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: Electronics & Computers

Microbridges that constitute the superconducting-transition sensory elements of electron-diffusion-cooled hot-electron bolometers can now be fabricated in increased yield and...

Briefs: Software
Software for Processing SAR Images of the Polar Oceans

The RADARSAT/ERS-1,2 Geophysical Processor System (RGPS) is an automated system of hardware and software that processes synthetic-aperture-radar (SAR) images of ice and open water in polar oceans to generate higher-level geophysical-data products. Information in such products includes the...

Briefs: Information Technology

A method of automated diagnosis of helicopter gearboxes involves processing of selected features of digitized outputs of vibration sensors via structure-based connectionist...

Briefs: Software
Software for Development of Spacecraft-Simulation Programs

DARTS Shell (Dshell) is a multimission spacecraft simulator for the development, integration, and test of flight software and hardware. Dshell reduces the time and cost of developing simulation programs by enabling the development of the software in modular, reusable form and by...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

A device for measuring the distribution of masses in an atmosphere or plasma exploits the electrostatic deflection of ions in a rotating magnetic field. A magnetic field is not required. The device...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Program for Analysis of a Complex Optomechanical System

The IMOS computer program contains subprograms that, collectively, provide a unique capability for multidisciplinary analysis of a system represented by a combination of mathematical models of structural (mechanical), control, thermal, and optical characteristics. One example of such a...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

An algorithm estimates the Doppler frequency shift in a received radio signal with square-wave-pulse binary differential-phase-shift-keyed (DPSK) modulation. [With little...

Briefs: Software
Software for Tracking the Performance of Other Software

The Flight Software Memory Tracker (FMT) computer program is a collection of utility subprograms developed for use on the ground to track images of the flight software (FSW) in the computers aboard the Cassini spacecraft. [As used here, "images" signifies both (1) the memory load and...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Production of Tar in Pyrolysis of Large Biomass Particles

A paper presents a study of the production of tar in the pyrolysis of spherical biomass particles, with computational simulations performed by using the macroparticle portion of the model described in "Generalized Mathematical Model of Pyrolysis of Plant Biomass" (NPO-20068) elsewhere in...

Briefs: Materials
Phospha-s-Triazines and Other Compounds for Use as Additives

A report describes research on selected compounds as additives to perfluoroalkyether (PFPAE) fluids that are used as synthetic lubricants for metal parts. Additives are needed to inhibit both thermo-oxidative degradation of, and corrosion of metals by, the PFPAE fluids in the presence...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Thermal Lens Spectrometer Yields High Sensitivity

Thermal lens spectrometry is a highly sensitive method for detecting very small quantities of material by the absorption of light from a laser source. It takes advantage of the thermal lens effect to measure the absorption spectrum of a sample. This invention utilizes an optical parametric...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Adjacent-Pair Imaging Shearography Using Bacteriorhodopsin

In a developmental technique of real-time adjacent-pair imaging shearography, a thin film of bacteriorhodopsin is used to record shearograms in argon-laser light for immediate readout in helium/neon-laser light. Unlike conventional silver-halide-based photographic film, bacteriorhodopsin...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

The figure illustrates a solar thermal energy system for boiling water or another liquid. The system can be used for a variety of purposes that can include drying aqueous hazardous...

Briefs: Medical

A method of measuring the concentration of a selected organic compound (analyte) in a sample of water involves (1) producing hydrogen peroxide as a byproduct of enzyme-catalyzed...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Electrochromic devices change color and light transmissivity upon application of an electric charge. As such they should prove valuable as "smart" windows that can reduce air-conditioning...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A Stirling cooler is a mechanical system that approximates the ideal gas cycle. Often associated with airborne or portable cooling applications that require compact design and low input power,...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

As the highest resolution seismic system available, the automated seafloor classification system (ASCS) can remotely and accurately map sediment properties for many seafloor applications. The...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Compact analog/digital electronic data processors of a novel type are based on the concept of the optimization cellular neural network (OCNN) and are implemented in...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A proposed focal-plane array (FPA) of quantum-well infrared photodetectors (QWIPs) would exhibit peak response at two wavelengths. Heretofore, single-focal-plane arrays of photodetectors optimized...

Briefs: Materials
Characterization of Woven-Carbon/Copper-Matrix Composites

Designing metal-matrix composites into actual components requires both experimental and analytical characterization of the behavior of these composites. This report describes mathematical modeling and experimental characterization of the elastoplastic behaviors of composite materials...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Rapid Prototyping of Cast Metal/Fiber Composites

A rapid prototyping process enables the incorporation of continuous fiber reinforcement into a cast metal-matrix composite. In one older process, cast metal-matrix composites are made by introducing fibers or particles into molten or partially solidified metals, then casting the resulting...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

There has been some success in continuing efforts to increase the service lifetimes of the guide rolls in hot-roll-slitter machines in the steel industry. In these machines, hardened knives are...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

Kinetic rate data are needed to design all chemical processes. Specifically, they are needed to determine such things as ignition delay times, combustion times, and explosion...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Cross-diffraction gratings have been proposed to provide optical coupling to quantum-well infrared photodetectors (QWIPs) in focal-plane arrays (FPAs). The cross-grating coupling scheme...

Briefs: Software
ICAN/PART - Integrated Particulate Composite Analyzer

The Integrated Particulate Composite Analyzer (ICAN/PART) computer program is a modified version of the Integrated Composite Analyzer (ICAN) program (LEW-15592/LEW-15832), which was developed to conduct analyses of the micromechanics of fiber-reinforced polymer-matrix composite materials....

Briefs: Software
Web-Based Software for Coordinating Work

WWWorkflow is a language-driven, data-base-mediated, web-based process mediation system. WWWorkflow leverages on intranet applications and existing information infrastructure services, making it possible to add workflow management features to preexisting information management systems, without the need...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Potential Commercial Applications From Microgravity Combustion Research

The paper entitled "Potential Commercial Applications From Combustion and Fire Research in Space" reviews the status of potential commercial applications derived from research on combustion in microgravity environments encountered in orbiting spacecraft. Such research...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) systems have been used for a number of years in field and laboratory applications. The normal LDV system consists of a two-color, four-beam...

Briefs: Materials

Experiments have shown that nonreactive ion-beam sputtering can be used to deposit a transparent film of aluminum oxide on a polycarbonate, silicon, or fused-silica substrate....

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