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 : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Heat Shield Employing Cured Thermal Protection Material Blocks Bonded in a Large-Cell Honeycomb Matrix

A document describes a new way to integrate thermal protection materials on external surfaces of vehicles that experience the severe heating environments of atmospheric entry from space. Cured blocks of thermal protection materials are bonded...

Briefs : Materials
Asymmetric Supercapacitor for Long-Duration Power Storage

A document discusses a project in which a series of novel hybrid positive electrode materials was developed and tested in asymmetric capacitors with carbon negative electrodes. The electrochemical performance of the hybrid capacitors was characterized by cyclic voltammetry and a DC...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Airborne Hyperspectral Imaging System

A document discusses a hyperspectral imaging instrument package designed to be carried aboard a helicopter. It was developed to map the depths of Greenland’s supraglacial lakes. The instrument is capable of telescoping to twice its original length, allowing it to be retracted with the door closed during...

Photonics Tech Briefs : Photonics/Optics
885-nm Pumped Ceramic Nd:YAG Master Oscillator Power Amplifier Laser System

The performance of a traditional diode pumped solid-state laser that is typically pumped with 808-nm laser diode array (LDA) and crystalline Nd:YAG was improved by using 885-nm LDAs and ceramic Nd:YAG. The advantage is lower quantum defect, which will improve the thermal...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Terahertz Quantum Cascade Laser With Efficient Coupling and Beam Profile

Quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) are unipolar semiconductor lasers, where the wavelength of emitted radiation is determined by the engineering of quantum states within the conduction band in coupled multiple-quantum-well heterostructures to have the desired energy separation....

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Measurement Via Optical Near-Nulling and Subaperture Stitching

A subaperture stitching interferometer system provides near-nulling of a subaperture wavefront reflected from an object of interest over a portion of a surface of the object. A variable optical element located in the radiation path adjustably provides near-nulling to facilitate...

Briefs : Lighting
New Technique Allows Simulation of Noncrystalline Materials

A multidisciplinary team of researchers at MIT and in Spain has found a new mathematical approach to simulating the electronic behavior of noncrystalline materials, which may eventually play an important part in new devices including solar cells, organic LED lights, and printable,...

Briefs : Lighting
Colorful Light Could Be Used For Radiation Detection

A team of nanomaterials researchers at Sandia National Laboratories has developed a new technique that could make radiation detection in cargo and baggage more effective and less costly for homeland security inspectors. Known as spectral shape discrimination (SSD), the method takes advantage...

Briefs : Lighting
Bright Future for GaN Nanowires

The gallium nitride nanowires grown by PML scientists may only be a few tenths of a micrometer in diameter, but they promise a very wide range of applications, from new light-emitting diodes and diode lasers to ultra-small resonators, chemical sensors, and highly sensitive atomic probe tips.

Briefs : Software
iGlobe Interactive Visualization and Analysis of Spatial Data

iGlobe is open-source software built on NASA World Wind virtual globe technology. iGlobe provides a growing set of tools for weather science, climate research, and agricultural analysis. Up until now, these types of sophisticated tools have been developed in isolation by national...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Broad-Bandwidth FPGA-Based Digital Polyphase Spectrometer

With present concern for ecological sustainability ever increasing, it is desirable to model the composition of Earth’s upper atmosphere accurately with regards to certain helpful and harmful chemicals, such as greenhouse gases and ozone. The microwave limb sounder (MLS) is an...

Briefs : Software
Small Aircraft Data Distribution System

The CARVE Small Aircraft Data Distribution System acquires the aircraft location and attitude data that is required by the various programs running on a distributed network. This system distributes the data it acquires to the data acquisition programs for inclusion in their data files.

Briefs : Software
Earth Science Datacasting v2.0

The Datacasting software, which consists of a server and a client, has been developed as part of the Earth Science (ES) Datacasting project. The goal of ES Datacasting is to provide scientists the ability to automatically and continuously download Earth science data that meets a precise, predefined need, and then...

Briefs : Information Technology
Algorithm for Compressing Time-Series Data

An algorithm based on Chebyshev polynomials effects lossy compression of time-series data or other one-dimensional data streams (e.g., spectral data) that are arranged in blocks for sequential transmission. The algorithm was developed for use in transmitting data from spacecraft scientific instruments...

Briefs : Information Technology
Onboard Science and Applications Algorithm for Hyperspectral Data Reduction

An onboard processing mission concept is under development for a possible Direct Broadcast capability for the HyspIRI mission, a Hyperspectral remote sensing mission under consideration for launch in the next decade. The concept would intelligently spectrally and...

