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: Software
CARVE Log

This software reduces the workload of the mission manager by distributing selected aircraft data to the various investigators onboard the aircraft so they do not have to continuously request the data updates. This system will then send the investigator’s comments and observations that were previously written in notebooks to a server...

Briefs: Software
Affordability Comparison Tool — ACT

ACT is able to provide insight into acquisition, operational, and life-cycle affordability early in program formulation prior to a commitment of architecture, or anytime during the program to change systems or subsystems. ACT analyzes different systems or architecture configurations for affordability that...

Briefs: Software
“Ascent — Commemorating Shuttle” for iPad

A feature-added, interactive version of the video release entitled “Ascent” was developed. The software version contains the full HD (high definition) movie along with extra scenes, still imagery, a movie trailer, and producer notes. The software has been packed as an iOS app, intended for use...

Briefs: Software
Cassini Mission App

This iPhone/iPad application allows the general public to access information about the Cassini mission. It enables viewing of the latest images released by the mission, allows access to images that describe the present position of the spacecraft, and provides flyby countdowns for each targeted flyby.

Briefs: Software
Light-Weight Workflow Engine: A Server for Executing Generic Workflows

(LWWE) is a cross-platform server that provides support for automation and orchestration of task execution.

Briefs: Software
Model for System Engineering of the CheMin Instrument

A computer program implements a model of the performance of the CheMin (Chemistry and Mineralogy) instrument — a miniaturized instrument that simultaneously performs x-ray diffraction (XRD) and x-ray fluorescence (XRF) measurements on small material samples. The CheMin instrument is being...

Briefs: Software
Platform Perspective Toolkit

This software specializes in discovering the location and intrinsic parameters of an imaging camera when such information was not recorded in the metadata of an image. It provides a simple command line interface for specifying the input and output for the two camera perspectives.

Briefs: Software
Pre-Filtration of GOSAT Data Using Only Level 1 Data and an Intelligent Filter to Remove Low Clouds

Software has been developed that mitigates anomalously low CO2 retrieval values, due to low-lying clouds, for improved CO2 sensing accuracy. Using machine learning techniques, hand-labeled data was used to train intelligently a...

Briefs: Information Technology
Timeline Central Concepts

The notion of Timeline has been used informally in spacecraft operations software for some time, but it has not heretofore been formalized and unified either syntactically or semantically. In this work, the Timeline has been formalized and unified so that the commonality can be exploited to reduce the cost of developing...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Particle Filter Simulation and Analysis Enabling Non-Traditional Navigation

Particle filters (PFs) offer the possibility of addressing many unsolved problems in orbit determination and prediction. This work builds on an existing GSRP (Graduate Student Researchers Project) effort to incorporate a particle filter into GSFC’s (Goddard Space...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
The Subgrid-Scale Scalar Variance Under Supercritical Pressure Conditions

A quantity called “the conserved scalar” is very important in the modeling of turbulent reactive flows in large eddy simulations because, if it can be defined, it numerically simplifies the solution of the conservation equations by confining the reaction term to a...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Quasi-Terminator Orbits for Mapping Small Primitive Bodies

A common objective for primitive body missions (i.e., those to asteroids, comets, and small planetary moons) is to map the target body surface as completely as possible. Ideally, this map is constructed from a large collection of images containing multiple views of every point on the...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Parallel Particle Filter Toolkit

Research on using inexpensive and personal-level parallel computing architectures to speed up the implementations of the class of particle filters has been conducted. This study leverages NVIDIA Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) and multi-core CPUs (central processing units) that are quickly becoming commonly...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Automated Generation of Adaptive Filter Using a Genetic Algorithm and Cyclic Rule Reduction

Modern datasets consisting of retrievals from space-based missions have target results, but often are accompanied by hundreds or thousands of other retrieved parameters or facts regarding a particular retrieval (e.g., pressure, temperature, spectral...

This research provides a capacitance-based method for monitoring the integrity of tires and other polymeric products during manufacturing and throughout the useful...

Blade health monitoring continues to gain interest as a means of assessing the health of turbine airfoils in aerospace and ground-based gas turbine engines in fleet operation. Many...

The study of volcanoes is important for both purely scientific and human survival reasons. From a scientific standpoint, volcanic gas and ash emissions...

Briefs: Software
Software Suite to Support In-Flight Characterization of Remote Sensing Systems

A characterization software suite was developed to facilitate NASA’s in-flight characterization of commercial remote sensing systems. Characterization of aerial and satellite systems requires knowledge of ground characteristics, or ground truth. This information is...

Briefs: Medical
Visual Image Sensor Organ Replacement

This innovation is a system that augments human vision through a technique called “Sensing Super-position” using a Visual Instrument Sensory Organ Replacement (VISOR) device. The VISOR device translates visual and other sensors (i.e., thermal) into sounds to enable very difficult sensing tasks.

In the past two decades, there have been significant advancements in the field of additive manufacturing (AM) of titanium alloy (Ti-6Al-4V) and other metallic...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Ultra-Wideband, Dual-Polarized, Beam- Steering P-Band Array Antenna

A dual-polarized, wide-bandwidth (200 MHz for one polarization, 100 MHz for the orthogonal polarization) antenna array at P-band was designed to be driven by NASA’s EcoSAR digital beam former. EcoSAR requires two wide P-band antenna arrays mounted on the wings of an aircraft,...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Centering a DDR Strobe in the Middle of a Data Packet

The Orion CEV Northstar ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) project required a DDR (double data rate) memory bus driver/receiver (DDR PHY block) to interface with external DDR memory. The DDR interface (JESD79C) is based on a source synchronous strobe (DQS\) that is sent along with...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Submerged AUV Charging Station

Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) are becoming increasingly important for military surveillance and mine detection. Most AUVs are battery powered and have limited lifetimes of a few days to a few weeks. This greatly limits the distance that AUVs can travel underwater. Using a series of submerged AUV charging...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Using a Commercial Ethernet PHY Device in a Radiation Environment

This work involved placing a commercial Ethernet PHY on its own power boundary, with limited current supply, and providing detection methods to determine when the device is not operating and when it needs either a reset or power-cycle. The device must be radiation- tested and free...

NASA’s Constellation Architecture Team defined an outpost scenario optimized for intensive mobility that uses small, highly mobile pressurized rovers supported by portable habitat...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Brushless Motors for In-Tank Fuel Pumps

Most automotive fuel systems use a Fuel Delivery Module (FDM) with components to filter and pump gasoline at a specified pressure and flow rate from the fuel tank to the engine. The FDM uses a...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Origami-Inspired Folding of Thick, Rigid Panels

To achieve power of 250 kW or greater, a large compression ratio of stowed-to-deployed area is needed. Origami folding patterns were used to inspire the folding of a solar array to achieve...

Briefs: Medical
A Novel Protocol for Decoating and Permeabilizing Bacterial Spores for Epifluorescent Microscopy

Based on previously reported procedures for permeabilizing vegetative bacterial cells, and numerous trial-and-error attempts with bacterial endospores, a protocol was developed for effectively permeabilizing bacterial spores, which facilitated the...

Briefs: Medical
Method and Apparatus for Automated Isolation of Nucleic Acids from Small Cell Samples

RNA isolation is a ubiquitous need, driven by current emphasis on micro-arrays and miniaturization. With commercial systems requiring 100,000 to 1,000,000 cells for successful isolation, there is a growing need for a small-footprint, easy-to-use device that can...

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