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
Bug View

This hardware-independent, Web-based service provides the capabilities to improve software assurance by streamlining the management of the analysis tools, the code being analyzed, and the results that are generated. The service is a GUI (graphical user interface) application that addresses the needs of software developers and supporting...

Briefs: Information Technology
Program Determines When MRO Observations Span More Than One Spacecraft Sequencing Period

Previously, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) did not allow observations to go beyond the end of a planning period. However, opportunities for observing the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover occur close enough to these boundaries to require the...

Briefs: Software
Integrated Ground Supported Systems Equation Processor

The Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) Ground Support System (IGSS) Equation Processor (IEP) allows for the general production of “derived” telemetry products in the Raytheon Eclipse ground system used to support the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) project. The IEP works...

Briefs: Software
Perilog

Perilog measures the degree of contextual association of large numbers of term pairs in text to produce network models that capture the structure of the text and, by virtue of Perilog’s validated theory of iconicity, the structure of the domains, situations, and concerns expressed by the author of the text. Given alphanumeric...

Briefs: Information Technology
Build, Assemble, Test (BAT) Planning and Execution Resources Application

BAT is a Web-based application used for the assembly and inspection of critical flight and associated ground support hardware for JPL missions that are developed in-house. It is used to capture and communicate data that is unique to a part or assembly that cannot be...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Domain-Engineered Magnesium-Oxide-Doped Lithium Niobate for Lidar-Based Remote Sensing

There are several frequency conversion applications associated with lidar-based remote sensing that would benefit from the use of high-quality, complex (i.e., chirped, multi-section, or otherwise modulated) domain-engineered magnesiumoxide- doped lithium...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Fiber-Optic Sensor for Aircraft and Structure Lightning Measurement

An optical-fiber sensor based on Faraday Effect was developed for measuring total lightning current. Designed for aircraft installation, it is lightweight, non-conducting, structure conforming, and is immune to electromagnetic interference, hysteresis, and saturation. It can...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Free Space Optical Receiver for Data Detection and Radio Science Measurements

For deep space communication systems, the decision of whether or not to suppress the transmitted carrier has always been an issue. For certain missions that use high data rates, the available bandwidth might be a limiting factor. In such cases, it is preferred to use a...

The MAI-400SS Space Sextant is a turnkey Attitude Determination And Control System (ADACS) for CubeSats and nanosatellites. It is an enhanced version of the MAI-400, which is a...

Briefs: Data Acquisition
Combined Detection and Tracking of Moving Objects in Aerial Surveillance Images

This software implements a new probabilistic framework for integrated multi-target detection and tracking of small moving objects in image sequences, with specific application to tracking people in aerial images, in which image stabilization is inherently noisy.

Briefs: Data Acquisition
Neo-Geography Toolkit (NGT)

The Neo-Geography Toolkit (NGT) is a collection of open-source software tools for the automated processing of geospatial data, including images and maps. It can process raw raster data from remote sensing instruments and transform it into useful cartographic products such as visible image base maps, topographic...

Thermoelectric (TE) energy recovery is an important technology for recovering waste thermal energy in high-temperature...

Solar-array panels will experience very low temperatures of 50 K for the proposed Europa Clipper Mission (ECM). Solar-array panels will also...

Worldview is a software tool designed for interactively browsing and downloading imagery from NASA’s Earth observing satellites. Building upon a set of open source mapping and user...

Briefs: Data Acquisition
Method and Device for Biometric Subject Verification and Identification

This invention allows the verification and identification of a person based on features extracted from one or more electrocardiographic leads or channels. For identification purposes, the invention can be used to identify a subject from a group of known subjects. For...

Briefs: Data Acquisition
SMAP Radiometer Instrument Science Signal and Data Processing Software (SPS)

This technology was developed for the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission and for the IRAD-FY13 Technology for Radiometer RFI Noise Detection & Mitigation Based on HHT2. Spacecraft beyond the present state-of-the-art passive radiometry will make use of...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Enhancing Neutron Imaging with Grazing Incidence Optics

A low-cost optical element was developed specifically for neutron optics applications. The technology operates as a reflective lens — similar to proven grazing incidence optics used for x-ray imaging — and improves neutron imaging resolution for applications using low-energy (<1...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Motion Blur Evaluation Techniques

Motion blur results when a moving edge travels across a display, such as a liquid crystal display (LCD), that has limited temporal response. It is important to be able to quantify this effect in visual...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Illuminating Permanently Shadowed Lunar Regions Using a Solar Sail

Sunlight can be reflected into permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) using S/C solar sails in order to detect and confirm the presence and distribution of water ice cold-trapped in PSRs in lunar polar craters. This reflected light is then viewed with an optical spectrometer.

A new technology delivers temperature hardening in a number of products at the CMOS process level while increasing overall product reliability and longevity. Providing...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Stacked Capacitor Special Lead Adapter

The current installation method for tall, stacked capacitors is very cumbersome because the lead form is very sharp and prone to solder cracking due to thermal cycling. An astringent installation process was developed to obtain the best chance of a successful solder joint with a proper heel fillet so the...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Nanoscale Vacuum Channel Transistor

This invention presents a nanoscale vacuum tube or vacuum transistor fabricated entirely using current silicon integrated circuit manufacturing techniques. Vacuum is better for electron transport than any semiconductor since there is no electron scattering. In addition, vacuum devices are immune to radiation....

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Aluminum Rocket Engine Injector Fabricated Using 3D Additive Manufacturing

Liquid rocket engine injectors can be extremely expensive to manufacture and hard to iterate to achieve high performance. Internal sealing points can also be the source of reliability issues. The technology disclosed here covers the application of a 3D additive...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Making Flexible Ablators that are Flexible Char Formers

An approach was developed for making low-density, flexible ablators for a thermal protection system (TPS) from a flexible fibrous carbon substrate and a polymer resin. The material is foldable and stowable, and can be deployed in space without compromising performance. In addition, the...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Method for Providing Semiconductors Having Self-Aligned Ion Implant

This is a modification to technology for realizing durable and stable electrical functionality of high-temperature transistors. This modification is believed crucial to experimental implementation of SiC junction field effect transistors that electrically operated continuously...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Femtosecond Laser Processing of Metal and Plastics

While precise and fast, the down side to cutting with microsecond (ms) fiber lasers has been that the parts require a number of post-processing operations after they are cut, which add...

Briefs: Materials
Regenerable Trace-Contaminant Sorbent for the Primary Life Support System (PLSS)

The NASA objective of expanding the human experience into the far reaches of space requires the development of regenerable life support systems. This work addresses the development of a regenerable air-revitalization system for trace-contaminant (TC) removal for the...

Briefs: Materials
Lithium Fluoride as a Polysulfide Shuttle Inhibitor for Lithium Sulfur Chemistry

In a lithium sulfur cell, the reduction of sulfur to lithium sulfide is a critical series of reactions that provides a large theoretical capacity of 1,672 mAh/g sulfur. One of many challenges in this system is the solubility of generated lithium polysulfides during...

Briefs: Materials
Fibers of Aligned Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes and Process for Making the Same

Single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are fullerenes of closed-cage carbon molecules typically arranged in hexagons and pentagons. Commonly known as “buckytubes,” these cylindrical carbon structures have extraordinary properties, including high electrical and...

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