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
Development of a Multi-User Modem for Space Telecommunications

Efficient support of planetary surface missions typically requires an orbiting asset that acts as a relay point to/from Earth. Orbital relay passes are normally 5 to 15 minutes in duration over any specific landed site. When multiple landed assets are co-located or near-located in...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Wire Bonding to Pads in Tilted Planes

Scientific imaging arrays need to have their individual imaging elements arranged in a close-spaced mosaic. The typical single imaging element is a silicon chip mounted on a larger support frame. This excess area of the support frame takes away valuable imaging space from the mosaic. This appears as a grid...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
cFE/CFS Evolution for Multicore Platforms

This effort ports the Core Flight Executive (cFE)/Core Flight System (CFS) flight software architecture to multicore processor platforms, and provides mission developers with a common, flightready, flexible software environment that supports single, multi-processor, and multicore systems. Currently the...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Hermetic Feedthroughs for Mission-Critical Electronics

One of the most common causes of electronics failure is moisture. Because water and electronics do not mix well, several strategies exist to protect mission-critical components from moisture and condensation. One of the most successful methods involves hermetically sealed electronics...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Advanced Spacecraft Navigation and Timing Using Celestial Gamma-Ray Sources

The Advanced Spacecraft Navigation and Timing using Celestial Gamma-Ray Sources concept is a novel relative navigation technology for deep-space exploration using measurements of celestial gamma-ray sources. This new Gamma-ray source Localization-Induced Navigation and...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Generating a Laser Linear Frequency Modulation Waveform for Application in Coherent Doppler Lidar

Frequency modulation of a single-frequency laser with a linear triangular waveform is of great interest to many laser remote sensing and interferometry applications. Linear frequency modulation of a continuous-wave (CW) laser beam can make target...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Outlier Detection Via Estimating Clusters

The Outlier Detection Via Estimating Clusters (ODVEC) software provides an efficient method for real-time or offline analysis of multivariate sensor data for use in anomaly detection, fault detection, and system health monitoring. ODVEC uses models automatically derived from archived system data to...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Wideband Single-Crystal Transducer for Bone Characterization

The microgravity conditions of space travel create unique physiological demands on the astronauts’ skeletal structures, resulting in a reduction in bone strength from restructuring of the micro-architecture and loss of key minerals. An ultrasound system was developed that is capable...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Method for Fabricating Metallic Panels with Deep Stiffener Sections

This innovation integrates existing highperformance metallic materials and manufacturing technologies (all of which are now certified and used to produce thinner stiffened panels for launch vehicle structures) in a novel manner to allow fabrication of more structurally efficient...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Robust, High-Temperature Containment Cartridges for Microgravity

Robust, high-temperature containment cartridges are needed for processing materials science experiments in microgravity. In general, the refractory metals (Nb, Ta, Mo, W, Re) possess the chemical inertness and high melting temperatures desired. Of these materials, niobium and...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Method for Insertion of Carbon Fiber Through the Thickness of Dense Dry Fiber Preform

Creation of a structural joint for a heat shield for extreme entry environments requires structural fibers penetrating through the thickness of the shield at joint locations. The structural fibers must be made of carbon to withstand extremely high temperatures,...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Edge-Bonded Shims

Precision shims are used as compensators to absorb tolerances between mating components. They significantly reduce manufacturing costs by eliminating the need for each component to be precision-machined in order to achieve the proper fit and function of the total assembly. During the assembly process, shims provide adjustment...

Briefs : Materials
Processing and Damage Tolerance of Continuous Carbon Fiber Composites Containing Puncture-Self-Healing Thermoplastic Matrix

The initiation and propagation of damage ultimately results in failure of aircraft structural components. Often, impact damage is difficult to identify in-service, and hence design of continuous carbon fiber reinforced...

Briefs : Materials
Advanced Supported Liquid Membranes for CO‚2 Control in EVA Applications

NASA has a clear need to develop new technology in support of its future goals, including missions beyond low-Earth orbit, the possible development of lunar outposts, and the eventual exploration of Mars. As these missions develop, it is anticipated that crew members will...

Briefs : Materials
Low-Density Titanium-Based Bulk Metallic Glasses with High Glass-Forming Ability

Ti-based bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) and matrix composites (BMGMCs) are a subset of the class of materials known synonymously as amorphous metals, liquid metals, and glassy metals, described by their majority element (in atomic percent) being that of titanium. BMGs...

Briefs : Materials
Thermal Management Coating (TMC)

An experimental study was conducted in conjunction with the research and development program at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) on thermal protection systems (TPS) for aerospace applications, a new concept for reusable TPS material. The new system uses a micro-encapsulated phase-change material...

