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: Physical Sciences
Large Terrain Continuous Level of Detail 3D Visualization Tool

This software solved the problem of displaying terrains that are usually too large to be displayed on standard workstations in real time. The software can visualize terrain data sets composed of billions of vertices, and can display these data sets at greater than 30 frames per...

Briefs: Software
Earth-Science Data Co-Locating Tool

This software is used to locate Earthscience satellite data and climate-model analysis outputs in space and time. This enables the direct comparison of any set of data with different spatial and temporal resolutions. It is written in three separate modules that are clearly separated for their functionality and...

Ultra-efficient real-time structural monitoring algorithms have been developed to provide extensive information about the physical response of structures under load....

Briefs: Software
CometQuest: A Rosetta Adventure

CometQuest is an educational Apple iPhone game outlining the Rosetta mission to comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Its goal is to provide an enjoyable means to learn about the Rosetta mission through action gameplay where the player takes the role of Rosetta’s mission operator and tries to capture and record as much...

Briefs: Software
Mission Analysis, Operations, and Navigation Toolkit Environment (Monte) Version 040

Monte is a software set designed for use in mission design and spacecraft navigation operations. The system can process measurement data, design optimal trajectories and maneuvers, and do orbit determination, all in one application. For the first time, a single...

Briefs: Software
Tiled WMS/KML Server V2

This software is a higher-performance implementation of tiled WMS, with integral support for KML and time-varying data. This software is compliant with the Open Geospatial WMS standard, and supports KML natively as a WMS return type, including support for the time attribute. Regionated KML wrappers are generated that...

Briefs: Information Technology
Where’s My Data — WMD

WMD provides a centralized interface to access data stored in the Mission Data Processing and Control System (MPCS) GDS (Ground Data Systems) databases during MSL (Mars Science Laboratory) Testbeds and ATLO (Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations) test sessions. The MSL project organizes its data based on venue (Testbed,...

This software evaluates the terrain within reach of a lander’s robotic arm for dig hazards using a stereo pair of cameras that are part of the lander’s sensor system. A relative level...

Briefs: Information Technology
Mars Express Forward Link Capabilities for the Mars Relay Operations Service (MaROS)

This software provides a new capability for landed Mars assets to perform forward link relay through the Mars Express (MEX) European Union orbital spacecraft. It solves the problem of standardizing the relay interface between lander missions and MEX.

Briefs: Software
FERMI/GLAST Integrated Trending and Plotting System Release 5.0

An Integrated Trending and Plotting System (ITPS) is a trending, analysis, and plotting system used by space missions to determine performance and status of spacecraft and its instruments. ITPS supports several NASA mission operational control centers providing engineers, ground...

Briefs: Software
Scalable Integrated Multi-Mission Support System Simulator Release 3.0

The Scalable Integrated Multi-mission Support System (SIMSS) is a tool that performs a variety of test activities related to spacecraft simulations and ground segment checks.

A successful policy negotiation scheme for Policy-Based Management (PBM) has been implemented. Policy negotiation is the process of determining the “best” communication...

Briefs: Information Technology
SE-FIT

The mathematical theory of capillary surfaces has developed steadily over the centuries, but it was not until the last few decades that new technologies have put a more urgent demand on a substantially more qualitative and quantitative understanding of phenomena relating to capillarity in general. So far, the new theory development...

Briefs: Information Technology
WMS Server 2.0

This software is a simple, yet flexible server of raster map products, compliant with the OGC WMS 1.1.1 protocol. The server is a full implementation of the OGC WMS 1.1.1 as a fastCGI client and using GDAL for data access. The server can operate in a proxy mode, where all or part of the WMS requests are done on a back server.

NASA is interested in designing a spacecraft capable of visiting a near- Earth object (NEO), performing experiments, and then returning safely....

Briefs: Information Technology
Mobile Multi-System Overview

At the time of this reporting, there are 2,589 rich mobile devices used at JPL, including 1,550 iPhones and 968 Blackberrys. Considering a total JPL population of 5,961 employees, mobile applications have a total...

Briefs: Software
Ascent/Descent Software

The Ascent/Descent Software Suite has been used to support a variety of NASA Shuttle Program mission planning and analysis activities, such as range safety, on the Integrated Planning System (IPS) platform. The Ascent/Descent Software Suite, containing Ascent Flight Design (ASC)/Descent Flight Design (DESC) Configuration...

I-FORCAST (Instrument – Field of Regard Coverage Analysis and Simulation Tool) is a flight planning tool specifically designed for quickly verifying the feasibility and estimating the cost of airborne...

Briefs: Software
Leveraging Cloud Computing to Improve Storage Durability, Availability, and Cost for MER Maestro

The Maestro for MER (Mars Exploration Rover) software is the premiere operation and activity planning software for the Mars rovers, and it is required to deliver all of the processed image products to scientists on demand. These data span multiple...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Glass Solder Approach for Robust, Low-Loss, Fiber-to- Waveguide Coupling

The key advantages of this approach include the fact that the index of interface glass (such as Pb glass n = 1.66) greatly reduces Fresnel losses at the fiber-to-waveguide interface, resulting in lower optical losses. A contiguous structure cannot be misaligned and readily...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
General MACOS Interface for Modeling and Analysis for Controlled Optical Systems

The General MACOS Interface (GMI) for Modeling and Analysis for Controlled Optical Systems (MACOS) enables the use of MATLAB as a front-end for JPL’s critical optical modeling package, MACOS. MACOS is JPL’s in-house optical modeling software, which has proven to...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
ASIC Readout Circuit Architecture for Large Geiger Photodiode Arrays

The objective of this work was to develop a new class of readout integrated circuit (ROIC) arrays to be operated with Geiger avalanche photodiode (GPD) arrays, by integrating multiple functions at the pixel level (smart-pixel or active pixel technology) in 250-nm CMOS...

Devices such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and lasers are typically based upon the accumulated emission from a large number of gas phase atoms, ions in solids,...

Researchers are edging toward the creation of new optical technologies using "nanostructured metamaterials" capable of ultra-efficient transmission of light, with potential...

If carmakers could reduce the number, size, and weight of the components in there, better fuel economy would result. A case in point is the design and...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Mars Science Laboratory Drill

This drill (see Figure 1) is the primary sample acquisition element of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) that collects powdered samples from various types of rock (from clays to massive basalts) at depths up to...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Shape Memory Composite Hybrid Hinge

There are two conventional types of hinges for in-space deployment applications. The first type is mechanically deploying hinges. A typical mechanically deploying hinge is usually composed of several tens...

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...

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