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
Multicore ROCKSTER

ROCKSTER (Rock Segmentation Through Edge Regrouping) is a rock detection algorithm that analyzes 2D geologic scenes and identifies rocks and other targets of interest. A multicore ROCKSTER enables long-range autonomous rover traverse science to be performed efficiently and to make use of multicore or parallel computing...

Briefs : Information Technology
Non-Binary Protograph-Based LDPC Codes with Near-Capacity Thresholds

Binary protograph codes are state-of-the-art codes over the binary field Galois Field GF(2). These codes were invented by JPL in 2003 and proposed to CCSDS (Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems) recently as a channel-coding standard for space communications. It is...

Briefs : Information Technology
Dynamically Configurable Pipeline

The Dynamically Configurable Pipeline is a concept for the rapid implementation of pipelined computational algorithms in configurable hardware such as field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). The approach, especially in its phase-coherent incarnation, allows a high level of sharing of floating-point resources...

Briefs : Software
Frame Synchronization Without Attached Sync Markers

In communications systems, there must be a method to identify the beginning of a message at the receiving end, to know when the data stream of a specified structure begins. This is conventionally done by inserting attached sync markers (ASMs) between codewords, and looking for these ASMs in the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Scalable ParaView for Extreme Scale Visualization

Work has been focused on identifying bottlenecks in visualization pipelines that make the visualization and analysis of large datasets in real time difficult to attain. The innovators leveraged ParaView, an open-source visualization application and framework, to provide custom solutions for users...

Briefs : Software
Explicit Filtering Leading to Grid-Spacing-Independent and Discretization-Order-Independent Large Eddy Simulation Solutions

Numerical simulations for turbulent flows using the most promising methodology, Large Eddy Simulation (LES), are grid-spacing and discretization-order dependent. This means that the solution is not trustworthy and cannot be...

Briefs : Software
Explicit Filtering Leading to Grid-Independent and Discretization-Order-Independent Large Eddy Simulation

To validate simulations, one must trust that they are independent of the numerical aspects. A very promising, relatively new methodology for simulating turbulent flows, called Large Eddy Simulation (LES), has some issues in this respect. The...

Briefs : Aerospace
Mars Science Laboratory Second-Chance Flight Software

Mars lander spacecraft, beginning with Mars Pathfinder (MPF), have been designed to tolerate flight computer resets during the entry, descent, and landing (EDL) phase despite having only a single flight computer. This capability was enabled by a predictable, non-dynamic EDL architecture. The...

Briefs : Software
Multi-User Investigation Organizer

InvestigationOrganizer (IO) is a Web-based information system that integrates the generic functionality of a database, a document repository, a semantic hyper-media browser, and a rule-based inference system with specialized modeling and visualization functionality to support mishap investigations. The semantic...

Briefs : Information Technology
Unit Conversion Macro for TecPlot Solutions for CFD

The invention is a TecPlot macro, which is a computer program in the TecPlot programming language that processes CFD (computational fluid dynamics) solutions in TecPlot format. The TecPlot data is in SI units (International System of Units) [same as CFD solutions]. This invention converts the...

Briefs : Motion Control
Robust Gimbal System for Small-Payload Manipulation

Spaceborne gimbal systems are typically bulky with large footprints. Such a gimbal system may consist of a forked elevation stage rotating on top of the azimuth motor, and occupy a large volume. Mounting flexibility of such a system may be limited.

Briefs : Motion Control
A Phase-Changing Pendulum to Control Spherical Robots and Buoy Sensors

A novel mechanical control system has been proposed for spherical robots to be used as multifunctioning sensor buoys in areas with ambient forces such as winds or currents. The phase-changing pendulum has been specifically designed for Moballs, a self-powered and controllable...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Method for Performing GPS L1 C/A Measurements in Wideband Jamming and Interference

For effective range safety, global positioning system (GPS) metric tracking must be robust to interference with, and jamming of, GPS signals. The conventional approach to mitigating interference and jamming is to use a Controlled Reception Pattern Antenna (CRPA)....

Briefs : Information Technology
JWST IV&V Simulation and Test (JIST) RT Logic T501 Emulator

In order to develop a software-only test environment for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) mission, a solution was needed to send commands and receive telemetry between the TCTS (Telemetry and Command Test Set) and CMM-S card. The as-is solution requires the utilization of...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Cooling Test Samples With a Combined Convective and Conductive System to Rapidly Reach 77 K

In this innovation, a team successfully developed and implemented a combined convective and conductive cooling system that permits rapid cooling. Using a spray system, liquid nitrogen (LN2) was injected into a test article enclosure located in...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Guarded Two-Dimensional Flat Plate Insulation Test Calorimeter with Attach Points

