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: Green Design & Manufacturing
System, Apparatus, and Method for Liquid Purification

Scientists at NASA's Glenn Research Center have developed a unique water purification method that can be used for water recycling or point-of-use applications. Originally developed as a means to recycle water in space, this technology has applications in industrial water treatment, water...

Briefs: Propulsion
Multi-Thruster Propulsion Apparatus

Two different types of electrostatic thrusters are used to propel spacecraft: ion thrusters and Hall-effect thrusters. Ion thrusters have the benefit of relatively high exhaust velocities with higher overall thrust efficiencies. Hall-effect thrusters typically offer higher thrust-to-power ratios, but they...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Tangential Wrap Rib Deployable Reflector

There is a need for a large deployable reflector of 2-meter diameter or greater so smaller launch vehicles can be used. Common issues with going from a large solid reflector into deployable structures are the structural stiffness and deployable structure complexity.

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Method Improves Accuracy of Imaging Data

Research by the University of Chicago provides scientists looking at single molecules or into deep space a more accurate way to analyze imaging data captured by microscopes, telescopes, and other...

Part of the TDK group of companies, Headway Technologies (Milpitas, CA) is a semiconductor manufacturer of memory and drive head technologies, and designs and manufactures recording...

Briefs: Software
LTAS Source Slaving Selector (LS3) Analyzer

The objective of the Launch Trajectory Acquisition System (LTAS) Source Slaving Selector (LS3) Analyzer application is to convert recorded data files — which are generated by the LTAS Source Slaving Selector (LS3) application in binary format — to human-readable text files as per a variety of...

Briefs: Communications
Ad Hoc Selection of Voice Over Internet Streams

NASA seeks interested parties to license the Ad Hoc Selection for Voice Over Internet (VoIP) Streams technology developed by engineers at Johnson Space Center. This technology features the ability to select specific audio streams from one or more sources and then convert them into a multicast to...

Briefs: Communications
Deep-Space Positioning System

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has developed a compact, low-power, self-contained instrument that provides the equivalent of GPS throughout the solar system without the aid of an artificially provided infrastructure. The state-of-the-art X-ray navigation instrument is also able to determine the position of a...

Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
WX Subsystem Weather Station

The WX Subsystem Weather Station was designed for use as part of the Weather Instrumentation (WX) Subsystem for the Constellation Program (CxP) to be implemented in the Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center. The weather stations need to be rugged, robust, and reliable. Although this equipment is not to be...

Briefs: Software
Representation and Analysis of System Behavior Using Monotonic Signals

NASA has developed a new method for analyzing complex system behavior that also may be viewed as a type of data visualization and decision support tool. Large complex control systems may have thousands or even millions of sensors, each providing some type of signal that...

Briefs: Communications
GPS Satellite Geometry Analysis Tool (GPSGEM)

The purpose of the GPS Satellite Geometry Analysis Tool (GPSGEM) is to evaluate GPS satellite geometry for a given Earth-fixed location or for a provided trajectory. The tool will generate a listing of all satellites in view, the best satellite combination defined by the most optimum Geometric...

Briefs: Propulsion
Propellant Distributor for a Thruster

Innovators at NASA's Glenn Research Center have developed several new technological innovations to improve the capability of Hall-effect thrusters, which are used primarily on Earth-orbiting satellites and can also be used for deep-space robotic vehicles. Hall thrusters are susceptible to discharge channel...

Briefs: Materials
Nanotubular Toughening Inclusions

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed an extensive technology portfolio on novel methods for effective dispersion of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in polymers. The technology portfolio extends from making stable dispersions of CNTs in polymer resins to processes for making composite CNT/polymer films and...

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a Floating Ultrasonic System for improved nondestructive testing. Most ultrasonic scanners require an...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Development of Sodium Lidar for Spaceborne Missions

The metal layers at mesospheric altitudes are excellent tracers of neutral atmosphere dynamics, and have been used since the 1960s to study the chemistry and dynamics of the mesosphere. Ablation from meteors is believed to be the chief source of metals such as Na, Mg, K, Fe, and Ca in the...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Additive-Manufactured, Very Lightweight, Diamond Turned Aspheric Mirror

Industrial-grade, lightweight mirrors used in military and aeronautics have tight specifications brought on by demanding performance parameters. For example, a mirror that is used in an orbiting telescope would have to be extremely lightweight, stiff, and be configured to...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Partially Transparent Circular Mask to Suppress Narrowband Laser Light

The evolved Laser Interferometry Space Antenna (eLISA) is the implementation of the original Laser Interferometry Space Antenna (LISA) concept that will be proposed for the European Space Agency's (ESA) L.3 Cosmic Visions opportunity. The eLISA observatory uses lasers to...

NASA Langley Research Center researchers have developed an airplane capable of being stowed in a confined volume and deployed in a high-altitude environment for...

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a novel shape memory polymer (SMP) made from composite materials for use in morphing structures. In response to an external stimulus such...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Method of Mapping Anomalies in Homogenous Material

This innovation builds off of NASA Langley Research Center’s SansEC sensing system. SansEC is an open-circuit, resonant sensor that needs no electrical connections (thus the name SansEC or...

Briefs: Software
AMMOS Common Access Manager (CAM)

The Common Access Manager (CAM) software was developed to control access to functions and data for mission control, telemetry, tracking, instrument data, and other ground data system capabilities. The CAM software is used by Advanced Multi-Mission Operations System (AMMOS) and Deep Space Network (DSN)...

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a metallic material that can be embedded into structural alloys to enhance nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of a structure. Current NDE tools, such as eddy...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Micro-Fresnel Zone Plate Optical Devices Using Densely Accumulated Ray Points

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a novel approach for a high-density optical data storage system to advance the typical capabilities of an optical data storage system. Operating at any laser wavelength from infrared (IR), visible, ultraviolet (UV), and X-ray...

NASA's Glenn Research Center has developed high-temperature solid lubricant materials suitable for foil gas bearings that enable the...

NASA's Langley Research Center has created a new class of materials based on depositing nanometer-sized metal particles onto carbon allotropes. The method is scalable and relatively...

NASA Langley Research Center researchers are experts at producing carbon nanotube (CNT)-based sensors for structural health monitoring (SHM). The sensors can be embedded in structures...

The goal of this work was to develop engineered matrix SiC/SiC ceramic composites with crack blunting and self-healing capabilities for 1588 to 1755 K applications. The work optimized...

When tackling modern engineering projects, designers must consider not only engineering parameters, but also such key factors as cost, safety, and environmental impact. To exploit...

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed an enhanced design for a composite panel with a recessed core. NASA designed it to decrease the radiation...

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