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 : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Ultra-Compact Motor Controller

This invention is an electronically commutated brushless motor controller that incorporates Hall-array sensing in a small, 42-gram package that provides 4096 absolute counts per motor revolution position sensing. The unit is the size of a miniature hockey puck, and is a 44-pin male connector that provides many I/O...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Binding Causes of Printed Wiring Assemblies With Card-Loks

A document discusses a study that presents the first documented extraction loads, both nominal and worstcase, and presents the first comprehensive evaluation of extraction techniques, methodologies, and tool requirements relating to extracting printed wiring assemblies (PWAs) with...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A Reversible Thermally Driven Pump for Use in a Sub-Kelvin Magnetic Refrigerator

A document describes a continuous magnetic refrigerator that is suited for cooling astrophysics detectors. This refrigerator has the potential to provide efficient, continuous cooling to temperatures below 50 mK for detectors, and has the benefits over existing...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Coring Sample Acquisition Tool

A sample acquisition tool (SAT) has been developed that can be used autonomously to sample drill and capture rock cores. The tool is designed to accommodate core transfer using a sample tube to the IMSAH (integrated Mars sample acquisition and handling) SHEC (sample handling, encapsulation, and containerization)...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Joining and Assembly of Bulk Metallic Glass Composites Through Capacitive Discharge

Bulk metallic glasses (BMGs), a class of amorphous metals defined as having a thickness greater than 1 mm, are being broadly investigated by NASA for use in spacecraft hardware. Their unique properties, attained from their non-crystalline structure, motivate...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
670-GHz Schottky Diode-Based Subharmonic Mixer With CPW Circuits and 70-GHz IF

GaAs-based, sub-harmonically pumped Schottky diode mixers offer a number of advantages for array implementation in a heterodyne receiver system. Since the radio frequency (RF) and local oscillator (LO) signals are far apart, system design becomes much simpler.

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Optimal Dynamic Sub-Threshold Technique for Extreme Low Power Consumption for VLSI

For miniaturization of electronics systems, power consumption plays a key role in the realm of constraints. Considering the very large scale integration (VLSI) design aspect, as transistor feature size is decreased to 50 nm and below, there is sizable increase in...

Briefs : Materials
Imidazolium-Based Polymeric Materials as Alkaline Anion-Exchange Fuel Cell Membranes

Polymer electrolyte membranes that conduct hydroxide ions have potential use in fuel cells. A variety of polystyrenebased quaternary ammonium hydroxides have been reported as anion exchange fuel cell membranes. However, the hydrolytic stability and conductivity...

Briefs : Materials
Blocking Filters With Enhanced Throughput for X-Ray Microcalorimetry

New and improved blocking filters (see figure) have been developed for microcalorimeters on several mission payloads, made of high-transmission polyimide support mesh, that can replace the nickel mesh used in previous blocking filter flight designs. To realize the resolution...

Briefs : Materials
High-Thermal-Conductivity Fabrics

Heat management with common textiles such as nylon and spandex is hindered by the poor thermal conductivity from the skin surface to cooling surfaces. This innovation showed marked improvement in thermal conductivity of the individual fibers and tubing, as well as components assembled from them.

Briefs : Materials
Electrospun Nanofiber Coating of Fiber Materials: A Composite Toughening Approach

Textile-based composites could significantly benefit from local toughening using nanofiber coatings. Nanofibers, thermoplastic or otherwise, can be applied to the surface of the fiber tow bundle, achieving toughening of the fiber tow contact surfaces, resulting in...

Briefs : Medical
Experimental Modeling of Sterilization Effects for Atmospheric Entry Heating on Microorganisms

The objective of this research was to design, build, and test an experimental apparatus for studying the parameters of atmospheric entry heating, and the inactivation of temperature-resistant bacterial spores. The apparatus is capable of controlled,...

Briefs : Medical
Saliva Preservative for Diagnostic Purposes

Saliva is an important body fluid for diagnostic purposes. Glycoproteins, glucose, steroids, DNA, and other molecules of diagnostic value are found in saliva. It is easier to collect as compared to blood or urine. Un for tunately, saliva also contains large numbers of bacteria that can release enzymes,...

Briefs : Software
POSTMAN: Point of Sail Tacking for Maritime Autonomous Navigation

Waves apply significant forces to small boats, in particular when such vessels are moving at a high speed in severe sea conditions. In addition, small highspeed boats run the risk of diving with the bow into the next wave crest during operations in the wavelengths and wave speeds...

