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 : 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.

Briefs : Information Technology
Distributed User Interface Management System for Interactive Collaborative Environments

The Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) Smart Firing Room Project aims to create a firing room using cutting-edge technologies of today that are expected to be the state-of-the-art for the 2020s. One aspect of this project is providing a seamless...

Briefs : Information Technology
Design Reference Mission Tool for Exoplanet Starshade Mission Study

The Design Reference Mission (DRM) tool was developed to support the Exo-Starshade (Exo-S) Science and Technology Definition Team for modeling both the Dedicated (30-m starshade, 1.1-m telescope) and Rendezvous (34-m starshade, 2.4-m telescope) missions. The DRM describes the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Data Parallel Line Relaxation Code (DPLR) Version 3.05

The Reacting Flow Environments branch at NASA ARC is interested in characterizing the aerothermal environment of three main classes of problem: planetary entry vehicles, reusable launch vehicles (RLVs), and arc-jet (or other ground test) flow simulations. Each of these problem classes has...

Briefs : Information Technology
Front End Data System (FEDS) Version 10.0

In traditional missions at NASA, ground systems were normally custom-built for each project. Additionally, there would be separate ground systems for each part of the spacecraft as well as a totally separate ground system for mission operations. Each of these generally interfaced through non-standard...

Briefs : Information Technology
Link Complexity Scheduling Algorithm

NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) provides communication and other services for planetary exploration for both NASA and international users. The DSN operates antennas at three complexes in California, Spain, and Australia, with the longitudinal distribution of the complexes enabling full sky coverage and...

Briefs : Information Technology
BUMPER-CEV Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris Risk Assessment Code Rev. A

BUMPER-CEV Version 1.71 is used to perform micrometeoroid/orbital debris (MMOD) risk assessments for the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) spacecraft. BUMPER is the primary risk analysis program used by NASA to provide for reliable and safe operations of spacecraft...

Briefs : Information Technology
Advanced Numerical Integration Techniques for High-Fidelity SDE Spacecraft Simulation

Simulation study is an integral part of the validation of navigation algorithms for spacecraft. While it is possible to come up with an estimate of a navigation algorithm’s performance with a low-fidelity system model, the mathematical analysis is intractable...

Briefs : Information Technology
Launch Environment Water Flow Simulations Using Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics

One of the crucial ground structures employed at the launch pad during the Space Shuttle program is the rainbird nozzle system, whose primary objective is to suppress acoustic energy generated by the launch vehicle during pad abort and nominal operations. It is...

Briefs : Information Technology
Seismometer Simulation Software

Seismometer Simulation Software (SEISim) is written to provide a simulation for the seismometer instrument in the Insight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport) mission so that flight software developers can use it to develop and test their software applications. It can...

Briefs : Information Technology
The Space Station Modulator: A Configurable Surface Mesh Geometry Model for Aeroscience Analyses

Numerical simulations of plume impingement heating to the International Space Station (ISS) and its visiting vehicles require a specific way to represent the space station geometry in 3D. The tools that are used for plume impingement analyses at...

Briefs : Information Technology
Submersible Phase Change Float Sizing

This software allows sizing of submersibles powered by hydraulic generators that are pressurized by ocean thermal gradients at various depths. The software allows the operator to input the fixed size of the vessels containing the phase change material (PCM). The effective expansion of the PCM is also input,...

Briefs : Information Technology
Method for Evaluating the Pneumatic Hammer Stability of a Fluid-Film Bearing Using CFD

This invention relates to a fluid film bearing and a process for evaluating pneumatic hammer instability. Based on the stability criteria, a method was developed using 3D CFD (computational fluid dynamics) evaluation dynamics to evaluate the onset of pneumatic...

Briefs : Software
DAWN: a Simulation Model for Evaluating Costs and Tradeoffs of Big Data Science Architectures

Data science is emerging as a critical area of research and technology to advance scientific discovery, knowledge, and decision-making through systematic computational approaches to analyzing massive data sets. The sheer volume of data increase, coupled...

Briefs : Software
Auxiliary Payload Sensor System Simulation Software

Auxiliary Payload Sensor System Simulation Software (APSSim) provides a simulation of the seismometer used in the Insight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport) mission. The software takes recorded or simulated APSS data as an input, preprocesses the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Multiphysics Piezoelectric Finite Element Modeling for Designing a Piezoelectric Damping Treatment for Vibration Control of Rotating Blades

The requirements for advanced aircraft engine components lead to designs that are more lightweight and efficient, yet more susceptible to excessive vibration, complex dynamic behavior, and uncertain...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Decelerator System Simulation (DSS)

The Crew Exploration Vehicle Parachute Assembly System (CPAS) project conducts computer simulations to verify that requirements on flight performance, parachute loads, and terminal rate of descent are met. The objective of this work was to obtain a high-fidelity simulation of Orion crew capsule flight test...

Briefs : Software
EXOS Software

An improved version of EXOS software allows for the modeling of fabrics, mixtures, and porous materials, and also provides the ability to accept hex mesh geometries. The code employs a novel numerical method, a hybrid particle finite element approach, as well as particles and elements in tandem, each modeling distinct aspects of...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Wireless Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube Microwave Heater System Using RFID-Based Temperature Feedback

This innovation has two main parts — a wireless, flexible film heater containing multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) to convert radiated microwave energy into heat, and a radio frequency identification (RFID) temperature sensor to provide...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Sub-Audible Speech Recognition Based on Electromyographic (EMG) Signals

Sub-audible speech is a new form of human communication that uses tiny neural impulses (EMG signals) in the human vocal tract instead of audible sounds. These EMG signals arise from commands sent by the brain’s speech center to tongue and larynx muscles that enable...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Precision Detector Conductance Definition via Ballistic Thermal Transport

The characteristics of a thermal detector, such as sensitivity, response time, and saturation power (or energy resolution), are functions of the thermal conductance of the detector to its cryogenic environment. The thermal conductance is specified to achieve a tradeoff...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Improved Ground Collision Avoidance System for General Aviation Aircraft and UAVs

Controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) causes almost 100 deaths each year in the United States. Although warning systems have virtually eliminated CFIT for large commercial air carriers, the problem still remains for general aviation aircraft and unmanned aerial...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Programmable Linear Position Sensors Leverage Inductive Technology

New technology combines the benefits of non-contact linear position sensing with the programmability of a programmable controller in a relatively small sensor package. This technology can help engineers in applications including those where costs and/or development time can be...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Polarizing Sun Sensor

For a number of applications, the pointing direction towards the Sun must be known or measured. Con ventional Sun sensors determine the pointing direction towards the Sun while the Sun is in the field of view of the sensor. The disadvantage of a conventional Sun sensor is that it only operates when there is an unobstructed...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Three-Axis Sun Sensor for Attitude Determination

A conventional Sun sensor determines the orientation of the Sun in two axes. If mounted on Earth in a known coordinate system, it can determine the azimuth and elevation of the Sun. When mounted on a spacecraft, it can determine the pointing direction toward the Sun. Traditionally, Sun sensors...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Venus Heat Flux Sensor

A sensor element that consists of a thermally resistive layer made of nand p-type semiconductor elements amplifies the temperature gradient in the resistive layer that results from heat flow through the sensor. The thermoelectric array provides greater accuracy and sensitivity over a traditional thermopile arrangement for...