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: Information Technology
Generalized Query Tool for Accessing the Database of the Mars Relay OperationsService (MaROS)

The Generalized Query Tool for accessing the database of MaROS can be utilized in three modes: (1) batch mode where a user's authentication data is inserted directly along with a desired query to the database, (2) interactive mode where a...

Briefs: Information Technology
High-Performance Fault-Tolerant xEmbedded Computing (HPFEC) Benchmark Suite

This work arises out of the Next Generation Space Processor (NGSP) project, a collaborative effort among several NASA centers and the Air Force Research Laboratory. The goal of NGSP is to develop the next generation of radiation-hardened, fault-tolerant,...

Briefs: Information Technology
JPF-NAS Extension of Java Pathfinder

Java PathFinder (JPF) version 7 provides basic support for verifying the distributed Java applications. It can receive a distributed Java application as input that is perceived as multiple Java processes. However, JPF does account for communication between processes of the distributed application, and it thus...

Briefs: Information Technology
Institutional Budgeting Tool (IBT)

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Institutional Budgeting Tool (IBT) was designed and developed to meet the needs of JPL's budget planners, numbering 1,600, who required a robust and state-of-the-art budgeting application. JPL's budgeting process had been constrained by legacy tools that presented usability and...

Briefs: Information Technology
Tubes Standards-Compliant C Header Library

Due to limitations imposed by transistor physics as device geometries continue to get finer and finer, the time when each new generation of processors was clocked faster than its predecessors is largely over. Nevertheless, as individual processor cores get smaller, chip manufacturers have turned instead...

Briefs: Information Technology
Techniques for Conducting Effective Concept Design and Design-to-Cost Trade Studies

Concept design plays a central role in project success for space missions, as the product of concept design effectively locks in the majority of system lifecycle cost. It involves a concurrent investigation of requirements and multiple mission...

Briefs: Software
HyDE Model-Based Diagnosis Engine for Stochastic Hybrid Systems

Model-based diagnosis deals with the problem of diagnosing faults in systems using a model of the system for guidance. This problem is complicated by the presence of hybrid dynamics in the system (continuous evolution of the system interspersed with discrete events like commands to...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Use of Beam Deflection to Control an Electron Beam Wire Deposition Process

NASA Langley Research Center researchers have a strong technology foundation in the use of electron-beam (e-beam) deposition for freeform fabrication of complex shaped metal parts. While e-beam wire deposition is of interest for rapid prototyping of metal parts,...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Thermal Stir Welding Process

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center is developing an improved joining technology called thermal stir welding that improves upon fusion welding and friction stir welding. This new technology enables a superior joining method by allowing manufacturers to join dissimilar materials and to weld at high rates. NASA's...

NASA'S Langley Research Center has developed a new adhesively bonded joint concept for curved and flat panel sandwich...

Human susceptibility to the harsh space radiation environment has been identified as a major hurdle for exploration beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO)....

Human-occupied vehicles and autonomous vehicles such as rovers and landers may benefit from the fuel flexibility and high energy density of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs),...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Tool Designs for Friction Stir Welding

Friction stir welding (FSW) is a solidstate welding process that shows promise in the aerospace industry. A new system of experimentation has been used to quickly make and screen new tool designs. After conducting a literature review, friction stir tools were designed to optimize material flow around the...

NASA has investigated and demonstrated the simultaneous production of methane (CH4)...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Eddy Current System and Method for Crack Detection

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a new eddy current inspection device that probes for cracks in parts of metal structures that are often inaccessible without extensive...

NASA Langley Research Center’s Electric Field Imaging (EFI) system is the only noncontact method capable of quantitatively measuring the magnitude and direction of electrostatic...

ADC-DC converter that can operate from a high input voltage is needed for future high-power space applications. However, the selection of space-qualified, high-voltage transistors and...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Larger-Area Integrated Electrical Metallization Dielectric Structures with Stress-Managed Unit Cells for Extreme- Environment Semiconductor Electronics Chips

The use of patterned multiple layers of thin films of metal and dielectric to form integrated circuit interconnections of transistors and/or form on-chip circuit capacitors is well known to...

NASA’s Glenn Research Center (GRC) has developed a method for fabricating low-density, flexible aerogel composites for use as thermal insulation for myriad...

NASA’s Glenn Research Center has developed a new method for producing a shock- and corrosion-proof, superelastic, intermetallic material, NiTiNOL 60 (60NiTi),...

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) seeks to license its Polyimide Wire Insulation Repair System technology to industry. The Polyimide Wire Insulation Repair System is a kit consisting of thin film...

CHIEFS (Convective Heating Im provement for Emergency Fire Shelters) is being developed by NASA’s Langley Research Center to potentially improve the performance of...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Airfoil-Shaped Fluid Flow Tool for Use in Making Differential Measurements

Researchers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center have developed a suite of adaptable flow measurement devices that can be easily installed without compromising the structural integrity of existing conduits. With their simple installation procedures, the devices can be...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Piezo-Actuated, Fast-Acting Control Valve

High-power electric propulsion systems have the potential to revolutionize space propulsion due to their extremely high performance. This can result in significant propellant savings on space vehicles, allowing the overall mass to shrink for launch on a less expensive vehicle, or to allow the space...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Interface Between STAR-CCM+ and 42 for Enhanced Fuel Slosh Analysis

Fuel slosh is excited during spacecraft maneuvers. The forces and torques exerted on the spacecraft by the slosh must be controlled by the attitude control system to maintain correct pointing and spacecraft orbit. In some rare cases, the attitude control system may excite the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Mechanisms for Achieving Non-Sinusoidal Waveforms on Stirling Engines

The current state-of-the-art Stirling engines use sinusoidal piston and displacer motion to drive the thermodynamic cycle and produce power. Research performed at NASA Glenn has shown that non-sinusoidal waveforms have the potential to increase Stirling engine power density,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
RFID Cavity

This technology provides a method for interrogating collections of items with radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags. It increases the read accuracy, meaning that more of the item tags will be successfully read. It also permits smaller tag antennas than would otherwise be necessary.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Method for Asteroid Volatile Extraction in Space

Some meteorites representative of certain classes of asteroids are 25% or more water by weight. This is consistent with infrared spectra of some asteroids, indicating hydrated minerals are abundant in some varieties of carbonaceous chondrite asteroids. Since water is very valuable in space, it...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Improving Stirling Engine Performance Through Optimized Piston and Displacer Motion

Stirling engines typically achieve high efficiency, but lack power density. Low power density prevents them from being used in many applications where internal combustion engines are viable competitors, and increases system costs in applications that require...

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Aerospace

Understanding O-ring Complexity in the Aerospace Industry

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

The Path to High-Level Autonomy for Commercial Vehicles

Upcoming Webinars: Medical

COVID-19: The New Design Paradigm and Emerging Technologies

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Why Multiple Sensing Modalities Are Required to Achieve Level 3...

Upcoming Webinars: Aerospace

Aviation Electrification: Choosing Your Motor Topology and...

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Collaborative Robotics: Sharing the Workspace

Trending Stories

Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition

New Products: March 2019 Sensor Technology

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

Carbon Nanostructure is Stronger Than Diamonds

Articles: Motion Control

The Basics of Encoder Selection

Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition

AI-Based Machine Vision & the Future of Automotive In-Cabin Technologies

Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Do You See Yourself Someday Printing in 4D?

Videos