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: 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...

Briefs: Materials
Enhancing MRI Contrast by Geometrical Confinement of Small Imaging Agents Within Nanoporous Particles

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has evolved into one of the most powerful, non-invasive diagnostic imaging techniques in medicine and biomedical research. The superior resolution and in-depth anatomical details provided by MRI are essential for...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
NASA Flywheel for iPad

NASA Flywheel is an augmented reality application intended to highlight NASA Glenn’s research efforts in the area of flywheel energy storage systems. The app utilizes a printed optical target, available on the GRC Flywheel Program brochure and through the NASA Glenn Web portal, to present users with 3D views of flywheel...

A standard solar array is a flat panel configured of many individual solar cells, wired in series or parallel, depending on their junction configuration and material. Since...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Nanowire-Based Piezoelectric Power Generation

Sensors have improved in terms of size, capability, and power consumption, but their deployment in remote areas is limited by battery power supplies. Using piezoelectric (PE) materials for energy...

Briefs: Information Technology
Tool for Turbine Engine Closed-loop Transient Analysis (TTECTrA)

The current steady-state performance-based system studies are not adequate to evaluate certain advanced technologies for the challenges associated with meeting the transient performance requirements without better definition and control of component operating margins. Additional...

Briefs: Information Technology
Wald Sequential Probability Ratio Test for Space Object Conjunction Assessment

When a maneuverable spacecraft confronts a potentially unsafe conjunction with another space object, its operators must decide whether to maneuver to mitigate the risk of a collision. Such decisions may not be straightforward, since the operators must balance their...

Briefs: Information Technology
Next Generation of 3DGRAPE: Flexible Framework for Hypersonic Navier-Stokes Shuttle Orbiter Meshes

The class of 3DGRAPE codes is designed to generate volume grids using iterative methods to solve the non-linear, nonhomogeneous, elliptic partial differential heat equation with heat sources. The solution to the heat equation develops...

Briefs: Software
Delay Tolerant Link State Routing MACHETE Model

This software models the Delay Tolerant Link State Routing protocol. It runs inside the QualNet network simulator, and allows injecting of external bundles when running in emulation mode. It leverages QualNet’s library of networking protocols and JPL’s CCSDS models.

Briefs: Information Technology
Extendable Uniform Remote Operations Planning Architecture (EUROPA) 2.1

The EUROPA planning system is a general-purpose, reusable, artificial intelligence software system for automatically generating plans for performing complex activities in parallel, in accordance with constraints on activities and their interactions. One part of the system...

Briefs: Software
Acoustic Emission Analysis Applet (AEAA) Software

Vendor software supplied with commercial acoustic emission equipment is incapable of performing the analysis required to characterize damage and make decisions on remaining life for NASA composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs). The Acoustic Emission Analysis Applet (AEAA) software,...

Briefs: Information Technology
Software-Defined Beacon Receiver Implementation Using Frequency Estimation Algorithms

The objective of this work was to develop a robust, cost-effective receiver with maximum dynamic range to track the frequency and power variation of a beacon signal. The result was the development of a frequency estimation algorithm that yields a more accurate...

Briefs: Information Technology
CT-CURS: Computed Tomography Cylinder Data Unwrapping-Reslicing & Analysis,

The software for NASA’s Northstar Systems computed tomography (CT) and Picometrix Terahertz CT systems do not have the ability to unwrap and reslice cylindrical CT data to allow top-to-bottom, 2D sheet views of the data. Therefore, it is difficult to size flaws...

Briefs: Software
NTTS Search and Reporting

The NASA Technology Transfer System (NTTS) is a NASA-created technology transfer workflow management system, a schema-less database management system used to track the life-cycle of NASA inventions. It is built on XDB, a NASA homegrown XML database. Because of its schema-less approach to store data, NTTS can host a...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Quantitative Analysis of Failure Mode in Adhesively Bonded Test Specimens

After adhesively bonded mechanical test specimens have been tested to failure, the failure mode must be interpreted and quantified. Areas of the adherent that are bare (no residual adhesive remains) have undergone adhesive failure. The remainder of the surface has...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Energy-Based Acoustic Measurement System for Rocket Noise

Development of the next generation of spaceflight vehicles has prompted a renewed focus on sound source characterization and near-field propagation modeling. Without advancements in these areas, large uncertainties in vibro-acoustic loading estimates on space vehicles and payloads may...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Mass Gauging Demonstrator for Any Gravitational Conditions

This concept uses an optical interferometric method to determine the density and/or pressure of the gas state contained with tank ullage. The system is similar to compression tank volume methods. By using an optical interferometric technique to determine gas density and/or pressure, a...

This invention provides a lower-cost means for verifying the scanning functionality of an electronically steerable (i.e. phased array) antenna (PAA) compared to existing...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Neutron Spectrometer for Inner Radiation Belt Studies

The Earth’s magnetosphere offers a wealth of information on particle dynamics, acceleration, and trapping. Fast neutrons, produced in the Earth’s atmosphere by the impact of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) and solar energetic particles (SEPs), are an important but poorly measured component of...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
High-Energy Instrumentation for Small Satellite Platforms

Given the increased availability of small satellite opportunities either through CubeSats or the Air Force’s University Nanosat program, and the limited availability of larger platforms, it is challenging to develop new instrumentation that not only fits within the envelope of small...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Variable Acceleration Force Calibration System

A variable acceleration calibration system combines an innovative mechanical system and a statistical design of experiments to calibrate multi-axis force transducers. This system can reduce calibration time, allow for improved calibration of large-scale transducers, provide mobility for on-site...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
A Synthetic Quadrature Phase Detector/ Demodulator for Fourier Transform Spectrometers

Fourier transform spectroscopy works by measuring a spectral/light signal through a Michelson interferometer. In order to know the wavelength of the signal, one must use a stable reference, which is typically a metrology laser. In a standard Fourier transform...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Device for Direct Measurement of the Diffusivity and Molecular Release Through Membranes and Filters

Concentration-driven molecular diffusion is a fundamental phenomenon essential for the transport of nutrients in cells, for oxygen exchange in the lungs, and mating of chemicals in industrial reactors and the food industry. Thus, diffusion plays...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Increased Alignment in Carbon Nanotube Growth

The combination of electronic and mechanical properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has led to wide-ranging investigation of their potential in future electronics and computing, sensors, electrodes, and composites. A method and system for fabricating an array of two or more CNT structures on a coated...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Process to Fabricate Specific Sized Monodisperse Polystyrene Microparticles

A new method was developed to prepare monodisperse nano to microparticles of polystyrene ranging from 0.5 to 2.5 microns in relatively large-quantity batches (2 L, 10% by weight in water). Current commercial sources are very expensive and can typically only be acquired...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Atmospheric Pressure Plasma-Based Fabrication of Printable Electronics and Functional Coatings

The need for low-cost and environmentally friendly processes for fabricating printable electronics and biosensor chips is growing. Nanomaterials have proved to be very useful in both printable electronics due to their electronic properties, and in...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Passive Destructive Interference Acoustic Liner for a Turbofan Engine Using Additive Manufacturing

This technology exploits the capabilities of additive manufacturing to attenuate the fan noise within the inlet or aft duct of a turbofan engine. The approach may be expanded to include auxiliary power units, environmental control systems, or other...

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