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 : Communications
Ka-Band Parabolic Deployable Antenna (KaPDA)

CubeSats provide the ability to conduct relatively inexpensive space missions. Over the past several years, technology and launch opportunities for CubeSats have exploded, enabling a wide variety of missions. However, as instruments become more complex and CubeSats travel deeper into space, data...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Pyrotechnically Actuated Gas Generator Using Aqueous Methanol

The largest supersonic parachute ever developed is one of the test articles on the Supersonic Flight Dynamics Test (SFDT) vehicle of the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project. The typical method for deploying a supersonic parachute from an entry vehicle, by firing it from...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Deployable Perimeter Truss with Blade Reel Deployment Mechanism

Solar sail technology depends heavily on the total surface area of the sail. In other words, minimizing mass and volume of its support structure is the main objective, particularly when it comes to launch configuration, i.e. mass, volume constraints, etc. There is a need to develop...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Cantera Integration with T-MATS

The Toolbox for the Modeling and Analysis of Thermodynamic Systems (TMATS) software package is a library of building blocks that can be assembled to represent any thermodynamic system in the Simulink® (MathWorks, Inc.) environment. These elements, along with a Newton Raphson solver (also provided as part of the...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Rocket Sled Parachute Design Verification

Historically, parachutes have been load-tested by various methods including release from an aircraft, deploying in a wind tunnel, dragging through water, and shooting out of an air cannon. Each type of testing has its own advantages and drawbacks. Due to the loading mechanics particular to parachutes...

Briefs : Aerospace
Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes Integration for Shock Noise (RISN)

Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) Integration for Shock- Noise (RISN) is a computer program that evaluates acoustic analogies to predict jet noise. Jet noise is due to turbulence from the chaotic flow within the exhaust of a rocket or air-breathing jet engine. The source of...

Briefs : Aerospace
Regeneratively Cooled Porous Media Jacket

A non-toxic nitrous oxide fuel blend (NOFB) monopropellant with a high adiabatic flame temperature reaching and probably exceeding 3,450 K and a very high thermal decomposition limit (>390 °C) is under development. To design an optimal rocket engine that can handle the high adiabatic temperature...

Briefs : Aerospace
Multi-Pulse Motor (MPM) Designed for Use with Electric Solid Propellants

The multi-pulse motor is a solid-propellant rocket motor that is able to produce a number of pulses for various thrust levels (5 to 30 pulses and thrusts between 0.25 and 1.5 N, depending on electric power delivery system) and can be turned on and off through the...

Briefs : Propulsion
Adaptive Augmenting Control

Adaptive augmenting control (AAC) is a forward gain, multiplicative adaptive algorithm for launch vehicle flight control that meets three summary-level design objectives: Do no harm — return to baseline control design when not needed; respond to errors in the ability of the vehicle to track commands to increase...

Briefs : Aerospace
Daily Mesoscale Sea Surface Salinity from Evaporation and Precipitation

Quantification of salinity is hampered by the lack of time and space resolution of existing measurements and models. At present, skin salinity measurements are available every few days with limited spatial resolution. Daily skin salinity products are full of gaps, which some...

Briefs : Aerospace
Software for Inferring the Aerosol Water and Soot Fractions from Remote Sensing Measurements

Aerosol water content and soot concentrations are important components of aerosol forcing. Aerosols contain varying amounts of water depending upon their aerosol hygroscopicity, and anthropogenic aerosols are among the most hygroscopic aerosols; hence,...

Briefs : Aerospace
Algae Photobioreactor Using Floating Enclosures With Semi-Permeable Membranes

Various species of algae are known to produce valuable products ranging from food to fertilizer to biofuels. Methods have been developed for producing biofuels by processing algae and other micro-organisms that grow in aquatic environments, but the largescale...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Parallelization of Snowflake Growth Simulation

Gravner and Griffeath have developed a serial numerical model that simulates the growth of snowflakes in three dimensions under the assumptions of 24-fold symmetry. To allow for much larger and asymmetric snowflakes as well as to reduce simulation time, their model was re-implemented using...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Soil Remediation with Plant-Fungal Combinations

This work applies to remediation and restoration of soil contaminated by fuel, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) wastes, etc. While there can be a beneficial effect of microbial communities, individual plant-fungus combinations can vary in their efficacy in removing pollutants from the environment....

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Rigorous Antenna Noise Temperature Calculation Method for International Space Station Visiting Spacecraft

The temperature of the orbiting space station’s Sun-facing side could be up to 250 °F (≈120 °C) and will be a significant antenna noise temperature contributor for visiting spacecraft communication and tracking systems during...

