layerwise finite elements has been developed for use in numerical simulation of the coupled electrical, mechanical, and thermal responses of...

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