Tech Briefs

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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
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: Data Acquisition
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: Information Technology
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-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: Energy
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...

Briefs: Energy

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: Energy
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

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: Software
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...

Briefs: Communications

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...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

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: Test & Measurement
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.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

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....

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Type-II interband cascade lasers (ICLs) based on the GaSb material system represent an enabling technology for laser absorption spectroscopy in the 3-to-5-μm...

Briefs: Materials

This invention describes systems and methods for implementing bulk metallic glass-based (BMG) macroscale gears with high wear resistance.

This invention creates bulk metallic glasses...

Briefs: Information Technology
Post-Flight Analysis Statistical Heating (PFlASH)

This software tool automates the statistical analysis of heating indicators for a family of trajectories. It allows for quick and clear relative comparison of the trajectories by concisely and meaningfully reducing an arbitrarily large set of body point heating into single values that are used to...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Magnetic Sensitivity of a Ka-Band Isolator Measured Using the GRAIL Testbed

The magnetic sensitivity of a Ka-band isolator’s output phase is measured at 7 × 10–4 deg/G level. This high degree of precision is enabled by the sensitive phase measuring capabilities of a testbed built to mimic NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior...

Briefs: Software
Open-Source, Platform-Neutral BLAS Library

New hybrid computing systems consist of a multicore CPU (central processing unit) and one or more massively parallel accelerator devices, such as GPUs (graphics processing units). Effectively utilizing these systems involves using all of the available computational resources, which may be difficult to...

Briefs: Information Technology
JPL Unified Methodology Process (JUMP)

JPL Unified Methodology Process (JUMP) is an effort to establish a common frame of reference across OCIO (Office of Chief Information Officer) and EBIS (Enterprise Business Information Services Division). The iterative approach to project management is more powerful and efficient, enables better reviews,...

Briefs: Software
Automated Evaluation Software (AES) Web Application

The Automated Evaluation Software Web application was created using Java Enterprise technologies, which provided capabilities for dynamic report generation and Microsoft output. The Tomcat Application server makes the application robust, fast, and reliable. HTML 4.0 was used to create the user...

Briefs: Software
A RESTful Web Service Connector for Phoenix Analysis Server

Engineering design models are normally developed using specific modeling tools such as Excel, Matlab, Maple, and Mathematica. It is difficult to connect various models written in different modeling environments and produce results without extensive effort. Phoenix ModelCenter is a...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Mechanically Induced Nucleation Improves Crystalline Quality During Melt Growth of Semiconductors

For certain semiconductors with important applications, the existing bulk crystal growth technique from the melt usually results in poor-quality multi-crystalline ingots that cause the typically low yield of the commercial growth process. The...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Fabrication of a Nanopipette Array for Biosensing

Development of biosensors is an active field due to a wide range of applications in lab-on-a-chip, diagnostics of infectious diseases, cancer diagnostics, environment monitoring, biodetection, and others. One of the strategies used for selective identification of a target is to preselect a probe...

Briefs: Software
Predictive Computations of Single-Phase Turbulent Flows

This software computes a single-phase turbulent flow. The solution is independent of the grid spacing on which it is computed, and on the discretization order used for the differential equations. Grid spacing and discretization-order independence can be achieved by reformulating the...

Briefs: Software
Predictive Computation of Two-Phase Turbulent Flows with Phase Change

This software computes two-phase turbulent flows with phase change, and the solution is independent of the grid spacing on which it is computed and on the discretization order used for the differential equations. Grid spacing and discretization-order independence can be...

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