Briefs : Software
Recurring Anomaly Detection System (ReADS)

NASA Engineering & Safety Center (NESC) subject matter experts analyze records in various International Space Station and shuttle databases to identify recurring anomalies. The key problems these experts face in analyzing such database records are:

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Method for Automatic Optimization of Yaw Maneuvers for Orbiting Space Vehicles

A new method for optimizing yaw attitude maneuvers on the International Space Station (ISS) was developed. Docking and undocking operations often require 180° yaw rotations, which are the most common large maneuvers on the ISS. When optimized, some large maneuvers,...

Briefs : Information Technology
Architecture Framework for Fault Management Assessment and Design

Modern spacecraft, aircraft, and surface vehicles support complex science missions in harsh environments. These spacecraft and vehicles provide diverse functionality that is deployed on increasingly complex and heterogeneous hardware and mechanical systems, with stringent...

Briefs : Software
Spacecraft Parameter Database Tool

The GOES-R Program has requirements to maintain knowledge of the GOES-R satellite onboard memory contents, including managing general satellite operations tables; processor memory dumps for memory verification; creating command loads, memory (table) loads, and command sequences to operate the satellite;...

Briefs : Information Technology
Eliminating the Need for Payload-Specific Coupled Loads Analyses Without Mission Risk

Amore efficient structural verification process for small satellites has been demonstrated. This new process eliminates the need for payload-specific coupled loads analysis (CLA) and simplifies structural testing while not increasing mission risk. The process...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Moon Tours Android

This Android app provides a native interface to the Lunar Mapping and Modeling Portal’s (LMMP) lunar data archive and analysis tools. It complements the iOS app previously released, incorporating a very similar feature set. Both apps contain a subset of the functionality available in the desktop/Web version. Compared to the...

Briefs : Imaging
Continental-Scale Mapping of Adélie Penguin Colonies from Landsat Imagery

The Adélie penguin has a circum-Antarctic distribution and is widely considered a useful indicator of status and change in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems. Breeding distribution of the Adélie penguin was surveyed with Landsat-7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus...

Briefs : Imaging
Photogrammetric-Based Pose Initialization and Propagation for Inertial Navigation Systems

The purpose of the Pose Initialization and Propagation (PIP) system is to provide an absolute navigational solution (position, velocity, and attitude) to a moving vehicle without using GPS. This was developed as a navigation system for rocket launches in a...

Briefs : Imaging
Multi-Channel Laser Absorption Spectrometer for Combustion Product Monitoring

Tunable laser absorption spectrometer (TLAS) sensors enable gas monitoring with high accuracy and gas specificity, and can be optimized for continuous, maintenance-free operation on long-duration manned spacecraft missions. This innovation is a portable, five-channel...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Disturbance-Free, High-Resolution Imaging from Space

All imaging systems from space are affected by disturbances originating in the spacecraft in the form of mechanical noise from thruster and reaction/momentum wheels, and sensor noise. A drag-free system is truly unaffected by any disturbances, as it is in pure freefall. Hence, leveraging...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Hollow-Core Fiber Lamp for Mercury Ion Clocks and Micro-Plasma Studies

The mercury linear ion trap frequency standard (LITS) at JPL has been demonstrated to have multiple potential applications in NASA deep space missions. An increase of the deep ultraviolet (DUV)/vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) light output from the plasma discharge lamp light source...

Briefs : Imaging
3D Imaging Technology and System

All current cameras and imaging systems have the same classical problem in practical applications. To complete the observation task, a large amount of data is captured, processed, and transmitted; then most of the data is discarded because it is not essential for the given observation task. The problem comes from...

Briefs : Software
Virtual Windows to Supplement Conventional Spacecraft Windows

Legacy NASA spacecraft windows suffer from specialized costs and operational constraints associated with embedding optically transparent apertures within structures that are designed to maximize strength, safety, and environmental integrity. A new approach to the legacy window...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
SCaN Optical Link Assessment Tool Version 2

In response to the requirements of the Space-Based Relay Study (SBRS) undertaken by NASA in 2013, as well as the Integrated Radio and Optical Communications (iROC) project being conducted by NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) beginning in 2012, a calculation procedure was required to rapidly assess the...

Briefs : Imaging
Optical Correlation Receiver

Precise distance, time, and pulse width measurements are required for many areas of science and engineering. Time-of-flight methods are often used to measure remote distances. Optical signals are attractive because the small wavelength allows small transmit and receive telescopes. Short pulsed lasers are attractive...

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Using Portable Scenarios and Coverage Metrics to Ensure...

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Impact of Autonomous and Electric Vehicles in New Product...

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Autonomous Vehicles Sensors: How to Ensure They Work Well and...

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Connectivity Solutions for Robust Data Transmission in Future...

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