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
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...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
VLBI Antenna Calibration by GPS

The determination of local geodetic parameters for VLBI (very-long-baseline interferometry) antennas is traditionally done by conventional surveying techniques. These techniques are laborious and error-prone. The objective here was to develop a space geodesy method of measuring the parameters to make it easy to...

Briefs : Information Technology
Predicting Heart Age Using Electrocardiography

Knowledge of a patient’s cardiac age, or “heart age,” could prove useful to both patients and physicians for encouraging lifestyle changes that are potentially beneficial for cardiovascular health. This may be particularly true for patients who exhibit symptoms, but who test negative for...

Briefs : Information Technology
Machine Vision for High-Precision Volume Measurement in Levitated Materials Processing

A new program has been written that utilizes advanced numerical methods to perform high-precision, sub-pixel volume measurements of samples that are processed containerlessly. The volume measurements are essential for the measurement of density and thermal...

Briefs : Information Technology
Lunar Mapper v1

Lunar Mapper (LM) is a Web-based software that allows visualization of lunar spatial data layers acquired from lunar missions and other sources. The data includes imagery, digital elevation models, resource maps, and model output. LM is accessed using standard Web browsers and uses open-source tools and libraries. The data is...

Briefs : Information Technology
Integrated and Automated Software Test Environment for JPL Software Defined Radio

Software has been developed that provides an integrated and automated test environment for the Space Telecommunications Radio System (STRS). This software package is Linux based and provides interactive and scripted control to test the JPL Software Defined Radio...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Design and Analysis of Metal-to-Composite Nozzle Extension Joints

Analysis, design, fabrication, and testing were performed to create a new joint design for potential use in attaching a domestically available carbon-carbon (C–C) nozzle extension to the turbine exhaust manifold of a J-2X engine. Various attachment methods were investigated for...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Modeling Laser Ablation and Plume Chemistry in a Boron Nitride Nanotube Production Rig

The future of manned and unmanned spaceflight and exploration depends on economical access to space through multifunctional, lightweight materials. Boron nitride nanotube (BNNT) composites offer distinct advantages for enhanced survivability during long-term...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Damage-Free Finishing of Silicon X-Ray Optics Using Magnetic Field-Assisted Finishing

Thin, segmented mirrors have been fabricated from monocrystalline silicon blocks. The material is economically viable, and is virtually free of internal stress because of its nearly perfect crystalline structure. The mirror surfaces will first be accurately...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Smart Crucibles and Heat Pipes

Near-net-shape vacuum plasma spray (VPS) forming techniques were developed to produce advanced components with internal features such as smart heat pipes and crucibles. The initial results demonstrated the ability to incorporate features such as channels and a porous layer within the wall of a smart crucible.

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Technology-Independent RHBD Library Through Gate Array Approach

As semiconductor technology nodes scale down, the limitation on polysilicon pitch makes it almost impossible to shrink libraries built for previous technologies. To design a library for a new technology, all of the cells have to basically start from scratch. Starting over for each...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Advanced Pulse Compression System and Testbed

Detection of low-level water clouds from space is one of the outstanding challenges in radar remote sensing. Spaceborne remote sensing is the only means of assessing the distribution and variability of cloud cover on a global basis. Uncertainties in models of the Earth’s heating budget will persist...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Quasi-Static Electric Field Generator

This innovation is an electric field “illumination” system that is a companion component to the e-Sensor. This generator, when combined with the e-Sensor, enables a new, nondestructive inspection technology called electric field imaging (EFI) by producing spatially uniform, large-magnitude, quasi-static...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Hydraulic High-Pressure Valve Controller Using the In Situ Pressure Difference

Various applications exist where high-pressure valves are required, but the problem for control of such valves lies in that they have to move against a strong pressure differential that may require significant force, energy, and large actuators. The solution to this...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Safely Testing Parachute-Based Extraction Systems

This invention relates to the safe, reliable, and repeatable testing under external load of the Extraction Force Transfer Coupling (EFTC) currently used in the extraction of airdrop platforms from both the C-17 and C-130 cargo transport aircraft. The invention enables functional testing of the...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Hybrid Gear

Reducing stiffness-induced gear noise and making lighter-weight gearing components would be a substantial advantage over the current all-metallic configuration. The use of composites to join metallic hubs to the metallic gear rim would reduce manufacturing costs of large aerospace gears, with weight reductions and modified...

