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 : Physical Sciences
Lunar Organic Waste Reformer

The Lunar Organic Waste Reformer (LOWR) is a novel technology to convert organic wastes from human space exploration outposts into useful propellant constituents. The LOWR meets NASA’s Trash to Supply Gas (TtSG) objective under the Advanced Exploration Systems Logistics Reduction and Repurposing project by...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Digital Laser Frequency Stabilization via Cavity Locking Employing Low-Frequency Direct Modulation

This project’s goal was to simplify laser frequency stabilization. A simpler system will have many benefits, including reduction of power consumption, complexity, volume, mass, and risk of failure. To implement the Pound-Drever-Hall (PDH)...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Deep UV Discharge Lamps in Capillary Quartz Tubes with Light Output Coupled to an Optical Fiber

Researchers at Jet Propulsion Laboratory have come up with a novel approach to the simplification of the 194-nm light source and optical guidance in mercury trapped ion spectroscopy research. Mercury plasma is generated in a capillary tube with a...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Speech Acquisition and Automatic Speech Recognition for Integrated Spacesuit Audio Systems, Version II

Astronauts suffer from poor dexterity of their hands due to the clumsy spacesuit gloves during Extravehicular Activity (EVA) operations, and NASA has had a widely recognized but unmet need for novel human-machine interface technologies to...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Advanced Sensor Technology for Algal Biotechnology

Advanced Sensor Technology for Algal Biotechnology (ASTAB) is an integrated package of water quality and algal physiology sensors designed to enable algae growers to increase significantly productivity and efficiency of their operations, optimize harvesting periods, and avoid losses of...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
High-Speed Spectral Mapper

The Hyperspectral Infrared Imager (HyspIRI) spaceborne mission has two imaging sensors operating in the visible to shortwave infrared (VSWIR) and the thermal infrared (TIR), respectively. The HyspIRI-TIR imaging instrument is being developed for infrared mapping of the Earth in 8 spectral bands with a 5-day revisit...

Briefs : Information Technology
“Ascent - Commemorating Shuttle” — A NASA Film and Multimedia Project DVD

NASA seeks to preserve, and make readily accessible, historical Space Shuttle launch footage to inspire and educate NASA stakeholders both in and outside the NASA family through the dissemination of the Ascent production materials as a DVD, and through both NASA...

Briefs : Information Technology
High-Pressure, Reduced-Kinetics Mechanism for N-Hexadecane Oxidation

Combustion of realistic fuels is described by thousands of reactions involving thousands of species. Coupling these detailed chemical mechanisms with turbulence simulations is completely impractical because there is no computer powerful enough to solve the resulting...

Briefs : Information Technology
Method of Error Floor Mitigation in Low-Density Parity-Check Codes

Low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes often suffer from an “error floor” in which increasing signal-to-noise ratios do not lead to substantially better error rate performance. Error floors of LDPC codes are often not an inherent problem of the code design, but rather, a...

Briefs : Information Technology
X-Ray Flaw Size Parameter for POD Studies

Nondestructive evaluation (NDE) method capability is determined by a statistical flaw detection study called probability of detection (POD) study. In many instances, the NDE flaw detectability is given as a flaw size such as crack length. The flaw is either a crack or behaving like a crack in terms of...

Briefs : Information Technology
Large Eddy Simulation Composition Equations for Two-Phase Fully Multicomponent Turbulent Flows

Liquid sprays are commonly used to inject fuels into combustion devices, making it important to study multicomponent (MC) two-phase flows in order to reveal their physics. “Multicomponent” is the terminology describing all fuels that are...

Briefs : Information Technology
Scheduling Targeted and Mapping Observations with State, Resource, and Timing Constraints

This innovation creates observations of both targeted geographical regions of interest and general mapping observations, while respecting spacecraft constraints such as data volume, observation timing, visibility, lighting, season, and science priorities....

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Processing COSMIC/FORMOSAT-3 Data for Slant Total Electron Content Measurements

The COSMIC (Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate) mission has GPS (Global Positioning System) radio occultation dual-band receivers onboard. The received signals slice through the ionosphere, layer by layer, in much the same way as...

Briefs : Software
Gridded Atmosphere Products from GPS Radio Occultation Measurements with Bayesian Interpolation Technique

GPS radio occultation measurements are vital for climate monitoring and atmospheric temperature change detection. However, the data are irregularly distributed in space and time, which makes it inconvenient for many applications.

