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: Test & Measurement
Negative-Ion Time Projection Chamber Polarimeter for Measuring Polarization of Bright Transient Astrophysical Sources

A negative ion time projection chamber (NI-TPC) was developed that is suitable for measuring the polarization of bright transient events. The polarization of the astrophysical source is determined by imaging photoelectron tracks...

Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
A Large-Eddy Simulation Model of the Atmospheric Boundary Layer

The atmospheric boundary layer is the lowermost layer of the atmosphere and is host to a plethora of physical processes that significantly affect weather, climate, and air quality. In many applications, detailed information about the boundary layer is required at high temporal and...

Briefs: Aerospace
Hydrogen Peroxide for Microbial Growth Control in Space Potable Water Systems

NASA uses a biocide to prevent contamination of astronaut drinking water with harmful microorganisms. Concerns have arisen over existing biocides — that they’re inadequately effective, and may have toxic side effects when consumed. New microbial control methods are...

The U.S. National Research Council recently identified the need for a near-term space mission of Active Sensing of CO2 Emissions over Nights, Days,...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Method of Water Regeneration From Waste and Cascade Distillation

Effective recovery of potable water from various streams and sources of wastewater, seawater, or contaminated water is a significant task for securing existence of human beings in space, terrestrial, and marine environments. Efficient purification of the wastewater is also a very...

Voltage glitches are common in a signal chain path, especially when the system is being powered up or down. Depending on the peak amplitude and glitch duration, the end result in the system...

Conventional piezoelectric materials, such as PZTs, have reasonably high electromechanical coupling over 70%, and excellent performance at room temperature. However, their coupling factor...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Advanced Rolling Mechanics Analysis (AROMA) 1.0

AROMA uses a boundary-element formulation to calculate normal and shear pressure distributions and sub-surface stresses for elastic bodies in contact. In addition to handling static normal and sheer loading, it also solves the contact problem for rolling elements such as bearings, traction drives,...

Briefs: Software
Multivariate Time Series Search Capability to Identify Complex Patterns in Large Datasets

There exist many datasets that can be viewed as multivariate time series, such as the daily high temperature at a locality, sensor recordings in diagnostic systems and scientific data, and music and video recordings. These time series reside in large...

Briefs: Data Acquisition
NGDCS Linux Application for Imaging-Spectrometer Data Acquisition and Display

A simple method of controlling recording and display of imaging spectrometer data in (airborne) flight was needed. Existing commercial packages were overly complicated, and sometimes difficult to operate in a bouncing plane. The software also was required to keep up...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Kepler Community Data Analysis Tools

A series of scripts stitch together existing open-source Python modules for the purpose of displaying, cleaning, and measuring photometric properties within public Kepler data. The intent of these tools is to provide convenience to the Kepler science community, and to increase cost efficiency for the project....

DARPA’s Mind’s Eye Program aims to develop a smart camera surveillance system that can autonomously monitor a scene and report back human-readable text descriptions of...

Briefs: Software
Signal Processing Software for Remote Vital Sign Monitoring

This software provides the processing for a non-contact system that remotely estimates the heart rate and respiration rate of individuals as they carry on daily activities, and also enables detection of heart and respiration rate through walls.

Briefs: Imaging
Visualization of fMRI Network Data

Functional connections within the brain can be revealed through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which shows simultaneous activations of blood flow in the brain during response tests. However, fMRI specialists currently do not have a tool for visualizing the complex data that comes from fMRI scans....

Briefs: Data Acquisition
Viewpoints Software for Visualization of Multivariate Data

Viewpoints software allows interactive visualization of multi-variate data using a variety of standard techniques. The software is built exclusively from high-performance, cross-platform, open-source, standards-compliant languages, libraries, and components. The techniques included...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Controlling Fast Acquisition Hardware to Pre-Position a Satellite to Constrain Baseband Searches

When adapting GPS sensor technology from an aviation environment to a space environment, the search window for a satellite’s frequency and code phase is greatly increased. This problem is also magnified when multiple antennas are used. A new...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Self-Diagnostic Accelerometer Field Programmable Gate Array

The development of the self-diagnostic accelerometer (SDA) is important to both reducing the in-flight shutdowns (IFSD) rate — and hence reducing the rate at which this component failure type can put an aircraft in jeopardy — and also as a critical enabling technology for future...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Capacitively Coupled, High-Voltage Current Sensing for Extreme Environments

Wide-temperature and extreme-environment electronics are crucial to future missions. These missions will not have the weight and power budget for heavy harnesses and large, inefficient warm boxes. In addition, extreme-environment electronics, by their inherent nature,...

Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
E-Textile Interconnect

E-textiles have shown great promise within the microwave and antenna community to provide a low-mass, highly conformal option that integrates extremely well with fabric-based microwave devices and antenna platforms,...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Optical Fiber for Solar Cells

Polymeric and inorganic semiconductors offer relatively high quantum efficiencies, and are much less expensive and versatile to fabricate than non-amorphous silicon wafers. An optical fiber and cladding can be designed and fabricated to confine light for transport within ultraviolet and near-infrared media, using...

A local energy source is desired for near-shore and offshore applications. Gas generators, diesel generators, and long-length submerged power cables tend to be expensive. A proposed solution is to use offshore...

Briefs: Nanotechnology
Carbon Nanotube Tower-Based Supercapacitor

A new technology to create electrochemical double-layer supercapacitors is provided using carbon nanotubes as electrodes of the storage medium. This invention allows efficient transport between the capacitor electrodes through the porous nature of the nanotubes, and has a low interface resistance...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Hands-Free Control Interfaces for an Extravehicular Jetpack

To enable the human mobility necessary to effectively explore near-Earth asteroids and deep space effectively, a new extravehicular activity (EVA) jetpack is under development. The...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Artificial Immune System-Based Approach for Air Combat Maneuvering

A high level of autonomy is desired for future unmanned combat systems because lethality and survivability can be improved with much less communication bandwidth than would be necessary for preprogrammed or remotely operated systems. However, there are a number of technical...

Briefs: Information Technology
Rule-Based Analytic Asset Management for Space Exploration Systems (RAMSES)

Human space systems, such as the International Space Station (ISS) and future planned missions to the lunar surface and beyond, require the crew’s ability to locate and manage the physical resources that are required for use to achieve mission objectives. However, the...

This work describes a discontinuous or segmented mirror whose overall flatness is less dependent on the limited tension that can be supplied by the booms. A solar sail is a large, nominally...

A sampling device and a deployment method were developed that allow collection of a predefined sample volume from up to a predefined depth, precise sampling site selection, and...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Nozzle Heat Flux Gauge

This innovation is a tungsten-rhenium gauge that can be placed into an aft exit cone of a rocket motor. It will measure heat flux with time for the full duration of the RSRM (reusable solid rocket motor) nozzle environment with equal response time.

NASA is developing technologies to enable in situ analysis and sample acquisition from planetary bodies. Missions to these diverse locations require autonomous, highly customizable, reliable tools....

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Aerospace

Understanding O-ring Complexity in the Aerospace Industry

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

The Path to High-Level Autonomy for Commercial Vehicles

Upcoming Webinars: Medical

COVID-19: The New Design Paradigm and Emerging Technologies

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Why Multiple Sensing Modalities Are Required to Achieve Level 3...

Upcoming Webinars: Aerospace

Aviation Electrification: Choosing Your Motor Topology and...

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Collaborative Robotics: Sharing the Workspace

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