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: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Structural Assembly Incorporating Integral Thermal Heat Spreader for Cold Plate Cooling

In a structural cold plate, typically there is a structural member such as a honeycomb panel or a brazed sandwich assembly that provides the structural strength, and at least one cold plate that cools equipment attached to the structural member. The cold...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Advanced Magnetostrictive Regulator, Valve, and Force-to-Angle Sensor

Typical aerospace rocket engines use valves to control the flow and pressures of propellant and pressurants. These typical valves are designed to operate with a mechanical, electromechanical, or pneumatic operator. They all have at least one, and often multiple, penetrations...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Circular Cross-Section Blades for a Sampling Device

To date, there are solutions that can collect samples by being deployed from a distance from a low-gravity body or using a touch-and-go approach. To increase precision collection of samples...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Clamshell Sampler

The Clamshell mechanism, with one quick action, acquires and retains a sample from a small body surface while minimizing sampling energy. The sampler has two quarter-sphere buckets that are driven into the small body...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Shape Memory Alloy Rock Splitter

A working prototype of a non-explosive, static rock splitter for space exploration using shape memory alloys (SMAs) as the driving member also has terrestrial applications. The static, compact,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Passive, Low-Insertion-Force/High-Retention-Force Cam Plug Design for Sample Tube Sample Caging

AMars “sample caching rover” mission designed to collect, document, and package samples for future collection and return to Earth was recommended as the highest-priority mission for 2013–2022 by the 2011 Planetary Decadal Survey. A key premise...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Design Support and Analysis Tool for Pyrotechnically Actuated Valves

This software predicts flow through the initiator of a Primer Chamber Assembly Valve. These valves exhibited a potential failure mode for specific operating conditions where dual simultaneous firings of the initiator occurred. The software tool was able to identify a fluid...

The Deployable Extra-Vehicular Activity Platform (DEVAP) is a staging platform for egress and ingress attached to a lunar, Mars, or planetary surface habitat...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Two-Phase Thermal Switch

There is a wide range of spacecraft thermal management applications that require variable conductance devices such as thermal switches. These switches are used to help maintain the heat source (electronics)...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
High-Bandwidth, Wide Field-of-View, Ultra-Sensitive, Radiation-Hardened, Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR) Receiver

Every LiDAR design faces the classic balancing act of signal versus noise. In order to maximize the range of a LiDAR, a receiver must amplify fractions of a micro-amp of photo current into a usable range for signal processing to occur,...

The proposed technology involves the sensitive detection of magnetic fields using the zero-field, spin-dependent...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Ethernet-to-HRDL Conversion Design

The International Space Station (ISS) uses a fiber optic High Rate Data Link (HRDL) standard for transferring data. ISS experiments, however, may prefer an Ethernet interface. This design allows ISS...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Flash LIDAR Emulator

The Flash LIDAR Emulator is a computer system designed to be functionally equivalent to a Flash LIDAR sensor camera. The system has the same hardware interfaces as the sensor, and produces images of comparable quality to the flash LIDAR sensor in real time (30 frames per second). The emulator is then used as a substitute for...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Nanotube-Based Device Cooling System

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are being studied for use in high-strength/lowweight composites and other applications. Recent research on thermal dissipation materials for high-power electronic devices is generating a lot of interest in various industries. Carbon nano tubes have attracted much attention due to their...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Architecture for an Intermediate-Frequency Digital Downconversion and Data Distribution Network

NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) is looking to modernize aging downlink receivers for telemetry, tracking, and radio science. It is looking to replace multiple types of custom-built, special-purpose receivers with a unified receiver architecture that...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Reliability Assessment of CCGA 1752 Advanced Interconnect Kyocera Packages for Extreme Thermal Environments

Ceramic Column Grid Array (CCGA) packages have been increasing in use based on advantages such as high interconnect density, very good thermal and electrical performance, compatibility with standard surface-mount packaging assembly...

A pressure sensor was developed based on a piezoelectric bending resonator. The resonator is covered and mechanically coupled with a sealed enclosure. The impedance spectrum of the...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Using a Ubiquitous Conductor to Power and Interrogate Wireless Passive Sensors and Construct a Sensor Network

Many methods have been developed for interrogation of wireless passive sensors. Surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensors and RF reflection sensors can receive and reflect electronic magnetic waves that are broadcast and received by the...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Full-Field Inverse Finite Element Method for Deformed Shape- and Stress-Sensing of Plate and Shell Structures

Structural health management systems that, by way of real-time monitoring, help mitigate accidents due to structural failures, will become integral technologies of the next-generation aerospace vehicles. Advanced sensor arrays and signal...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Pressure-Optimized Optical Breath Gas Analyzer for Portable Life Support Systems

Optical detection of gaseous carbon dioxide, water vapor (humidity), and oxygen is desired in Portable Life Support Systems (PLSS) incorporating state-of-the-art CO2 scrubbing architectures. Earlier broadband detectors are nearing their end of life, and...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Lightweight Metal Rubber Textile Sensor for In-Situ Lunar Health Monitoring

Extravehicular activities (EVAs) are dangerous to astronauts for a number of reasons, including high levels of physical exertion, potential for impacts by space debris particulates that could puncture the spacesuit and cause depressurization, Moon dust exposure that is...

Briefs: Aerospace
Autonomous Leading-Edge Slat Device for Reduction of Aeroacoustic Noise Associated with Aircraft Wings

Conventional transport aircraft wing design is driven mainly by cruise efficiency, i.e., adequate lift is generated at high speed for level flight with minimal drag. Conventional high-lift systems (leading edge slats and trailing edge flaps)...

Briefs: Aerospace
StormGen Weather Editor

Experiments that take into account the impact of convective weather on airspace operations, future concepts, and flight deck tools require a source of weather data that is readily available, of predictable quality, and tailorable to experimental objectives. Real-world weather data is sparse, highly random, and...

Briefs: Aerospace
Pair-wise Trajectory Management (PTM) Airborne Human Machine Interface (HMI) Display Design

Pair-wise Trajectory Management (PTM) is a concept that utilizes airborne and ground-based capabilities to enable airborne spacing operations in oceanic regions. The goal of PTM is to use enhanced surveillance, along with airborne tools, to manage the...

Airframe noise is a significant part of the overall noise of typical transport aircraft during the approach and landing phases of flight. Airframe noise reduction...

Briefs: Aerospace
Aircraft Engine Exhaust Nozzle System for Jet Noise Reduction

Conventional aircraft typically include propulsion engines that are under the wing or tail surfaces. Each propulsion engine system includes an engine housed in a nacelle with an inlet and a nozzle system. Primary component noise sources from the engine system include the noise...

Briefs: Aerospace
Rotorcraft Noise Model (RNM)

The Rotorcraft Noise Model (RNM) is a suite of computer models that predicts far-field noise for single or multiple flight vehicle operations. RNM calculates the effects of sound propagation over varying ground terrain for acoustic sources using geometrical theory of diffraction algorithms, and through a horizontally...

Airframe noise, produced by unsteady flow around aircraft structures, is an important source of aircraft noise during approach and landing. Sound radiating from the undercarriage is a major...

Briefs: Medical
Relativistic Ion Tracks (RITRACKS)

Once astronauts venture beyond Earth’s protective atmosphere, they are exposed to the high-energy charged particles of galactic cosmic rays (GCR) and solar particle events (SPE), and secondary protons and neutrons. GCR are composed of ions, the great majority of which are protons (≈87%) and helium nuclei...

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