Briefs : Aerospace
Flap Side Edge Liners for Airframe Noise Reduction

One of the more critical constraints to the continued growth of air traffic is the related concern regarding aircraft noise. This concern has resulted in increasingly stringent noise restrictions for airports, both nationally and internationally. One of the major stretch goals for NASA is to...

Briefs : Aerospace
GEO-CAPE Airborne Simulator (GCAS)

This IRAD (Internal Research and Development) project was conceived as an aircraft instrument and designed with specifications that are closely aligned with the science requirements of the Geostationary Coastal and Air Pollution Events (GEO-CAPE) mission. The work has been used to both advance the technology...

Briefs : Aerospace
Mars Science Laboratory Flight Software

Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) flight software is designed to control all onboard functions of the flight system, consisting of three primary stages — cruise, entry-descent-landing (EDL), and rover — for the three mission phases. These three stages have common as well as distinct mission requirements...

Briefs : Aerospace
Airspace Concepts Evaluation System

Current trends indicate the significant increase in National Airspace System (NAS) flight congestion and delays. The Airspace Concepts Evaluation System (ACES) provides a NAS modeling and simulation environment capable of assessing the impact of new NAS concepts, technologies, and simulation architecture. ACES...

Briefs : Aerospace
MAVEN Flight and Ground Software

This software was developed for GSFC’s MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) program. The source of the MAVEN software was previously NASA program baselines for Juno, GRAIL, and MRO. Reused and re-engineered code from previous programs was combined with some new code to form the MAVEN program software...

Briefs : Aerospace
Prediction of Visual Acuity from Wavefront Aberrations

Visual acuity (clearness of vision) usually is measured by an eye doctor using an eye chart. It measures the smallest letters that can be reliably identified by the patient at a specified distance. The traditional test requires the patient to look and report which letters they see.

Briefs : Medical
Mobility Augmentation System Using Switchable Spring Mechanisms

The disclosed device provides key elements to enabling compact exercise machines that overcome many of the disadvantages of the current spacesuit, as well as medical prosthetics and exoskeletons. The mechanism is based on switchable, curved, leaf, and torsion spring mechanisms that...

Briefs : Software
Time Series Product Tool (TSPT) Version 2.0

The Time Series Product Tool (TSPT) is a MATLAB-based software application that computes and displays high-quality vegetation and environmental monitoring indices from high temporal revisit rate Mod erate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and other satellite sensors. The original purpose of...

Briefs : Information Technology
NASA Data Acquisition System (NDAS)

The test complexes at John C. Stennis Space Center (SSC) require reliable and accurate data acquisition in order to analyze the results of rocket engine tests. Acquisition systems include high-speed data, low-speed data, event monitoring, and video feeds. In order to obtain accurate data, routine calibrations...

Briefs : Information Technology
Integrated Genomic and Proteomic Information Security Protocol

A security protocol requires a cryptanalysis infrastructure not available to most attackers.

The motivation for this research is the fact that, for a variety of reasons, networks and their existing authentication and confidentiality infrastructure are becoming more...

Briefs : Software
Flight Processor Virtualization for Size, Weight, and Power Reduction

This work demonstrated the cost-saving and fault-tolerant benefits of virtualization technology by consolidating the flight software from multiple flight processors into a single virtualized system. In this study, a flight software system that was originally deployed on six...

Briefs : Information Technology
Massively Parallel Dantzig-Wolfe Decomposition Applied to Traffic Flow Scheduling

Traffic flow management (TFM) of the National Airspace System (NAS) endeavors to deliver flights from their origins to their destinations while minimizing delays and respecting all capacities. There are several models for solving this problem. Some models aggregate...

Briefs : Software
Mission Control Technologies (MCT)

MCT enables users to compose software from objects that can be assembled by end users to create integrated functionality. Applications are eliminated in favor of compositions of “live objects” that can be combined in different ways for different users and missions as required, in contrast to the more...

Briefs : Lighting
Quantum Dots Improve Colors on TV and Computer Screens
Quantum Dots Improve Colors on TV and Computer Screens

High-tech specks called quantum dots could bring brighter, more vibrant color to mass market TVs, tablets, phones and other displays. A new technology called 3M quantum dot enhancement...

Quantum Dots Improve Colors on TV and Computer Screens