Insulation systems usually do not operate on their own; they must work together with a structural system that is designed to support the article being insulated. Typically this structure penetrates the insulation, degrading it in some manner, and gives a pathway...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Test, Calibration, and Training Target for a Microwave Sensor

Human subjects are unsuitable for objective performance testing of victim detection radar because their heart and respiration rates are not controllable or repeatable. There are limitations on human targets from a safety standpoint as well. It is difficult to relate the ground truth...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Magnetic Thermometer for High-Resolution 10-mK Scale Thermometry

A thin-film magnetic thermometer with integrated, superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) readout has been designed for fast, precision temperature measurements in the 10-mK range. The compact magnetic thermometer consists of a miniature DC SQUID susceptometer with a...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
High-Temperature Ultrasonic Probe for In-Service Health Monitoring of Steam Pipes

This ultrasonic, pulse-echo probe can sustain as high as 250 °C, and uses a piezoelectric transducer to generate and receive the ultrasonic pulses. The transducer is made of a piezoelectric material with high Curie temperature, and the probe is configured such...

Briefs : Materials
Low-Weight, Durable, Low-Cost Metal Rubber Sensor System for Ultra-Long-Duration Scientific Balloons

Large axial load forces and extreme temperature ranges are typical for scientific balloon missions. Therefore, a durable, flexible, and thermally stable sensor material is needed. In this innovation, sensors have been designed to be integrated...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Low-Power Charged Particle Counter for Space Radiation Monitoring

A miniature, low-power, solid-state detector for ionizing radiation was developed for use in more locations, and requiring less space and lower power than current technology. An accepted way of counting high-energy charged particles common in space radiation is to detect the light...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Ground-to-Space Laser Calibration System

The accuracy of spaceborne sensors measuring reflected solar radiance can be affected by multiple factors. First, instruments with complex optics are sensitive to polarization. The response of such instruments is characterized before launch; however, sensitivity to polarization can change on orbit...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Process-Hardened, Multi-Analyte Sensor for Characterizing Multiple Rocket Plume Constituents in a Test Environment

Stennis Space Center (SSC) is one of three government-operated rocket engine test facilities in the United States and is the primary center for testing and flight-certifying rocket propulsion systems for future space vehicles....

Articles : Electronics & Computers
PATTERNS: Panoptic Aspect Time Triggered Ethernet Robust Network Scheduler, Version 1.0

The PATTERNS scheduling tool was created to test the multi-plane concept of a Time Triggered Ethernet (TTE) network. The TTE network interface cards used in the Orion vehicle contain three physical network ports, referred to as planes. Each plane exists to...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Electromagnetic Waves Transformed from a Coherent to a Quasi-Coherent Nature

The transformation of naturally occurring electromagnetic waves called “chorus” from a coherent nature to a quasi-coherent nature when propagating a distance from its source was demonstrated. The aim of the mission was to study the energizing of electrons by the...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
An Earth-Observing, Frequency-Agile Radar Receiver for RFI Mitigation

The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission will have the first L-band radar/radiometer sensor suite dedicated to global measurements of soil moisture. For the radar sensor, the requirements for achieving high backscatter measurement accuracy from low-Earth orbit present a...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Wireless Electrical Devices Using Floating Electrodes

A wireless, connection-free, open circuit technology can be used for developing electrical devices like sensors that need no physical contact with the properties being measured. At the core of the technology is the SansEC (Sans Electrical Connections) circuit that is damage-resilient and...

Briefs : Aerospace
Web-Enabled and Automatic Ground Processing Infrastructure Servicing the UAVSAR Airborne Missions

The UAVSAR (Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar) ground data processing infrastructure facilitates a wide range of mission operational processes through a centralized database, Web-enabled interfaces, and background automation. By...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Variable-Sweep-Wing Aircraft Configuration

Efficient aircraft designs are increasingly desired in order to support the continued growth of the air transportation industry. Continued expansion of this vital mode of transportation is threatened due to concerns over ever-increasing emissions, noise, and the demand for fuel. Current airport runway,...

Articles : Test & Measurement
Automated Table Lookup Solution Algorithm of the Optimal Powered Descent Guidance for Planetary Landing

A novel automated table lookup method is developed to compute the near-fuel-optimal powered descent guidance trajectories, in real-time, for planetary soft landing. The main advantage of this algorithm is that it can be executed autonomously...


Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

3D Printed Metals Are Not All the Same

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Testing and Inspecting 3D-Printed Parts

Upcoming Webinars: Software

Using Simulation to Design Robust Adhesively Bonded Structures

Upcoming Webinars: Software

Electric-Vehicle Transmission Development and Simulation

Upcoming Webinars: Energy

Thermal Management Crisis: Knowing Your Passive Solution Options

Upcoming Webinars: Transportation

IoT’s Role in Today’s Transportation Systems