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: 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....

Briefs: 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: Sensors/Data Acquisition
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: Sensors/Data Acquisition
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...

Briefs: Energy
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,...

Briefs: Aerospace
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...

The Integrated Intelligent Flight Deck (IIFD) project, part of NASA’s Aviation Safety Program (AvSP), comprises a multi-disciplinary research effort to develop flight...

Briefs: Motion Control
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: RF & Microwave Electronics
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...

Briefs: 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...

Briefs: 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...

Briefs: 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...

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...

Data acquisition plays a critical role in improving vehicle component performance and overall system reliability. Measuring engine parameters, including...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
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...

Briefs: 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...

Briefs: 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...

Briefs: Information Technology
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...

Briefs: Information Technology
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...

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