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 : Information Technology
Feature Database

The primary function of the Feature Database (FDB) is to contain information about all the ground features seen so far in a sequence of aerial images. This information is organized so that features can be efficiently located and tracked into later images. As each new image is processed, the database grows to include more images...

Briefs : Information Technology
DRAT: A Distributed Release Audit Tool

DRAT software overcomes limitations inherent in the Apache Release Audit Tool (RAT), and also brings code auditing and open-source license analysis into the realm of Big Data by using scalable, open-source Apache technologies. Distributed RAT (DRAT) leverages Apache Tika to automatically detect and classify...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Active Layer Optimization in Ultra-Thin, Surface-Parallel, Deformable Mirrors

A design methodology was developed that optimizes the performance of active mirrors. Patterns of parameterized ellipsoidal actuators are overlaid onto the mirror, and then numerically optimized to improve performance of the mirror in optical modes that are typically...

Articles : Physical Sciences
Monolithic Dual Telescope for Compact Biaxial Lidar

A document discusses the Ultra Compact Cloud Physics Lidar, a biaxial lidar with a narrow receiver field of view. It requires tight optical alignment between the transmitter and receiver paths while flying on various aircraft over various temperatures and in the presence of vibration. To...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Passive Aerosol Cloud Suite

The Passive Aerosol Cloud Suite (PACS) is an imaging polarimeter that employs wide field-of-view (FOV) optics to obtain a highly accurate polarimetric signal across an image with hyperangle, multiangle views. PACS is designed to measure the array of parameters necessary to retrieve aerosol and cloud microphysical...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Radiation Hard By Design (RHBD) Electronics

Current RHBD electronics are limited to speeds that approximate 250 MHz, regardless of the electronic process. The fact that determines the final speed is based on the nature of the current SEU (single-event upsets) radiation-tolerant latches, and the data flow between the latches through combinational...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Detecting Loss of Configuration Access of Reprogrammable FPGA Without External Circuitry

The configuration of the reprogrammable field-programmable gate array (FPGA) currently on the market is very susceptible to single event upset when it operates in radiation environments. The current state-of-the-art approach is to refresh the configuration...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Micro-Coil Spring Interconnection for Ceramic Grid Array Packaged Integrated Circuits
Micro-Coil Spring Interconnection for Ceramic Grid Array Packaged Integrated Circuits

This method of interconnecting ceramic integrated circuits to organic printed circuit boards (PCBs) is designed to substantially increase the life of the...

Micro-Coil Spring Interconnection for Ceramic Grid Array Packaged Integrated Circuits
Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Method for Formal Verification of Polymorphic Heterogeneous Multicore Processors

Amethod was developed to model polymorphic heterogeneous multicore processors at a high level of abstraction, and formally verify them. The Bahurupi polymorphic heterogeneous multi-core architecture allows the combination of multiple simple processor cores — which...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
SEE Mitigation Technique for Self-Timed Circuits and Rad-Hard, Self-Timed Configurable Memory

To enable NASA’s next-generation missions, there is a critical need for a reconfigurable field programmable gate array (FPGA) that can withstand the wide temperature ranges and radiation of the space environment while consuming minimal power without...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Modeling for Partitioned and Multicore Flight Software Systems

The current flight software approach is monolithic in nature. Every module has tentacles that reach deep within dozens of other software modules. Because of these interdependencies between modules, functionality is difficult to extract and reuse for other missions.

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Process for Coating Substrates With Catalytic Materials

This invention relates to the process of coating substrates with one or more components to form a catalyst; specifically, the process of layering one or more catalytic components onto a honeycomb monolith to form a carbon monoxide oxidation that combines CO and O2 to form...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Portable Friction Stir Welding Machine

A preliminary design of a portable friction stir welding (FSW) machine for use in space has been developed. The in-space FSW machine takes the form of a handheld router tool that is historically used in woodworking applications. With the design of the in-space FSW machine, the FSW tool is directly connected...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Multimode, Fiber-Coupled, Tungsten Silicide, Superconducting Nanowire Single-Photon Detector Array

The superconducting nanowire single-photon detector (SNSPD) arrays created in this innovation were fabricated using a WSi nanowire process. A gold mirror layer is deposited on an oxidized silicon wafer, and amorphous-state WSi is sputtered from a...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Sidewall Passivation of GaN Avalanche Photodiodes via Atomic Layer Deposition