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Optical Phased Array with Digitally Enhanced Interferometry

A proof-of-concept technique has been developed for measuring and controlling the individual phases of array elements. Electro-optic steering and beam-forming of laser beams is an emerging field with devices such as optical phased arrays that are capable of steering with significantly...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Durability Analysis of a Vehicle by Virtual Test Model (VTM)

The criterion for structural failure must be based on failure modes of the component being designed. If the component is to withstand millions of cycles of load application, criterion for fatigue failure must be used. Fatigue damage caused by repeated dynamic loads depends on the...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Model-Based Prognostics for Batteries

The innovation provides enhanced health management routines for batteries. A mathematical model has been developed to describe battery behavior during individual discharge cycles, as well as over the cycle life. Different prognostic modes for estimating the state of charge, state of life, end of discharge,...

Briefs : Software
Goddard Mission Services Evolution Center Compliance Test Suite

To reduce the cost of building specialized interfaces, missions can adopt Goddard Mission Services Evolution Center (GMSEC) technologies and applications. Assurances need to be made that application implementation should follow the GMSEC messaging standards. The GMSEC Interface...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Mass Spectrometry of Spacecraft Contamination Using the Direct Analysis in Real-Time Ion Source

Mass spectrometry is presented as a powerful tool for the analysis of spacecraft contamination when coupled to the Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) ionization source. DART technology is based on soft ionization and desorption using metastable...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Application of a Physics-Based Stabilization Criterion to Flight System Thermal Testing

This innovation consists of a procedure and set of equations that allows thermal balance steady-state temperatures to be predicted hours before the balance is reached based on current temperature and rate-of-change measurements. This will allow tests to run...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Battery Fault Detection with Saturating Transformers

A monitoring network has been created that can be added to a battery consisting of many parallel cells. This network allows the health of individual cells, as measured by the current that they produce under load, to be monitored. If one or more cells are producing less current than the others,...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Digitally Controlled, 12-V Precision Current Source for Extreme-Temperature Operation

Many control applications require precision, high-voltage-capable stimulus current drivers for sensor excitation. In particular, a requirement for a stimulus driver that can be primarily integrated into a motor feedback signal conditioning ASIC (application...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Scandate Cathode for High-Power, Long-Life Electric Space Propulsion

Scandate cathodes are able to produce about 20 times the emission of conventional all-tungsten cathodes at the same temperature. Conversely, they operate at about 200 °C lower temperature for the same emission. Scandate cathodes have been studied since at least the 1960s....

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Hybrid Force/Stress Amplified Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting Transducer System

This innovation uses an active materials-based force-amplified mechanism and advanced piezoelectric materials for more efficient energy harvesting from mechanical shock and vibration. The harvested energy is stored in rechargeable batteries. The hybrid force/stress...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Improved Battery Health Monitoring

Battery health monitoring is an emerging technology field that seeks to predict the remaining useful life (RUL) of battery systems before they run out of charge. Such predictive measures require interpretation of large amounts of battery status data within a Bayesian prognostic framework.

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Space Modem GMSK Modulator

A high-rate GMSK (Gaussian Minimum Shift Keying) modulator was developed for space operation. Currently, multi-user modems are under development, and the GMSK modulator provides a way of packing more users within a space environment, especially for Mars exploration.

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Tailored 3D Fiber Architecture to Improve CVI Processing

An improvement has been made to the infiltration of 3D woven and 3D braided preforms that will lead to the manufacture of CMC (ceramic matrix composite) and C–C (carbon-carbon) composites based on 3D fiber architectures that have low residual porosity and smaller void sizes. Tailoring...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D Microwave Print Head System for Melting Materials

There is a need to develop an efficient method for processing lunar regolith in support of future missions to colonize the Moon. A system for heating lunar regolith (“moon soil”) using microwaves for processing has been developed. It relies on an enhanced heating effect based on a large...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Novel Chemistry for Deposition of MgF2 Thin Films

Magnesium fluoride (MgF2) thin films are useful for many different optics applications. In particular, they are useful for ultraviolet anti-reflective and protective coatings. However, in the far UV, one needs a very small, controllable amount of material to get the best optical...

Briefs : Materials
The Flexibility of ITO Films in Electronic Coating Applications

ITO is a doped metal oxide semiconductor that combines two properties that usually are mutually exclusive in most materials: optical transparency and electrical conductivity. It is critical to understand the importance of this combination of optical transparency and electrical...


On-Demand Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

A Deep Dive into Metal 3D Printing

Upcoming Webinars: Test & Measurement

Solving Complex Measurement Problems with PXI

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

NASA Discusses Advances in Photonics for Space and Commercial...

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Using Portable Scenarios and Coverage Metrics to Ensure...

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Impact of Autonomous and Electric Vehicles in New Product...

Upcoming Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Autonomous Vehicles Sensors: How to Ensure They Work Well and...