Briefs : Software
Security Data Warehouse Application

The Security Data Warehouse (SDW) is used to aggregate and correlate all JSC IT security data. This includes IT asset inventory such as operating systems and patch levels, users, user logins, remote access dial-in and VPN, and vulnerability tracking and reporting. The correlation of this data allows for an...

Briefs : Information Technology
Sampling Technique for Robust Odorant Detection Based on MIT RealNose Data

This technique enhances the detection capability of the autonomous RealNose system from MIT to detect odorants and their concentrations in noisy and transient environments. The low-cost, portable system with low power consumption will operate at high speed and is suited...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Integrated Laser Characterization, Data Acquisition, and Command and Control Test System

Satellite-based laser technology has been developed for topographical measurements of the Earth and of other planets. Lasers for such missions must be highly efficient and stable over long periods in the temperature variations of orbit. In this innovation,...

Briefs : Software
Active Mirror Predictive and Requirements Verification Software (AMP-ReVS)

This software is designed to predict large active mirror performance at various stages in the fabrication lifecycle of the mirror. It was developed for 1-meter class powered mirrors for astronomical purposes, but is extensible to other geometries. The package accepts...

Briefs : Software
Personal Computer Transport Analysis Program

The Personal Computer Transport Analysis Program (PCTAP) is C++ software used for analysis of thermal fluid systems. The program predicts thermal fluid system and component transients. The output consists of temperatures, flow rates, pressures, delta pressures, tank quantities, and gas quantities in...

Briefs : Information Technology
Navigation/Prop Software Suite

Navigation (Nav)/Prop software is used to support shuttle mission analysis, production, and some operations tasks. The Nav/Prop suite containing configuration items (CIs) resides on IPS/Linux workstations. It features lifecycle documents, and data files used for shuttle navigation and propellant analysis for all...

Briefs : Software
Pressure Ratio to Thermal Environments

A pressure ratio to thermal environments (PRatTlE.pl) program is a Perl language code that estimates heating at requested body point locations by scaling the heating at a reference location times a pressure ratio factor. The pressure ratio factor is the ratio of the local pressure at the reference point and...

Briefs : Software
Probabilistic Fatigue Damage Program (FATIG)

FATIG computes fatigue damage/ fatigue life using the stress rms (root mean square) value, the total number of cycles, and S–N curve parameters. The damage is computed by the following methods: (a) traditional method using Miner’s rule with stress cycles determined from a Rayleigh distribution up...

Briefs : Software
ASCENT Program

The ASCENT program solves the three-dimensional motion and attendant structural loading on a flexible vehicle incorporating, optionally, an active analog thrust control system, aerodynamic effects, and staging of multiple bodies.

Briefs : Information Technology
JPL Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes (GRIP) Portal

Satellite observations can play a very important role in airborne field campaigns, since they provide a comprehensive description of the environment that is essential for the experiment design, flight planning, and post-experiment scientific data analysis. In the past, it has been...

Briefs : Software
Data::Downloader

Downloading and organizing large amounts of files is challenging, and often done using ad hoc methods. This software is capable of downloading and organizing files as an OpenSearch client. It can subscribe to RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds and Atom feeds containing arbitrary metadata, and maintains a local content...

Briefs : Software
Fault Tolerance Middleware for a Multi-Core System

Fault Tolerance Middleware (FTM) provides a framework to run on a dedicated core of a multi-core system and handles detection of single-event upsets (SEUs), and the responses to those SEUs, occurring in an application running on multiple cores of the processor.

This software was written...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
DspaceOgreTerrain 3D Terrain Visualization Tool

DspaceOgreTerrain is an extension to the DspaceOgre 3D visualization tool that supports real-time visualization of various terrain types, including digital elevation maps, planets, and meshes. DspaceOgreTerrain supports creating 3D representations of terrains and placing them in a scene graph. The...

Briefs : Information Technology
Trick Simulation Environment 07

The Trick Simulation Environment is a generic simulation toolkit used for constructing and running simulations. This release includes a Monte Carlo analysis simulation framework and a data analysis package. It produces all auto documentation in XML. Also, the software is capable of inserting a malfunction at any...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Water Detection Based on Color Variation

This software has been designed to detect water bodies that are out in the open on cross-country terrain at close range (out to 30 meters), using imagery acquired from a stereo pair of color cameras mounted on a terrestrial, unmanned ground vehicle (UGV). This detector exploits the fact that the color...