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 : 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:...

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),...

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...

Briefs : Information Technology
Pattern Recognition Algorithm for High- Sensitivity Odorant Detection in Unknown Environments

In a realistic odorant detection application environment, the collected sensory data is a mix of unknown chemicals with unknown concentrations and noise. The identification of the odorants among these mixtures is a challenge in data recognition. In...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Terahertz Radiation Heterodyne Detector Using Two- Dimensional Electron Gas in a GaN Heterostructure

High-resolution submillimeter/terahertz spectroscopy is important for studying atmospheric and interstellar molecular gaseous species. It typically uses heterodyne receivers where an unknown (weak) signal is mixed with a strong signal from the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Versatile Controller for Infrared Lamp and Heater Arrays

A paper describes a modular design for new controllers for infrared heating during cruise stage solar thermal vacuum test of the Mars Science Laboratory. The controllers had to be easy to use and maintain, used with a wide variety of different control schemes, and made using commercial...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Instrument Suite for Vertical Characterization of the Ionosphere-Thermosphere System

A document describes a suite that provides four simultaneous ion and neutral-atom measurements as a function of altitude, with variable sensitivity for neutral atmospheric species. The variable sensitivity makes it possible to extend the measurements over the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Determining Performance Acceptability of Electrochemical Oxygen Sensors

A method has been developed to screen commercial electrochemical oxygen sensors to reduce the failure rate. There are three aspects to the method: First, the sensitivity over time (several days) can be measured and the rate of change of the sensitivity can be used to predict...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
High-Speed Scanning Interferometer Using CMOS Image Sensor and FPGA Based on Multifrequency Phase- Tracking Detection

A sub-aperture stitching optical interferometer can provide a cost-effective solution for an in situ metrology tool for large optics; however, the currently available technologies are not suitable for high-speed and real-time...

Briefs : Software
Motion-Capture-Enabled Software for Gestural Control of 3D Models

Current state-of-the-art systems use general-purpose input devices such as a keyboard, mouse, or joystick that map to tasks in unintuitive ways. This software enables a person to control intuitively the position, size, and orientation of synthetic objects in a 3D virtual...

Briefs : Software
Orbit Software Suite

Orbit Software Suite is used to support a variety of NASA/DM (Dependable Multiprocessor) mission planning and analysis activities on the IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) platform. The suite of Orbit software tools (Orbit Design and Orbit Dynamics) resides on IPS/Linux workstations, and is used to perform mission design and...

Briefs : Software
CoNNeCT Baseband Processor Module Boot Code SoftWare (BCSW)

This software provides essential startup and initialization routines for the CoNNeCT baseband processor module (BPM) hardware upon power-up. A command and data handling (C&DH) interface is provided via 1553 and diagnostic serial interfaces to invoke operational, reconfiguration, and...

Briefs : Software
Trajectory Software With Upper Atmosphere Model

The Trajectory Software Applications 6.0 for the Dec Alpha platform has an implementation of the Jacchia- Lineberry Upper Atmosphere Density Model used in the Mission Control Center for International Space Station support. Previous trajectory software required an upper atmosphere to support...

Briefs : Software
ALSSAT Version 6.0

Advanced Life Support Sizing Analysis Tool (ALSSAT) at the time of this reporting has been updated to version 6.0. A previous version was described in “Tool for Sizing Analysis of the Advanced Life Support System” (MSC- 23506), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 29, No. 12 (December 2005), page 43. To recapitulate: ALSSAT is a...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Employing a Grinding Technology to Assess the Microbial Density for Encapsulated Organisms

Projects that utilize large volumes of nonmetallic materials of planetary protection concern pose a challenge to their bioburden budget, as the most conservative value of 30 spores/cm3 is typically used. The standard laboratory procedures do not...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Demonstration of Minimally Machined Honeycomb Silicon Carbide Mirrors

Honeycomb silicon carbide composite mirrors are made from a carbon fiber preform that is molded into a honeycomb shape using a rigid mold. The carbon fiber honeycomb is densified by using polymer infiltration pyrolysis, or through a reaction with liquid silicon. A chemical...

Briefs : Materials
Nanoengineered Thermal Materials Based on Carbon Nanotube Array Composites

State-of-the-art integrated circuits (ICs) for microprocessors routinely dissipate power densities on the order of 50 W/cm2. This large power is due to the localized heating of ICs operating at high frequencies and must be managed for future highfrequency...

Briefs : Materials
Polyimide Aerogel Thin Films

Polyimide aerogels have been cross-linked through multifunctional amines. This invention builds on “Polyimide Aerogels With Three-Dimensional Cross-Linked Structure,” (LEW-18486-1), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 34, No. 8 (August 2010), page 38, and may be considered as a continuation of that invention, which results in...

Briefs : Materials
Composite Laminate With Coefficient of Thermal Expansion Matching D263 Glass

The International X-ray Observatory project seeks to make an X-ray telescope assembly with 14,000 flexible glass segments. The glass used is commercially available SCHOTT D263 glass. Thermal expansion causes the mirror to distort out of alignment. A housing material is...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Robust Tensioned Kevlar Suspension Design

One common but challenging problem in cryogenic engineering is to produce a mount that has excellent thermal isolation but is also rigid. Such mounts can be achieved by suspending the load from a network of fibers or strings held in tension. Kevlar fibers are often used for this purpose owing to their...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Focal Plane Alignment Utilizing Optical CMM

In many applications, an optical detector has to be located relative to mechanical reference points. One solution is to specify stringent requirements on (1) mounting the optical detector relative...

Briefs : Medical
Purifying, Separating, and Concentrating Cells From a Sample Low in Biomass

Frequently there is an inability to process and analyze samples of low biomass due to limiting amounts of relevant biomaterial in the sample. Furthermore, molecular biological protocols geared towards increasing the density of recovered cells and biomolecules of...

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

High-Powered Directed Energy Laser Projects: Destroy the Target,...

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

Optical Coating Design

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Rapid Decompression and Sealed Containers: Why Choose Magnet...

Upcoming Webinars: Motion Control

Advantages of Smart Servo Steppers vs. Smart Brushless Servos

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Large Cable, Large Problems: Considerations for Innovation

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Collaborative Robots: Are They as Safe as They Sound?