The visible-blind detection of UV light has important applications in planetary imaging and spectroscopy, astronomy, communications, and defense-related imaging. Future instruments for imaging in the ultraviolet will require improvements in detector capabilities. An...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
A Portable, Projection Focusing Schlieren System

A new type of projection schlieren camera system (schlierenscope) is more portable, easier to align, and more versatile than existing systems. The schlierenscope is a projection focusing schlieren camera system that can acquire images of shock waves, vortices, gas jets, and other disturbances that...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Cryogenic and Non-Cryogenic Optical Liquid Level Instrument for Stratified Conditions

Typical cryogenic tank metering systems use a series of thermocouple, RTD, or other temperature or resistive devices in a rake or array configurations. Since these operate using the thermal change between the liquid and gas fluid phases, they are limited by...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Low-Pressure Ion Chromatography for Planetary Exploration

Ion chromatography is the state-of-the-art technique for anion separation and analysis on Earth, but it typically requires a large, powerful pump to operate at high pressures in order to speed up analysis time. The weight and power requirements of the pump interfere with creating an ideal...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Ultra-Low-Maintenance Portable Ocean Power Station

The goals of this research are to develop a relatively inexpensive, compact, and modular power package for deep offshore oil drilling or other undersea applications that provides 2 to 5 MW electricity, minimal maintenance, and at least 30 years of life.

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Mars-Optimized Solar Cells

Commercial triple junction solar cell designs were modified in their junction thicknesses, contact grid densities, and anti-reflective (AR) coating thicknesses to better match the Mars surface solar spectrum. Resulting cells show up to approximately 8% relative improvement in efficiency under the Mars solar spectrum,...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Alternating Magnetic Field Forces for Satellite Formation Flying

Orbiting a large number of satellites in fixed formations will be critical to many future space missions, especially large-scale interferometers, telescopes, antennas, and gravity wave detectors. Consequently, extensive research has been devoted over the last 20 years to formation...

Briefs : Software
Peak-Seeking Control Method

Peak-seeking algorithms optimize physical processes in real time and are widely used throughout a variety of industries. However, measuring associated parameters in changing conditions, and responding to them appropriately, is difficult because the measurements are typically distorted by noise. This technology...

Briefs : Software
Enterprise Middleware Solution

An enterprise middleware solution allows disparate information technology (IT) systems to be integrated into one seamless, efficient system. As software and database platforms continue to develop at an accelerated pace, legacy systems can be a drain on resources, requiring complex workarounds and major code...

Briefs : Information Technology
Processing Time History Data for Display and Analysis

A suite of software tools was developed that enables powerful and efficient processing of time history data. These tools can be used together or independently, offering a variety of capabilities including comparison of time history data files to validate pre-processing activities, conversion...

Briefs : Software
Prototype Genomics-Based Keyed-Hash Message Authentication Code Protocol

Cryptography and molecular biology share certain aspects and operations that allow for a set of unified principles to be applied to problems in either venue. A DNA-inspired hash code system is presented that utilizes concepts from molecular biology. It is a keyed-Hash...

Briefs : Information Technology
Station Spacewalk

The Station Spacewalk game enables players to virtually conduct NASA repair work on the International Space Station, including jobs critical to help power up the space station so it can continue to operate. Players are provided with a limited quantity of oxygen during which they must complete extravehicular activities (EVAs)...

Briefs : Information Technology
Industrial Computed Tomography Inspects Parts in 3D

Avery important stage in the manufacturing and production cycle of a part is designing and verifying a prototype. Very often in the medical, automotive, or aerospace industries, very expensive and valuable parts are cut open to locate internal failures or to retrieve internal measurements. Such...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
System Health Monitoring Software Learns System Behavior from Data

The Inductive Monitoring System (IMS) software tool uses data mining techniques to automatically characterize nominal system operation by analyzing archived system data. These nominal characterizations are then used to perform near-real-time system health monitoring or to analyze...

Briefs : Medical
Detecting High Stress in Oral Interviews and Text Documents

When a person is interviewed, some of the answers may be inaccurate, or even deceptive, because the person may have either incomplete information, is telling only part of the truth, or is fabricating a false answer, or a combination of all three. When the person is habitually making...

Briefs : Information Technology
Titan Lake and Shore Sampler

A lake and shore sampling and sample distribution system was developed for a Titan lake environment (93.7 K, in liquid hydrocarbons). The Titan Lake and Shore Sampler (TLASS) would enable the chemical analysis of hydrocarbon lake samples via a Dual Rectilinear Ion and Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer and Nuclear Magnetic...