Tech Briefs

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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.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Mathematical models to approximate the dynamics of aircraft are often generated by considering aircraft structures to be rigid bodies. These models may be unsuitable for evaluating...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A laser-diode-pumped thulium- and holmium-doped yttrium lithium fluoride (Tm,Ho:YLF) laser that operates at a single frequency and that can be both tuned and stabilized in frequency...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Software for Probabilistic Thermal and Structural Analysis

NESTEM is a computer code that is a combination of a heat-transfer-analysis subprogram and a NASA in-house probabilistic-analysis code called "NESSUS" (for Numerical Evaluation of StochasticStructures Under Stress). NESTEM can be used to analyze a complex combustor thermal environment...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Sun Shields for the Next Generation Space Telescope

A report discusses the design of inflatable Sun shields proposed for use in keeping the primary mirror of the Next generation Space Telescope (NGST) at a temperature "d60 K. The report summarizes a paper presented at the 33rd Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference in August 1998...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

An electromechanical device called the "Dexterous Master" (DM) is an exoskeletal mechanism that is worn on a human operator's hand for (1) measuring the positions and orientations of the...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

A miniature scanning electron microscope (SEM) with a capability for x-ray microanalysis has been proposed. This SEM would be particularly suitable for analyzing samples of dust, soil, drill tailings,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A continuing program of research is directed toward the development of crashworthy composite-material fuselages for small aircraft. These fuselages are required not only to withstand...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
SINDA/FLUINT Augmented To Represent Condensable Species

The Systems Improved Numerical Differencing Analyzer/Fluid Integrator (SINDA/FLUINT) software system has been upgraded by addition of a capability for simulating fluid mixtures that include condensable vapors. SINDA/FLUINT is the NASA standard software system for computational simulation...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

An optoelectronic system senses rotational and translational misalignment between two objects. The system might be used in such diverse applications as aligning construction equipment, mating parts of...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Telescope/Camera Systems Based on Inflation-Deployed Optics

A report proposes the development of spaceborne telescope/camera systems that would be lightweight, relatively inexpensive alternatives to current systems based on glass mirrors. In a system of the proposed type, the primary reflector (typically a paraboloid several meters in diameter)...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Two-Spacecraft Laser Tracking for Detecting Gravitational Waves

A paper proposes a method of mutual coherent laser tracking of two spacecraft for detecting gravitational radiation. Each spacecraft would transmit a laser beam to, and receive a similar laser beam from, the other spacecraft. Each spacecraft would also coherently transpond a laser...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

The supercritical air mobility pack (SCAMP) is a prototype self-contained breathing apparatus designed for use in rescue and fire-fighting operations (see figure). The SCAMP is based on the...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Improved Optical Sensor for Monitoring Dissolved Oxygen

An optical sensor for measuring the partial pressure of dissolved oxygen in water is based on the effect of oxygen quenching on the fluorescence lifetime of an optically excited ruthenium complex immobilized in a recently developed polymer. In the operation of this sensor, the fluorescence...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

The figure shows a first-phase prototype of a miniature, rugged long-wavelength infrared (LWIR) spectrometer that incorporates recent advances in the design and fabrication of microelectronic and...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Sensor Webs

Sensor webs are developmental collections of sensor pods that could be scattered over land or water areas or other regions of interest to gather data on spatial and temporal patterns of relatively slowly changing physical, chemical, or biological phenomena in those regions. Each sensor pod would be a node in a data-gathering/...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Microplasmic Coating Shows High Resistance to Wear, Heat and Corrosion

The process of anodizing, or controlled oxidation, of aluminum and aluminum alloys is more than seven decades old. The primary intent of anodizing aluminum and aluminum-alloy parts is to protect the highly reactive surface against corrosion in aqueous environments, such as...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A type of reflectarray antenna now undergoing development is based on the concept of a reflector membrane that is stretched flat by attaching it to an inflatable frame (see figure). Antennas of this type are...

Briefs: Software
Software Library for Parallel Adaptive Mesh Refinement

A software library has been developed for use in parallel adaptive refinement of unstructured (irregular) meshes and grids in parallel scientific and engineering computing. This library can be used in finite-difference, finite-volume, and finite-element application programs that use...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

A common self-locking plastic wire tie has been modified (see figure) to enable the installer to snap off excess tie material after installation, without need for a cutting tool and without creating a potentially hazardous...

Briefs: Motion Control

A device that measures both translational acceleration and rotation exploits the dynamics of a vibratory structure that resembles a clover leaf. This device is related to other vibratory accelerometers...

Briefs: Software
Configuration Management of Software for Designing HSCT4.0

A report discusses the development of a highly complex system of distributed-computing, multidisciplinary design-optimization software, called "CJOpt," for use in research on model 4 of the High-Speed Civil Transport (HSCT) airplane (HSCT4.0). The emphasis in the report is on the...

Briefs: Materials
Update on SiC Fiber/[MoSi₂-Matrix/Si₃N₄ Particle] Composites

A report presents updated information on the developments described in "MoSi2-Based Composite Materials for Aircraft Engines" (LEW-16617),NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 22, No. 9 (September 1998), page 62. To recapitulate: Hybrid composites of (1) SiC-based fibers within (2)...

Briefs: Motion Control

A methodology proposed for actively controlling flows involves the use of proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) to derive computational models of reduced order. The methodology...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

A mathematical model constructed within a theoretical framework applicable to direct numerical simulation (DNS) predicts the behavior of evaporating liquid drops entrained in a...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Computational Test Cases for a Rectangular Supercritical Wing

A report describes wind-tunnel experiments on a rectangular supercritical wing and presents test cases that have been selected from the archived sets of experimental data for comparison with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) predictions. In the experiments, the wing was driven in...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Data-Acquisition System Takes 8-Bit Samples at 1 GHz

A unique data-acquisition system converts analog input voltages to 8-bit digital data at a rate as high as 109 samples per second (1 GHz), stores the data, and makes the data available for further processing. The system is compact, is highly resistant to ionizing radiation,...

Briefs: Materials

Proton-conductive (solid-electrolyte) membranes made from sulfonated poly(phenylether sulfone), plus membrane/electrode assemblies containing these membranes, have been developed for...

Briefs: Motion Control

Spectrol has produced an innovative design for a three-terminal voltage output device that integrates a Hall-effect sensor and a patented magnetic circuit to convert radial...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Dryden Flight Research Center's Flight Loads Laboratory (FLL) was constructed in 1964 for use in performing combined mechanical and thermal tests of structural components and complete...

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