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: Software
Software for Scheduling Use of Shared Resources

The Quick Utility for Intelligence Planning and Scheduling (QUIPS) computer program automates the scheduling of resources that must be shared among multiple tasks or groups. Designed to aid coordination of military intelligence operations at the division and brigade levels, QUIPS might also prove...

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: 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: 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: 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: Medical

A compact fiber-optic probe has been found to be useful for noncontact diagnosis of interior parts of eyes. The probe was originally developed for performing...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

A great increase in the effectiveness of fiber optic systems is possible with a device that allows for simultaneous two-way signalling of multiple data streams on a single optical...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

A generalized mathematical model has been devised for use in analyzing the pyrolysis of arbitrarily specified (but typical) biomass feedstocks at atmospheric pressure. The model...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

An improved motor controller provides a circuit that will allow a motor to run at full speed while traveling from point A to point B, and still be able to obtain the desired damping...

Briefs: Motion Control

The tunable external cavity diode laser is an important new tool used to evaluate and test the latest fiber-optic components and building blocks of modern telecommunications systems. A key factor...

Briefs: Materials

A technique of gentle, highly selective gas-phase etching of silicon has been devised to enable the fabrication of microelectromechanical devices integrated with electronic circuits. For...

Briefs: Materials

Thermal-insulation blankets developed for use aboard the space shuttle can be adapted to a racing car to protect the driver against excessive cockpit heating. [Also see an earlier article...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Signaling-and-Detection Scheme for Beacon Monitoring

A signaling-and-detection scheme has been proposed for use in conjunction with the remote-monitoring concept described in "Beacon Monitoring Would Reduce Interactions With Remote Systems" (NPO-19706), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 21, No. 5 (May 1997), page 54. To recapitulate: A remote system (a...

Briefs: Unmanned Systems

A prototype manipulator system that includes two different arms has been tentatively selected for use on a semiautonomous robotic vehicle called Rocky 7 (see figure). [A previous version of this...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

The Automated Window Inspection Device (AWID) is a prototype apparatus for computer-controlled, noncontact inspection of windows, with reproducible positioning and electronic recording of data on the...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

A proposed electro-optical image-processing system would enable remote viewing of an object through a multimode optical fiber, as though the fiber were a conventional image-transmitting optic like a...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Rigid, guyed masts of a proposed type for supporting meteorological instruments would be designed to withstand considerably stronger winds than those conventionally used. The proposed fairings...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

A mathematical model of a special class of solid/fluid chemical reactions has been developed for use in analyzing the pyrolysis of particles of cellulose, wood, and similar biomass...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

A mathematical model has been developed for use in assessing the performances of direct-contact pyrolysis reactors used to convert particles of raw biomass materials (usually small...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

An operator interface is undergoing development along with other subsystems of a robot that would assist in caring for elderly and disabled patients. This development has been initiated...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Hybrid high-temperature-superconductor (HTS)/semiconductor planar oscillator circuits that operate at a frequency of 8.4 GHz have been developed. In the original intended application,...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

High-speed communications, medical applications, and semiconductor processing would all benefit from a laser that can produce stable, high-repetition-rate pulses at 1.55 micrometers. One...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Modulated (as opposed to steady) light can be used in the optical transmission of power to remotely located sensor circuitry in a system like that described in the preceding...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

A method of correcting absolute-air-pressure measurements for small differences in the elevations of pressure taps and pressure transducers has been devised. The variation in air...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

The figure schematically illustrates a prototype general-purpose, microprocessor-based sensor and control system in which power, data, and control signals are transmitted via...

Briefs: Information Technology

The Kennedy Space Center Human Factors Event Evaluation Model is a model to facilitate long-term gathering and analysis of data to investigate the effects of human factors on the...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A small prototype robotic all-terrain vehicle features a unique drive and suspension system that affords capabilities for self righting, pose control, and enhanced maneuverability for...

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