Briefs : Software
Aerosol and Surface Parameter Retrievals for a Multi-Angle, Multiband Spectrometer

This software retrieves the surface and atmosphere parameters of multi-angle, multiband spectra. The synthetic spectra are generated by applying the modified Rahman-Pinty-Verstraete Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) model, and a...

Briefs : Software

LogScope is a software package for analyzing log files. The intended use is for offline post-processing of such logs, after the execution of the system under test. LogScope can, however, in principle, also be used to monitor systems online during their execution. Logs are checked against requirements formulated as monitors expressed in...

Briefs : Software

TraceContract is an API (Application Programming Interface) for trace analysis. A trace is a sequence of events, and can, for example, be generated by a running program, instrumented appropriately to generate events. An event can be any data object. An example of a trace is a log file containing events that a programmer has found...

Briefs : Software
AIRS Maps From Space Processing Software

This software package processes Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) Level 2 swath standard product geophysical parameters, and generates global, colorized, annotated maps. It automatically generates daily and multi-day averaged colorized and annotated maps of various AIRS Level 2 swath geophysical...

Briefs : Information Technology
Social Networking Adapted for Distributed Scientific Collaboration

Sci-Share is a social networking site with novel, specially designed feature sets to enable simultaneous remote collaboration and sharing of large data sets among scientists. The site will include not only the standard features found on popular consumer-oriented social networking...

Briefs : Information Technology
3D Drop Size Distribution Extrapolation Algorithm Using a Single Disdrometer

Determining the Z-R relationship (where Z is the radar reflectivity factor and R is rainfall rate) from disdrometer data has been and is a common goal of cloud physicists and radar meteorology researchers. The usefulness of this quantity has traditionally been limited...

Briefs : Information Technology
Iterative Transform Phase Diversity: An Image-Based Object and Wavefront Recovery

The Iterative Transform Phase Diversity algorithm is designed to solve the problem of recovering the wavefront in the exit pupil of an optical system and the object being imaged. This algorithm builds upon the robust convergence capability of Variable Sampling...

Briefs : Information Technology
Space Operations Learning Center

The Space Operations Learning Center (SOLC) is a tool that provides an online learning environment where students can learn science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through a series of training modules. SOLC is also an effective media for NASA to showcase its contributions to the general public....

Briefs : Information Technology
Projection of Stabilized Aerial Imagery Onto Digital Elevation Maps for Geo-Rectified and Jitter-Free Viewing

As imagery is collected from an airborne platform, an individual viewing the images wants to know from where on the Earth the images were collected. To do this, some information about the camera needs to be known, such as its position...

Briefs : Information Technology
Large Eddy Simulation (LES) of Particle-Laden Temporal Mixing Layers

High-fidelity models of plume-regolith interaction are difficult to develop because of the widely disparate flow conditions that exist in this process. The gas in the core of a rocket plume can often be modeled as a time-dependent, high-temperature, turbulent, reacting...

Briefs : Information Technology
OVERSMART Reporting Tool for Flow Computations Over Large Grid Systems

Structured grid solvers such as NASA’s OVERFLOW compressible Navier-Stokes flow solver can generate large data files that contain convergence histories for flow equation residuals, turbulence model equation residuals, component forces and moments, and component relative...

Briefs : Information Technology
General Methodology for Designing Spacecraft Trajectories

A methodology for designing spacecraft trajectories in any gravitational environment within the solar system has been developed. The methodology facilitates modeling and optimization for problems ranging from that of a single spacecraft orbiting a single celestial body to that of a...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Hemispherical Field-of-View Above-Water Surface Imager for Submarines

A document discusses solutions to the problem of submarines having to rise above water to detect airplanes in the general vicinity. Two solutions are provided, in which a sensor is located just under the water surface, and at a few to tens of meter depth under the water...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Quantum-Well Infrared Photodetector (QWIP) Focal Plane Assembly

A paper describes the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS), a QWIP-based instrument intended to supplement the Operational Land Imager (OLI) for the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM). The TIRS instrument is a farinfrared imager operating in the pushbroom mode with two IR channels:...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Real-Time Remote Monitoring with Wireless Sensors

If remote sensors are to be autonomous and report their data in real time, they must have a reliable power source and a stable Ethernet connection. The United States Geological Survey (USGS), for example, monitors water conditions with a nationwide array of automated sensors, and uses their data...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Ultra-Low-Power MEMS Selective Gas Sensors

This innovation is a system for gas sensing that includes an ultra-low-power MEMS (microelectromechanical system) gas sensor, combined with unique electronic circuitry and a proprietary algorithm for operating the sensor. The electronics were created from scratch, and represent a novel design capable of...

Question of the Week
Will Cooling Coatings Catch On?


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