Briefs : Materials
AeroHeating Tools (AHT) Suite

This suite of computer programs, called “tools,” is used to calculate local flow angles over damage sites in the Shuttle Orbiter Thermal Protection System (TPS). It provides a quick and easy way to compute cross flow angles over points of interest on the Shuttle Orbiter TPS.

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
NEO Hunter Seeker Micro-Spacecraft and Mission Concept

The area of research known as “Planetary Defense” is largely concerned with identifying and tracking asteroids that could impact Earth. The vast majority of asteroids that pose such a risk are known as “Near Earth Asteroids/Objects” or NEAs and NEOs. Some of them are unknown,...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Multipath, Multistage, Erosion-Resistive Valve for Downhole Flow Control

Multipath, multistage, erosion-resistant flow control valves have been developed that can sustain the extremely high pressure of deep oil wells. Fitting in the restricted available space and operating using limited power with a long lifetime are challenges for choke valves...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Passive Close-Off Feature for Sample Acquisition and Retention

The current coring bit and percussive drilling style works very well for strong rocks; however, when coring into weak, crumbling rock, the core tends to break apart and simply fall out of the bit. These rocks, powder, and other debris can have useful information that is lost when...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Piezoelectric-Actuated Cryogenic Thermodynamic Vent Valve

Cryogenic fluid control valves require actuation that controls the geometric position of the orifice in a thermally stable manner. Traditional actuator devices may have various materials used in their construction that have varying CTEs (coefficients of thermal expansion) and therefore...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Amine Swingbed Payload

The amine swingbed was in development for incorporation into Orion’s environmental control and life support system to remove metabolic carbon dioxide and humidity from the crew atmosphere. The compact, low-power swingbed uses space vacuum to regenerate itself. Direction was given by NASA to develop it for a payload...

Briefs : Medical
Bayesian Sleep Fusion

To ensure mission success, astronauts must maintain a high level of performance, even when work-rest schedules result in chronic sleep restriction and circadian misalignment, both of which can contribute to fatigue and performance deficits unless effective countermeasures are used. The overarching goal of this project is to...

Briefs : Medical
Technique for Reversible Permeabilization of Live Cells for Intracellular Delivery of Quantum Dots

Nanomaterials are comparable in size to various biomolecules (1 to 100 nm), and have unique properties such as enhanced electrical conductivity, increased chemical reactivity, and novel optical properties that make them attractive candidates for...

Briefs : Medical
Introduction of Structural Affinity Handles as a Tool in Selective Nucleic Separations

This invention relates to the general field of bio-chemical separations. Current methods for separating nucleic acids either lack sufficient selectivity or large-capacity production as required for gene therapy or DNA vaccines or other applications. There is a...

Briefs : Medical
Functionalized Patterning of Tissue Engineering Substrates

Tissue engineering (TE) is an emerging field for tissue repair and regeneration compared to conventional techniques including autograft and allograft, through engineering functional implants created from living cells. TE is a highly interdisciplinary research area where material science,...

Briefs : Medical
Hearing Test System Suitable for Self-Administered Hearing Assessment

Astronauts have developed hearing loss in space, so the goal of this project was to provide a robust, self-administered, accurate noise-tolerance hearing test system for astronauts. The device includes Bekesy-like threshold audiometry, distortion product otoacoustic emission...

Briefs : Medical
Assessment of Microbial Bioburden Within Aerogel Matrices

A makeshift apparatus has been designed composed of a sealed, hydrophobic 2-propanol/SiO2 aerogel component to filter outside air particles. Following verification and assessment, the apparatus was crafted with a Buchner funnel. Aerogel matrices were tightly fitted into filter...

Briefs : Information Technology
The Advanced Data Analytics Platform (ADAPT): Concept, Design, Architecture, and Operation

NASA scientists are uniquely positioned to research and understand the processes affecting the Earth’s climate. To study these important processes, scientists must address the Big Data challenges posed by working with massive amounts of observational and...

Briefs : Information Technology
Orion Heat Shield Thermal Mapping Tool

The Orion Heat Shield Mapping Tool collects data from a set of output files from various re-entry thermal response codes, interpolates the data, and maps the analysis code data onto a finely meshed finite element model.

Webcasts

On-Demand Webinars: Test & Measurement

Solving Complex Measurement Problems with PXI

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

NASA Discusses Advances in Photonics for Space and Commercial...

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Using Portable Scenarios and Coverage Metrics to Ensure...

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

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

Upcoming Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition

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

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Connectivity Solutions for Robust Data Transmission in Future...