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 : Aerospace
Computation of Wing Deflection and Slope from Measured Strain

A lightweight, robust fiber-optic system is the technology behind a new method to compute wing deflection and slope from measured strain of an aircraft. This state-of-the-art sensor system is small, easy to install, and fast, and offers the first-ever means of obtaining real-time...

Briefs : Communications
Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast System for Traffic Situational Awareness

An integrated communications and control system for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) utilizes automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) technology. The prime objective of this system is to address safety concerns related to UAS sharing airspace with...

Briefs : Communications
E-Textile Antenna Tuning Stitches

A variety of antenna tuning techniques exist for conventionally constructed antenna structures, such that when an antenna is converted from a design to an actual fabricated structure, slight adjustments can be made to the fabricated structure to match the performance expected from the design. For microstrip...

Articles : Communications
Protograph-Based LDPC Bit-Interleaved Coded Modulation

Bandwidth and power-coded modulation schemes are very desirable for many applications in high-data-rate transmission over a given allocated bandwidth. The goal is to design such coded modulation system for a given throughput with the lowest possible signal-to-noise ratio for not only a...

Articles : Imaging
Flight Imagery Recorder Locator (FIRLo) and High-Temperature Radome

LDSD (Low Density Supersonic Decelerator) is a Mars EDL (entry, descent, and landing) Technology Development Project that launches three test vehicles out of the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai. On the test vehicle, most mission science data can be recorded safely on...

Articles : Communications
Multiparty Policy Negotiation Engine

Policy negotiation is the process of determining the “best” communication protocol that satisfies all requirements of all parties involved. The main challenge here is how to reconcile the various (and possibly conflicting) communications protocols used by different parties. The solution must use protocols...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
A Continuous-Flow, Microfluidic, Microwave-Assisted Chemical Reactor

In industrial synthetic chemistry laboratories, reactions are generally carried out using batch-mode methodologies, stepwise reactions, and purifications to generate a final product. Each step has an associated yield of both the reaction itself and of the final purification...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
High-Resolution Data Acquisition System Enables Reliable Engine Parameter Measurements

Data acquisition plays a critical role in improving vehicle component performance and overall system reliability. Measuring engine parameters, including engine cranking speed and the mechanical condition of the engine, requires high-resolution data acquisition...

Articles : Test & Measurement
Guarded Flat Plate Insulation Test Cryostat

The guarded flat plate insulation test cryostat (Cryostat-500) is a boil-off calorimeter comprising a flat-bottom test apparatus for measuring the absolute thermal performance of an insulation test article. Typical dimensions allow accepting test specimens 200 mm in diameter by up to 30 mm thick. The...

Briefs : Materials
High-Performance Polyimide Powder Coatings

Powder coatings are used throughout industry to paint a myriad of metallic objects. This method of coating has gained popularity because of its conservation of materials and elimination of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Resins used in powder coatings are traditionally chosen from those that have low...

Briefs : Materials
Selective Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes

This invention is a process by which carbon nanotubes can be chemically functionalized according to their precise electronic structure. The process involves an exploitation of charge transfer stability at the nanotube sidewall to direct selective reaction of certain electronic structures over...

Articles : Materials
Predictive Modeling of Corrosion Efficiencies and Toxicities

Atmospheric corrosion is significantly accelerated by the presence of heat, humidity, corrosive salts, and sunlight. At Kennedy Space Center (KSC), all of these accelerants are present, producing an extremely corrosive environment. Toxicity and environmental impacts of some inorganic...

Briefs : Materials
Improving Foreign Object Damage Performance for 2D Woven Ceramic Matrix Composites

As the power density of advanced engines increases, the need for new materials that are capable of high operating temperatures, such as ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), is critical for turbine hot-section static and rotating components. Such advanced materials...

Articles : Information Technology
Enhanced Project Management Tool

A complex project having many tasks and sub-tasks, many phases, and many workers will often require an evaluation of completion of the tasks and sub-tasks at several times during the project’s duration. Initially and throughout the duration, suitability of the technical and inter-personal characteristics of the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Advanced Navigation Strategies for Asteroid Sample Return Missions

Sample-return missions to primitive solar system bodies (asteroids, comets, and planetary satellites) can provide a wealth of scientific information and insight into the composition and origins of the solar system. Recent interest in primitive body missions has been driven by the...

Articles : Software
Half-Cycle Crack Growth

Half-Cycle Crack Growth software offers a reliable method for calculating theoretical fatigue crack growths that could lead to catastrophic structural component failures. The program builds upon and integrates Armstrong’s proven half-cycle and closed-form aging theories, and considers every half-cycle of loading spectra...

Briefs : Information Technology
NASA Visualization Explorer

NASA Visualization Explorer (NASA Viz) is an intuitive, interactive iOS application (app) that delivers science stories with multimedia content linking high-quality explorable images, descriptive text, visualizations, videos, and interviews with a fresh look and feel. NASA Viz aims to excite a wide audience about...

Articles : Software
Simple Safe Site Selection (S4) Algorithm

This hazard avoidance algorithm uses a single flash lidar range image to select a safe landing site for NASA missions. The advantage of flash lidar is that the entire range image is captured instantaneously, and therefore, is trajectory-independent. This is unlike a scanning lidar on a moving vehicle,...

Articles : Software
Fast Classification Method for Multivariate Mixtures of Spectroscopic Responses

In many fields of spectroscopy, classification of the measured multivariate response is not always a straightforward process. Accurate classification is limited by many factors that are highly dependent upon the spectroscopy method being utilized. In all cases,...

Articles : 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...

Articles : 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...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
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...

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

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.


Articles: Motion Control

The Modern Industrial Workhorse: PID Controllers

Briefs: Information Technology

Software for Analyzing Root Causes of Process Anomalies

Podcasts: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Here's an Idea: Apollo 11

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Induced-Eddy-Current-Sensor Measurement of Semiconductor Performance

Articles: Photonics/Optics

Nd:YAG or Fiber Laser for Micro Welding?

Articles: Photonics/Optics

Custom Optomechanics in Industrial UV Lasers